What Is Organic Search In 2024?

Whether you’re someone brand new to internet marketing or a veteran of the web, organic search is something that impact you cannot escape. Organic search refers to the results provided by a given search engine in response to a given search phrase or keyword. While it’s been around for years now, the organic results get more and more accurate in answering the search query, emphasizing the importance of a solid and ever-evolving SEO approach.

What differentiates organic search from paid search is that, unlike paid search, organic results are derived from the calculus performed by the search engine itself.

This stands in stark contrast to paid search, where results placements are dictated by payment. Organic search has gone through many iterations and changes through the years but has remained the predominant, civilization-changing tool of the web throughout.

In this piece, we’re going to explore the origins of modern search engines and take a look at how they operate. Along the way, we’re going to examine best practices in an attempt to give you key insights into how best to obtain an advantage for your website in organics in 2024. By the end of reading, you should have a solid understanding of organic search and how it impacts your businesses online.

If you’re a business owner in need of an SEO strategy that actually improves rankings, schedule a call with our SEO professionals today.

Organic Search FAQ’s

Background Information on Search Engines

To begin, it’s very important to understand that search engines – as much as they are gigantic entities with seemingly all-powerful abilities – are pretty humbly beholden to their customers’ demands.

Searchers flock to search engines because they deliver results that they find useful for everyday problems, and if they don’t get what they want, they quickly go elsewhere.

You don’t have to believe us, just ask Excite, AOL, Prodigy and the dozens of other failed search engine companies – all had their time in the limelight and all failed for similar reasons.

The successful search giant of our day, the undisputed champion, is Google and Google succeeded where others had failed for some very important reasons.

First of all, Google understood the need to deliver relevant results from day one and did so incredibly well.

With this move, the mobs of searchers showed up to use it.

Secondly, Google understood the need of business to advertise and the willingness of business to pay for it, so they implemented their version of PPC called initially Google AdWords (Now Google Ads) whereby businesses could bid and compete for placement of ads that would appear above the organic free results.

And with this move, the needs of millions of businesses were addressed and Google tapped untold revenue in the process – a win-win if there ever was one.

Lastly, though, Google understood the needs of websites and the internet itself, websites needed a way to make money, and they needed guidelines to follow – a structure.

Google rolled out a wide variety of things to address the needs of websites and established itself as a de facto standard from nearly day one.

One of the most important contributions from Google in the early days was the Page Rank system, first created by Google Co-Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1997 at Stanford University.

Page Rank calculates the importance of a webpage by looking at the links going into it and assigning it a ranking based upon its assumed relevance.

The reason for the importance of this system is that its underlying methodology would go on to inspire and forge an entire web topology based upon it – its influence hangs heavy to this day, as we shall see.

How Do Modern Search Engines Function?

Though Google has added many services and search has changed over the years, the core motivation and functionality of it remain identical and true to its roots.

Search’s main priority today is delivery of relevant results in response to visitor search queries – period!

This simple reality underscores everything search is trying to do, why? — organic search is king.

Search engines make a lot of money selling advertising, but the draw that brings people in every day is the highly relevant organic results that empower people to conduct research of all kinds.

It’s very important to remember that it is this core service that search delivers daily to billions of people, which is the key to their success.

The Many Sides Of Search

Search engines can be thought of as having two distinct sides to them.

Firstly, there is the public facing or “search” side of search engines, this is the website google.com, where we all go to input search phrases and press enter to see results – it’s best to think of this as the face of search.

The second side, the gathering or collection side of search engines. This side is the unseen one that gathers the information and brings it back electronically to be analyzed and sorted.

The mechanics of how these two work together is pretty simple to understand conceptually, at least in its raw functionality.

Search engines deploy “spider” or “crawler” software (terms vary), whose job it is to trawl the web looking for new websites, new pages, new page contents – taking in everything.

When they find something new, they index their findings and report it back to the search engines.

Search engines look at the new content and scan it and look at its contents, figuring out if it’s relevant relative to the anchor text of the page it was on and also checking if that page is relevant relative to its site and site to its domain and so on – and on and on – it goes!.

Search ultimately integrates all the data that it can and depending upon many data points – all, ultimately, driven by relevance – a given website rankings are established.

Rankings today are not as static as they used to be and are much more complex and contextual. With local and mobile rankings differing from regional, national, global and/or desktop rankings, search engines become more intellectual every day. 

Why is Organic Search Important?

The reason organic search is so important is because the first page of organic search results for any given search phrase is where 90% of searchers end up clicking.

This means that ranking highly for organic search gives a website a much higher chance of being clicked on.

Research shows that many searchers intentionally skip the paid ads section and go straight to organic results to find results that they feel they can trust.

Organic results are also important across nearly every industry and vertical of business, locally, regionally, nationally and globally – organic is simply the best place to be for many reasons: it has longevity, it’s financially resourceful, and will guarantee the highest number of eyeballs on your site.

What Determines a Website’s Organic Ranking in 2024?

An organic ranking for a given site is relative to a given search phrase. Below are some determining ranking factors, outlined by Google’s search essentials.

  • The ranking in organic results is determined by how the search engine views the website’s overall relevance, relative to that search phrase.
  • This relevance is calculated based upon numerous factors including the website’s Domain Authority, Page Rank and how much and how relevant its contents are. 
  • According to Google, there are numerous cofactors involved in the calculation of the rankings of a given site, and in certain circumstances, one factor may matter more than another.
  • Sites with very high DA rankings almost axiomatically have very high quality content on them.
  • A healthy backlink profile is also an essential ingredient in helping a website to rank.
  • Oftentimes, sites have all the ingredients necessary to rank but are missing backlinks because they’ve focused so exclusively on the site itself they ignored the need for links to it.
  • Backlinks from high DA websites count as powerful votes of confidence, passing link-equity onto the target website and conferring, ultimately, an increase in domain authority.

How Can I Improve My Site’s Rankings?

Website rankings can be improved in many ways, most of which are essentially website management best practices.

Add Content

Most websites rankings can be improved substantially by simply adopting and adhering to a content strategy that adds content to the website on an ongoing basis and establishes and begins to grow a base of content for it.

It may sound intimidating at first, but the impact content can have is profound and growing by the year.

Online Directories

Beyond content, many websites have never undergone the basic maintenance practice of submitting their particulars to as many online directories and locations as possible – all free, all easy to do.

Depending upon the industry, there are literally hundreds of online directories waiting to have updated (correct!) descriptions with links put into them, garnering backlinks from all.

Social Syndication

Another major issue most websites have is that no matter how much content they publish, they have a limited social media utilization that kneecaps them from the start.

The way to really maximize the development of content and any activity you want shared online, is to register and set up accounts at all major and specialized social media sites you can and then utilize a social media syndication app (there are many!) to post to all of them simultaneously – giving updates as content is posted.

Site Updates

One area neglected by many who own websites is their upkeep in terms of plugins, redirects, versions of software such as WordPress and PHP – all of this takes a toll.

Collectively, ignoring website maintenance is a major cause for a loss in rankings and also a cause for harmful exploits and hacking.

Take it from us, be sure to always keep your site up to date and apply all security patches in as timely a manner as possible too – you won’t regret it, even if you don’t rank because of it!

SEO’s Role In Organic Ranking

digital composite of business graphics with office background

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term which applies to a veritable cornucopia of different technologies, methods and tactics, all designed to enhance the target website and improve its rankings relative to its target search phrases.

SEO has a valid seat at the table in any discussion of organic rankings, since SEO is the science of improving them!.

SEO is broadly broken into two different areas of concern – on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

On-page SEO refers to things like the website’s link structure, it’s plugins, anchor text, robots.txt file, .htaccess file, sitemap.xml and more – all things which are on the site itself.

Off-page refers to things like backlinks, guest blogging and more.

SEO campaigns come in a wide variety of architectures, with different technologies included and emphasized in campaigns from one company and absent in another.

While keeping up with a continuously developing search engine can feel overwhelming for a business owner, keep in mind that a search engine’s only goal in advancing is putting the best and most ideal content in front of the searcher. Don’t get lost in cutting corners or shady SEO tactics and stay focused on what’s best for your audience. Google will reward you for it.

What is Black Hat SEO?

The term “black hat” has an interesting and dynamic history. It was first applied to methods of SEO that violated or exploited the search engines rules in order to obtain undue rankings for clients.

As time has passed, black hat has come to refer to all SEO methods that are in contravention of Google’s best practices, including all of those which are illegal, but many of which are just unethical.

The methods of Black Hat SEO are wide and varied, some of them might even surprise you!.

These methods might include things like artificial-intelligence generated writing or even AI videos, or it might be robotic postings or copied and AI modified content.

The common thread that runs through all of these methods is the unethical and criminal nature they all share.

Though black hat methods may not land you in jail because they are not illegal, they may well cause your site to be penalized, and it is not worth it to tempt fate.

Many methods of black hat SEO exist, including the aforementioned robotically generated content, but that’s not all.

Black Hat backlinks also exist, these are usually robotically generated in the form of forum spam that contains links, but there are other forms of bad backlinks.

Private Blog Networks (PBN’s) are websites which are networked together and designed to appear natural and normal, but, in reality, they are link farms, selling backlinks to unwitting buyers.

The Relationship Between Backlinking & Domain Authority

One type of off-page SEO that has an enormous impact is backlinks from high Domain Authority (DA) websites.

Proper do-follow links that come from a high DA publishing site and point towards a smaller website have the effect of passing link equity on to the smaller site.

The way it works is pretty simple, in the system which DA is based upon, links count as votes – the more links, the higher your DA is calculated to be. However, not all links are equal; the links that come in from high DA sites count more strongly and have a vastly higher impact.

What this means is having a lot of high DA backlinks to a website is a very good thing for the website because it is going to impart a lot of link equity and probably get that website to rank in a hurry.
Backlinking is something we at ORF specialize in doing for our clients.

How We Conduct High Quality Backlinking at Outreach Frog

At Outreach Frog, we have some of the highest quality guest blogging and backlinking services in our respective industry.

We help businesses by providing them the service of in-depth research, guest post writing  and backlinking, giving them the freedom to focus on what they do best – and leaving SEO to us.

Our backlinking service is offered on an ongoing basis, much like many conventional SEO campaigns, however, there is nothing conventional about what we do.

We have relationships with numerous highly esteemed publishers across many industries.

These publishing sites are high in their DA rankings, making backlinks from them highly prized and sought after.

We study our client’s industry, niche, keywords and website and come up with topics. 

We then pass this info off to our in-house writers, who craft highly engaging pieces of content.

A placement team then takes the pieces of content and publishes on carefully selected publishing sites, chosen for their close association to the target website.

The difference between our process and the one implemented by many others is that we’ve taken the time to build the relationships with a vast array of publishers, and we develop content that is designed to stay alive indefinitely.

Unlike many other backlinks, ours are embedded within high-quality written material that is researched to be topically relevant and written to engage visitors.

If you have a website and want to do the very best you can with it to help it to rank, then it needs to be set on course to do that from day one.

A good website is no longer just an aesthetically appealing and technically sound one, a good website is one which anticipates users needs and intents and preemptively makes itself highly relevant to them.

Smart entrepreneurs are increasingly adopting content plans at their businesses and using technology such as smartphones and voice-to-text and other things to efficiently craft content, even with their busy schedules.

The times we live in represent an incredible opportunity for many businesspeople and professionals who want to cultivate a direct relationship with their clients to both market themselves and improve the prestige and reputation of their businesses.

If you would like to learn more about what it is we can do for you and your business, don’t hesitate to browse to our website and schedule some time to speak with one of our consults.