Technical SEO

Organic Search Results

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jun 6, 2023

Organic Search Results

What are Organic Search Results?

Organic search results are the unpaid listings that appear on search engine results pages (SERPs).

They differ from paid search results, known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which are displayed through sponsored placements.

When a user enters a search query, search engines strive to present the most relevant content. Relevance is determined by analyzing factors such as keywords, content topic, and user intent.

Quality also plays a significant role, considering factors like content depth, keyword usage, readability, and overall user experience.

Additionally, search engines consider the authority of a website, including factors such as domain age, backlinks, and overall online presence.

Organic search results hold great importance for businesses as they can drive valuable organic traffic to their websites.

To improve organic search results, businesses can employ various strategies. Optimizing a website for search engines involves utilizing relevant keywords, creating high-quality content that meets user needs, and ensuring a user-friendly website structure and navigation.

Building a strong backlink profile by earning quality external links can enhance a website's authority and improve organic rankings.

Incorporating organic search results into a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is crucial for businesses to increase online visibility and drive organic traffic.

Difference between organic and paid search results

  • Paid results require money to rank at the top position, and content quality is not a preference, while organic results rank based on quality and do not require advertisements.

  • Paid results get the top positions and have a small “Ad” icon on the top left. Organic results, on the other hand, usually appear from the middle of the page and are not labelled with any such icon.

  • While achieving top positions on search engine results pages (SERPs) through organic results may involve hiring an SEO agency and incurring initial costs, paid results require upfront and ongoing payments for achieving and maintaining prominent positions. Organic results rely on optimizing website content and structure, while paid results require pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to secure visibility.

How do organic search results appear on the SERPs?

Usually, we always assume the position of organic search results below the paid results, yet there are times when organic results appear at the top of SERPs.

Moreover, many variations of organic results can occupy a lower but more prominent position on the SERPs.

Featured snippets

Featured snippets are the results that contain brief and direct information about a query that usually does not require clicking on the link.

Google chooses these snippets from reliable websites to answer the query in a satisfactory manner.

Featured snippets in organic results

The featured snippet may also contain pictures to elaborate further on a certain query. It may also have a video.

Dictionary box

Google introduced a dictionary box to provide a direct and perfect meaning of a word, phrase, or idiom. The dictionary box appears at the topmost position and may also include pictures.

It has a search bar right at the top to type a word/phrase into. If you use this search bar to find other words, only the box will show different results, while the remaining results on the SERP will be the same.

This feature provides quick access to accurate definitions without having to navigate to a separate website or scroll through multiple search results.

Dictionary box in organic results

Image/video carousels

A group of interactive videos or pictures that are swipeable or can be opened by clicking on an arrow on either the right or at the bottom is called a carousel on SERP.

Such carousels appear on the top of the page and often occur on mobile results.

The image carousel will appear like this

image carousel in organic results

That’s how it appears on a mobile device.

A video carousel appears like

Video carousel in organic results

That’s how it appears on a desktop.

One important point is that the carousel can also be paid result as you can find ads carousels on SERPs.

  • Top stories

This type of result is a carousel grouping news from different websites. Each news section will contain a video or image related to the news along with the time.

Top stories do not necessarily appear on the top of SERPs, they often appear below other results, i.e. at the bottom or near the top of the page.

Top stories in organic results

Knowledge panel

It appears on the top right corner of the results page. It contains more information than the featured snippet.

Knowledge panel in organic results

More to ask

“More to ask” will appear on SERPs in the form of questions related to the search query. Each question opens like a drop-down menu upon clicking, and answers will be seen in a snippet.

They usually appear in the middle or near the top.

More to ask in organic results

Rich snippets

They are also known as “rich results” and are called so because they provide you with additional information.

This additional information can be recipes, reviews or events.

Rich snippets in organic results

Importance of organic search results

Organic results are profitable in many ways and are always believed to be better than paid results. Here is why they are considered important.


Organic search results are cost-effective because businesses do not have to pay for each click or impression, unlike paid advertising.

By investing in search engine optimization (SEO) to improve organic rankings, businesses can generate consistent and sustainable traffic without ongoing advertising costs, leading to long-term cost savings.

Additionally, organic results tend to have higher credibility and trust among users, resulting in better click-through rates and conversion rates.

Targeted traffic

Organic search results are important because they drive targeted traffic to websites. When users find a website through organic search, it indicates that their search query closely aligns with the content on the website.

This targeted traffic increases the chances of engagement, conversions, and fulfilling the specific needs of the users, resulting in higher-quality leads and potential customers.

Long-term outcome

Organic search results offer long-term benefits for businesses. By investing in search engine optimization (SEO) and achieving higher organic rankings, businesses can enjoy sustained visibility and traffic over time.

Unlike paid results that require ongoing payments, the long-term outcome of organic search results can lead to consistent organic traffic, improved brand reputation, and long-lasting business growth.

How to increase your chances of appearing in organic search results?

To increase your chances of appearing in organic search results, there are several things that you should consider. 

Keyword research

Keyword research is crucial for improving your visibility in organic search results. By identifying relevant and high-volume keywords related to your business or industry, you can optimize your website content to align with user search queries.

Understanding the language and phrases your target audience uses enables you to create targeted and valuable content that resonates with search engines, ultimately increasing your chances of ranking higher in organic search results.


Backlinks are considered one of the most important ranking factors in organic search results. A backlink is a link from another website to your website, and it is seen as a vote of confidence and trust in the content on your site.

Google and other search engines use backlinks to evaluate the authority, relevance, and popularity of a website.

Quality content

Quality content is a crucial ranking factor in organic search results. Search engines aim to provide users with the most relevant and useful content in response to their search queries, and quality content is essential for meeting this goal.

High-quality content is typically informative, engaging, and well-structured. It provides value to the user by addressing their needs or interests and is written in a way that is easy to understand and digest.

Multimedia Elements

Including multimedia, such as images, videos, and audio files, on your website can positively impact your search engine rankings.

Search engines consider multimedia as a signal of the relevance and quality of your content, which can lead to higher visibility in organic search results. 

Additionally, multimedia can enhance the user experience of your website, leading to increased engagement which can also positively impact your rankings.

However, it's important to ensure that multimedia is optimized for search engines by using descriptive file names, alt tags, and captions to improve their relevance and accessibility.

How to improve CTR from organic search results?

To increase the number of clicks your website gets from organic search results, there are certain things you can do:

Crafting effective title tags

Title tags are the clickable headlines that appear on the search engine results page. To create effective title tags, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Keep your title tags between 55-61 characters to ensure that they fit on the SERP.

  • Use sentence or title case, not all caps.

  • Include your keywords

Creating compelling meta-descriptions

Meta descriptions provide a brief summary of what your page is about and appear below the title tag on the SERP. To create compelling meta descriptions, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Keep your meta description within 151 characters.

  • Use active voice to directly address the searcher and match the description with search intent.

  • Include your keywords

Creating effective URLs

URLs are the web addresses of your pages and appear below the meta description on the SERP. To create effective URLs, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Be descriptive and remove unnecessary dates or numbers.

  • Avoid keyword repetition, as this can look spammy.

  • Keep it short and to the point

  • Avoid stop words

How to find your organic search position?

Monitoring your website's organic search position is an essential part of assessing your SEO performance.

However, determining your website's true organic search position can be difficult due to the personalization and localization of search engine results pages.

Here are some methods and tools that can help you find your website's organic search position:

Method 1: Incognito Search

Conducting an incognito search is one way to get a more accurate indication of your website's organic search position.

This involves using a private browsing window that removes cookies and much of the personalization used by search engines.

Method 2: Free and Paid Tools

Google Search Console is a free tool that provides an overall position of your website for a particular keyword in organic search results. However, the information provided by this tool is limited and sometimes not accurate. 

Ahrefs and SEMrush are paid tools that offer a range of SEO features, including tracking your website's organic search rankings and providing insights into your competitors' rankings.


Organic search results are unpaid URLs that appear on search engine result pages based on content quality and SEO efforts. They are more credible than paid results and offer long-term benefits.

Organic search results can appear in different forms, such as featured snippets, image/video carousels, top stories, knowledge panels, PAA, and rich snippets.

To improve your website's ranking in organic search results, it is essential to continuously work on SEO efforts and monitor your website's performance.

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