What is Natural or Organic Search?
The Free Way to Ranking Well in the Search Results
Organic search is simply: not paid search. Advertisers and sites that appear in the sponsored ad/PPC spots on the search results page, pay their way by bidding for a spot. All the other search results you see are the “organic” results: those that have made it to their spot in the results without paying for it.
Websites that rank well in Google’s organic or natural results often do so because they follow some simple strategies:
- Keyword optimized
- Reputable inbound links
- Strong content and copy
- Fast loading
Keywords Help Drive You Into Natural Results
Theory has it that the closer your site and individual pages match the keywords and phrases a user types into the Google search box, the more likely you are to be placed higher in the natural search results. Maybe back around 2000 this could have been a reliable strategy all on its own, but the current web is so much more competitive that if you’re interested in showing up in the natural results you should be optimizing your site for more than just keywords.
Links Help Web Crawlers Identify Sites with Authority
Besides keywords, sites that have inbound links from other sites are more likely to win in the natural results. Links that come from reputable and relevant sites matter more. For example: say your site is about bass fishing, then a link from another bass fishing or fishing site in general is more valuable than a link from a food blog or a news site. The more highly ranked those sites that link to yours are, the more valuable the inbound link and the more valuable the “link juice.”
Original Content and Copy Becomes Increasingly Valuable to the Search Engines
Google has tweaked its search algorithm to penalize sites in the search results it finds with scraped, unoriginal, duplicate, and poorly written content. Your content should be original, targeted to a keyword or key phrase, well written, and offer some value to your customers or visitors.
Faster Loading Sites are Rewarded
Finally, the more well constructed your site overall, the easier it is for the web crawlers to index it and the more usable it is to your prospective customers and visitors. Besides the above tips, don’t keep users waiting for large images to load-optimize them for fast loading. You have a brief few seconds to capture the attention of a user once they’ve clicked on your snippet in the search results–respect that time.