An ‘organic listing’ is the natural, unpaid indexing of a website on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). These listings appear in order based on factors such as relevance to the search query and the authority of the website amongst the competition.

When performing a search query, the first results you see are typically paid results marked with a bold ‘Sponsored’ label. The organic listings follow this, showcasing websites that Google has crawled, indexed, and ranked based on their informational richness and relevance to the search query.

Example of a SERP
There are always 10 organic listings per page. For popular search terms, there are typically 4 Ads at the top and 3 Ads at the bottom of each SERP.

What are the Features of the Organic Search Results?

Google features are constantly evolving to enrich the user experience and present diverse content formats, as of 2023 some of the common SERP features include:

Featured Snippets: 

Displayed above regular organic results, these snippets provide concise answers to user queries, offering a quick glance into relevant information.

Example of a featured snippet

Video Carousel:

A carousel of videos related to the user’s query, linking to video hosting platforms like YouTube or Vimeo.

Top Stories:

A carousel highlighting recently published stories or breaking news related to buzz-worthy topics.

People Also Ask (PAA):

 Automatically generated questions by Google, providing clickable answers to common queries.

Example of PAA

Image Carousel:

Displays a row or block of related images, offering a visual alternative to text-based results.

Local Pack:

The “Local Pack” in SERPs displays a map and a list of local businesses for location-based queries.

Exampe of Local Pack results

It provides essential details like names, ratings, and hours. This feature boosts visibility for local businesses and is crucial for local SEO, significantly influencing customer engagement and traffic.

Benefits of featuring in Organic Listings

Organic visibility is achieved through strategic search engine optimization (SEO), which we explain in more detail in this blog – What is SEO? SEO performance is highly sought-after by most companies who rely on enquires or sales via their website.

Competitive Advantage:

A successful SEO campaign boosts your visibility in the organic listings, helping you bring more traffic to your website and a greater chance of converting business.

Cost-Effectiveness and Scalability:

Unlike pay-per-click ads, which can become cost-prohibitive over time, organic traffic incurs no direct costs. It’s a sustainable strategy that allows businesses to grow without constantly expanding their marketing expenses.

Long-Term Results:

Organic search strategies provide enduring results. They optimize your presence on search engines over time, unaffected by monthly expenditures or cost-per-click considerations.

Highly Targeted:

Effective SEO strategies ensure that your website appears when consumers actively search for keywords related to your industry. This targeted traffic can translate into valuable leads and long-term customers.


Organic versus Paid Search Dynamics

The difference between Google Ads or SEO campaigns extend beyond cost considerations.

Organic search:

– Focuses on boosting unpaid rankings in search results.

– Places search results in the middle of the page.

– Requires ongoing efforts but is more effective in the long run.

– Costs nothing to invest in but demands regular SEO maintenance.

Paid search, conversely:

– Focuses on appearing in the Sponsored listings, typically at the top of the page.

– Allows for immediate results but Ads will only show whilst there is a budget available.

– For best results its worth hiring someone with experience in Ad campaigns, which can come at a cost.

If you have any questions about SEO or how to get your company higher up in the Organic rankings, contact the team at Phoenix Media today.

  • Published on : Sunday December 17, 2023

About the author

As the managing partner for Phoenix Media, Rob brings over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing and running successful agencies in the UK, Australia and Thailand. Starting in a sales role he has covered all aspects of the agency from sales and service to technical ad operations. Reach him directly on

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