Blog Post

Organic Search Results

Organic Search Results: Organic search results are those that appear in the unpaid section of a search engine after users type in a keyword or query. Organic results are based on a number of factors, including the number and quality of links leading to and from a site, the content of a page and any keywords it includes, its user and usage data, and general domain data.

Most search engines include both organic and paid results. On the biggest three search engines — Google, Bing and Yahoo — the latter are generally pay per click ads. They appear at the top and sides of the organic results so as to bring them increased attention. They are, however, marked as ads and distinguished from their unpaid counterparts by formatting and color. The term “organic” was first associated by unpaid, algorithmic rankings by John Kilroy, who used the term in a 2004 article to distinguish it from paid search ads.

There is some disagreement as to whether users are more likely to click on paid or unpaid, organic search results. Some studies show that users click on the top results, not realizing that they are ads. But Google has said that users prefer organic results and are more likely to click on links that appear in the unpaid listings.

There are various add-ons and plugins that allow a user to block paid results when searching.