"Organic" - "Natural" Search Results - What's in the Name?

Jun 30, 2004 • 4:05 pm | comments (0) by | Filed Under Search Engine & SEO Theory

A thread over at the Search Engine Watch Forums named The word I hate the most is..., got me thinking. The word is organic. Organic search results or natural search results.

Some really good responses in that thread on the meaning and feelings of the words.

I personally take the stand that organic and natural words are something that we might have to worry about. It is amazing how an algorithm can be considered organic or natural. An algorithm is a mathematical representation of a human response. In our case of search, humans programmed this algorithm to present search results that us as humans would have selected manually as a good representation of sites on the Web that related to the search query specified. Of course a human can not bring up hundreds or thousands of relevant results from across the world wide web in under a second. That is where the algorithm comes in.

To name the results that are not pay for placement driven as organic or natural, in reality are not 100% organic or natural. They are a mathematical representation of organic and natural results. In my post at this thread, I mentioned AI (artificial intelligence) as something that scares me a bit. I compared naming organic results (a stretch of course) similar to the Terminator movie. In this movie, man builds super computers based on AI that ultimately take over the world (in the most part). They build them so well that they are more human then us humans.

By naming the search results organic or natural, we are getting to be one more step towards the terminator movie. I know it is extreme but I thought I let this fly. Does it really worry me? No. But it makes me think.


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