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What is an Organic Search?

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  • Written By: Vanessa Harvey
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
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  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2016
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An organic search, also called a natural search, refers to the use of Internet search engines to locate desired information on a particular subject or to find answers to specific questions on a topic. Information or answers might be provided by a single web page or blog, or it might be dispersed over many pages composing an entire website. The seeker simply types a keyword or key phrase into the search box of a web browser and presses the "enter" key or clicks on a word such as "go" or "search" to initiate the search.

The search engine used will then provide a list of organic search results linking to the sites that it has been programmed to consider helpful to the seeker. The results list provides page titles, brief descriptions and hyperlinks to web pages, blogs or websites. Internet users click on links to sites that they believe will be of interest to them based on the titles and brief descriptions shown in the list. These lists are said to be organic search results because they are not paid advertisements. Results from an organic search might be thought of as free Internet marketing, which is extremely valuable, especially for an electronic commerce enabled site.

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Despite the usefulness of paid Internet advertising, competent web developers and designers understand the importance of organic search results. This is why they follow good and honest search engine optimization (SEO) practices. SEO is basically the preparation and tweaking of a web page or website so that it is not only highly visible to search engines but also is highly ranked by these robots. Attention is given to aspects such as keywords, key phrases, valuable back links and header information to increase the ranking of the site, which in turn can increase its position in organic search results.

Some people might think that periodic visits to a site by search engines, which are actually a types of cyber robots, is included in the definition of organic search. This, however, is not the same thing as a person typing keywords and key phrases into the search box of a web browser, because the purposes differ. The search engine actually visits, collects information about and indexes web pages in the building of a huge database. It can then deliver, in the form of a list, what it calculates to be the best search results based on a person's queries. Although the method is the same, using a search engine on a particular website that searches only that particular site is not considered to be an organic search.

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lluviaporos
Post 3

@KoiwiGal - As long as people don't use that kind of thing to make their content too obscure. I mean, you can narrow down a search to the point where it's so specific you can't possibly miss out if someone searches for it, but how many people are actually going to be searching for it? If you're really hoping to get good organic search results (and I don't think you should rely entirely on that) then you need to find a balance between the general and the specific.

KoiwiGal
Post 2

@Fa5t3r - Well, search engines aren't too terrible about distinguishing content these days. If you can manage to pick a topic that hasn't already been saturated then you can pick up what they call long tail searches, meaning that someone is looking for something very specific and you happen to have written about it.

For example, there will be millions of hits for dogs, hundreds of thousands for lab dogs, but probably only a few thousand for 'keeping lab dogs in Jacksonville' and many of those won't be specifically aimed at that topic. If you have a blog entry on that topic and make it very high quality, with a lot of relevant words and good content, then Google should put you high enough on the organic search results to be seen by a casual searcher.

Fa5t3r
Post 1

You've definitely got to keep in mind that sometimes a majority of your web-traffic will come from search bots rather than from organic searches. It can be very exciting to start a new blog and see what looks like people from all over the world showing up on the visitor statistics. But these might just be automatic searches and not actual people looking at your blog.

It is the rare blog that will have much organic search engine traffic in the first few months at least. Either you have to build an audience slowly, or you have to cotton onto topical subjects that a lot of people will be looking for. No matter how wonderful your blog is, search engines are going to rank it as being of low interest because it doesn't have many comments or followers.

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