Definition & Techniques
Organic search results are the 10+/- links on a search page that are not ads. You know, the ones you were actually searching for.
The best way to start increasing your organic traffic is to do some Google specific SEO, since close to 90 percent of all internet searches are made using a Google search product. Things like valid code, Section 508 compliance, finely tuned meta descriptions across the site, relatively low numbers of outbound links, a little social networking and regular software and content updates are top priority. Learn a bunch of specifics about organic SEO by clicking learn SEO in the right sidebar.
“Targeted advertising: 59% of internet users have noticed it, but most don’t like it” – Pew Research
Google combines advertising(top of page, bottom of page, right sidebar) and organic search results on their SERP’s. In some cases the ads seem to be designed to look like the organic search results, except for minor distinctions such as background color and/or placement on the page(right sidebar is always ads), & font weight. This isn’t just on Google SERP’s, all major search engines use similar techniques. [since I wrote this blog Google has adopted a small ad icon for their results pages]
The appearance of the advertisements on just about every major search engine is so similar to the organic search results that many search engine users cannot effectively distinguish between them. [since I wrote this originally, Google has adopted displaying a very obvious ad icon next to ads… way to go google!]
Relatively few ordinary users (38% according to Pew Research Center) realized that many of the highest placed websites on SERP’s were actually ads so the distinction between paid & organic was made within the search engine optimization industry.
There is a lot of money up for grabs and since SEO and pay per click marketing are two completely different things the distinction is important. Now the phrase Organic SEO is common in the SEO community, and generally accepted by the search companies. The phrase has even been adopted by Google throughout Google Webmasters, Google Analytics, &c.
By the way, want top placement in pay per click advertising campaigns? Bid high. – Stephen James Hall