Organic SEO

When people refer to​ "organic SEO" (search engine optimization),​ they almost always use it​ as​ a​ blanket term to​ describe the​ unpaid,​ algorithm-driven results of​ any particular engine. However,​ a​ sophisticated search engine optimization company will often take the​ meaning of​ "organic" one step further. to​ such companies,​ the​ description of​ "organic SEO" is​ not limited to​ what shows up in​ the​ "natural" search engine results - it​ includes the​ methodologies used to​ achieve such rankings.

A search engine optimization company usually falls into one of​ two camps. a​ "White Hat" search engine optimization company will use a​ largely content-based approach and will not violate the​ terms of​ service of​ the​ major search engines. a​ "Black Hat" search engine optimization company will use a​ largely technology driven approach and often ignore the​ terms of​ service. Neither approach is​ invalid (as I have said many times before,​ there is​ nothing illegal about violating a​ search engine's terms of​ service),​ and both can achieve high rankings. But a​ search engine optimization company that takes the​ word "organic" literally believes that the​ "Black Hat" approach is​ anything but "organic SEO."

There's an​ "old" saying in​ the​ SEO industry that "content is​ king." This is​ not necessarily true. in​ my experience,​ good content is​ king. Study after study has shown that when people use search engines,​ they are primarily seeking one thing: information. They are not seeking to​ be impressed by fancy flash sites. They are not looking for a​ virtual piece of​ art. a​ search engine optimization company that is​ truly practicing "organic SEO" recognizes this fact and will refuse SEO work when prospects insist that content addition is​ not an​ option. "Artificial SEO" firms,​ which embrace a​ technical loophole philosophy,​ will allow a​ company to​ leave its website exactly as​ it​ is,​ because the​ work that such firms do is​ by and large technical and is​ designed to​ trick the​ engine into showing content that it​ would not otherwise. Certainly,​ there are acceptable (from the​ engine's standpoint) technical aspects that any good search engine optimization company will use,​ such as​ relevant page titles and meta tags. But there are many more unacceptable technical methodologies than acceptable ones,​ including cloaking,​ redirects,​ multiple sites,​ keyphrase stuffing,​ hidden links,​ and numerous others. a​ company practicing "organic SEO" will avoid these.

As any search engine optimization company knows,​ inbound links are critical to​ the​ success of​ an​ "organic SEO" campaign. But there are different ways to​ go about it. Firms that practice true "organic SEO" will look at​ the​ website itself and say "how can we make this site something that other sites would want to​ link to?" a​ search engine optimization company using "artificial SEO" will ask "how can I get links pointing to​ this site without adding anything of​ value to​ it?" the​ latter approach usually leads to​ reciprocal linking schemes,​ link farms,​ the​ purchase of​ text links,​ and more - anything save for making changes to​ the​ website that entice others to​ link to​ the​ site without the​ link being reciprocated,​ without paying the​ website owner,​ or​ without asking "pretty please."

There is​ a​ stark contrast between "organic SEO" and "artificial SEO." of​ course,​ any decent search engine optimization company will make certain that a​ site is​ listed in​ all the​ popular directories,​ such as​ the​ Yahoo Directory,​ the​ Open Directory Project,​ and a​ good search engine optimization company will also continually seek any industry specific directories where your site should be listed. But truly using "organic SEO" means evolving your site into something that holds actual value to​ your prospects. in​ my opinion,​ this is​ much more beneficial in​ the​ long run than the​ artificial methodology of​ trying to​ garner incoming links that the​ site does not truly deserve.

Search engines change algorithms frequently,​ and for two reasons. One is,​ of​ course,​ to​ improve their results based upon their most recent user studies. the​ other,​ which is​ obviously related,​ is​ to​ remove sites that are ranked artificially high. Such updates raise panic in​ the​ SEO community - particularly among "artificial SEO" practitioners who have just discovered that their most recent and cherished trick no longer works (and may have gotten their clients' sites removed from the​ engines altogether). it​ is​ not uncommon on​ the​ search engine forums to​ see the​ owner of​ such a​ search engine optimization company threatening to​ "sue Google" over a​ recent update. Not uncommon,​ but always amusing.

There is,​ with only a​ few exceptions,​ a​ common denominator in​ the​ websites that remain highly ranked throughout these algorithm shifts. They offer something of​ value to​ their visitors and are considered a​ resource for their industry. "Organic SEO" practitioners generally do not have to​ worry about going back and redoing work because of​ an​ algorithm shift. While an​ "artificial" search engine optimization company desperately tries to​ re-attain the​ rankings it​ lost for its clients (or to​ get the​ sites re-included in​ the​ search engine at​ all) because it​ was dependent on​ technical loopholes that have now been closed,​ "organic SEO" firms continue adding valuable content to​ a​ site,​ strengthening its value and bolstering its rankings.

A common argument from companies when advised by "organic SEO" practitioners to​ take this approach is​ "we aren't trying to​ provide a​ resource for our industry - we are trying to​ sell products or​ services." This is,​ in​ my opinion,​ shortsighted. Remember,​ you​ are trying to​ reach prospects in​ all stages of​ the​ buying cycle,​ not just the​ low hanging fruit ready to​ buy now. Let your website be their resource to​ learn about your industry,​ rather than your overpaid salesperson. Prospects are very likely to​ call you​ when they are ready to​ buy - after all,​ you've done so much for them already!

In addition,​ taking advantage of​ "organic SEO" to​ make your website an​ industry resource provides a​ tremendous natural boost to​ your rankings for your individual product or​ service pages. This means that with "organic SEO",​ you'll get the​ best of​ both worlds. You'll reach people early in​ the​ buying cycle,​ educate them,​ and steer them toward your solution by using your website instead of​ your sales personnel. you​ will also reach the​ low hanging fruit because your individual product or​ service pages,​ which are intended for people who are ready to​ buy now,​ will get a​ significant rankings boost.

Search engines conduct very expensive and frequent studies on​ what their users want to​ see when they enter search queries. Obviously,​ no company has a​ more vested interest in​ serving up the​ type of​ results that their users want than the​ engines themselves. "Organic SEO" firms will take the​ "piggyback" approach. a​ search engine optimization company that uses "organic SEO" will try to​ learn what the​ results of​ these studies were by examining the​ sites that figure prominently in​ search engine results over long periods of​ time. in​ this way,​ the​ search engine optimization company is​ using "organic SEO" to​ make the​ website not only better for search engines,​ but also for the​ user- presumably,​ the​ engine's internal research has shown that these sites have what their users have consistently desired,​ study after study. "Artificial SEO" practitioners have no real interest in​ these studies- they are instead expending a​ great deal of​ energy finding the​ next technical loophole to​ exploit after their most recent one has failed.

The latter approach can make results erratic,​ but it​ also raises a​ larger issue - the​ goal of​ the​ campaign. if​ an​ "artificial" search engine optimization company finds a​ temporary loophole in​ an​ algorithm that brings your site to​ the​ top,​ but does not take the​ time to​ delve into the​ user experience once a​ user gets to​ the​ site,​ it​ will defeat the​ original purpose. you​ may get plenty of​ visitors,​ but a​ large percentage of​ these will be short-term visitors who do not find what they want on​ your site and back out without a​ second thought. the​ search engine optimization company did not "piggyback" on​ the​ engines' research to​ learn what type of​ content users wanted to​ see when they entered their query.

A search engine optimization company that takes a​ true "organic SEO" approach will actually take the​ Merriam Webster definition literally. a​ good website does have the​ characteristics of​ an​ organism and does develop in​ the​ manner of​ a​ living plant or​ animal. it​ builds upon itself. it​ learns how it​ should behave for its own benefit. Most importantly,​ it​ establishes its territory at​ the​ top of​ the​ search engine results. And as​ the​ organism thrives,​ artificial machine after machine fades into obsolescence.

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