Many webmasters may not know exactly what “organic” means, when applied to SEO. Others don’t care what it means, as long as their site is near the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
They should care, however, and they should understand the implications, if they desire lasting results. Admittedly, understanding can be a little difficult, since even some search engine optimizers can’t agree where the lines exist between organic SEO (search engine optimization) and even SEM (search engine marketing).
However, the most common definition of organic SEO is those practices and techniques that lead to a natural high ranking in the SERPs, without any tricks or “gaming” of the system.
SEO, organic or not, is divided into two specific realms – on-page and off-page:
In the on-page arena, one must ensure that the site’s architecture is sound and that navigation is clear and unbroken. Title and appropriate meta-tags, proper use of headers, and a moderate keyword density must be implemented and properly placed, to maximize visibility.
Consider these factors as road signs, leading to your page, the idea being to make it easy for the search engine to identify your page as an appropriate result for a user’s search query.
Quality content is also a factor in satisfying the users’ needs and making other sites want to link to your site. Many successful search engine optimization firms’ mantra is, “Content is king”, meaning that one should build their site first for the users, with the search engines’ guidelines in mind, not the other way around.
In the off-page arena, one uses such tactics as the submission of articles, press releases and blog posts, as well as social marketing and blog and forum comments. The primary goal of off-page organic SEO is to acquire backlinks to one’s site, from other relevant sites, by offering valuable or interesting content.
Such links, when of sufficient quality and quantity, are what will establish a site as an authority, and give it a higher PageRank.
Nofollow links will have little impact, beyond bringing more traffic, but the rest will pass PageRank, contingent upon the source page’s PageRank and the quantity of outgoing links.
By using an organic SEO strategy, you will avoid possible penalties or devaluation of inbound links, while establishing a more solid foundation of your site’s reputation and associated pagerank. There are some tactics that, although they may be tempting, should be avoided.
Cloaking or masking content in an effort to show the search engine one thing, and the users something different, is a sure-fire way to get your site penalized, or even banned from a search engine’s index.
Purchasing links from a “link-farm” (a site existing primarily for the purpose of selling outgoing link) is easy to detect, and can result in devaluation of link value, at the least.
Keyword “stuffing” can also be counterproductive.
Use of reciprocal links, link-wheels, or link “slabbing” are also risky, and if detected, can have a negative impact on your site’s rank.
Organic SEO will definitely bring your site the most lasting and stable results, when executed properly.