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SEO vs OSO [How to be Ready for the Future]

SEO isn’t going away; it’s transforming into something even more powerful: OSO – Organic Search Optimization!

Today, we’re about to uncover an exciting evolution in the world of search engine optimization. 

With the rise of AI technology introduced in the market, User searches are evolving and so are search engines’ responses.

At this stage, SEO experts are still unaware of concepts like Google SGE and OSO. These are the new upcoming concepts and those who prepare their content strategy according to it will win the upcoming battle.

Yes, OSO is going to be tougher than doing traditional SEO…

In this article, we’ll break down OSO in simple terms, showing you how it differs from traditional SEO.

Are you ready to explore the new world of Organic search optimization?

seo-vs-oso

Table of Contents

SEO vs OSO (The Introduction) 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Needless to explain, we all know about SEO. I mean we are doing it for decades? Isn’t it. Yes, you are right. Doing SEO means optimizing our site content so that it will appear at the top of the search engine rankings. SEO is a never ending battle and we all want that free high converting traffic drive via major search engines.

Whenever Google releases its Search engine core updates, we all start to fight and tweak our SEO strategy. Keyword optimization, Building Backlinks, Featured Snippet Optimization, Schema Optimization, Off-Page SEO, and dozens of other factors impact a website’s ranking in SERP.

This was a simple explanation of SEO and what we are doing so far… All these optimizations are still going to be relevant but lesser compared to what is coming. 

What if I tell you something BIG is cooking in Google Search kitchen? – Google has a new secret ingredient called Generative AI, and it’s changing the game. Enter OSO – Organic Search Optimization, the next big thing!

Okay, let’s break it down.

OSO (Organic Search Optimization)

OSO is the upcoming concept that comes into existence when Google started working on improving search with Generative AI (SGE). I have to explain OSO in 2 points, this is what I say:

  • OSO is a task of optimizing content with a goal of increasing brand search share by appearing in different places within SERP like Vertical rankings, Horizontal rankings, Discovery feeds, videos, and even SGE based answers (that’s super smart AI-generated responses!).
  • OSO is the task of producing & optimizing content for organic searches across all search platforms (including search engines, social platforms, etc) 

This is just a short overview of the Organic search optimization concept.

Quick note: In the future, As a SEO practitioner, we have to design our content which is highly optimized for both OSO and SEO.

So, let’s dig deeper and compare OSO and SEO.


SEO vs OSO (Comparison & How to Prepare for Organic Search Optimization)

Let’s start with a straightforward comparison table between SEO and OSO. 

Then I will give you some mind-blowing insights into the future of Search [OSO] and how to gear up your content strategy for it.

SEO vs OSO Comparison Table

Factors SEO (Search Engine Optimization) OSO (Organic Search Optimization)
Main Focus [SERP] Vertical Rankings Horizontal Rankings, Vertical Rankings
Goal First page rankings position in search engines Increasing organic search share by appearing in Google AI Generative (SGE) and top organic results across all platforms
Snippets Optimization Paragraph answers, List answers, People may ask questions, etc SGE (AI Answers) & all others
Multi-Channel Optimization No (Usually website) Yes (Website, Social Handles & More)
Keywords Targeting Limited to specific queries Targeting perspectives & viewpoints 
Ranking Factors Backlinks, Keyword Research, Meta Tags, Website speed, etc Content Relevance & Helpfulness, Social Engagement, User Perspectives
Measurement of Success By Organic Traffic percentage By Performance & Search Share
Specialist Required SEO Expert SEO expert, Content Manager, Social Media Marketer, Brand Marketer
Ending Point Ends by achieving the first page position in SERP Never Ends

Preparing a Content Strategy for OSO (Organic Search Optimization)

SGE (Search Generative Experience) Optimization:

Google has announced that days are not far away when users can interact with Google AI generative answers within the SERP. Yes, it’s exactly like how ChatGPT responds to queries. 😮

This is an example of SGE cited results appearing in the Google SERP for an eCommerce search query:

Google SGE AI result to user query

Shocked?

This is how Google Generative AI is going to respond to users’ search queries in the future. The search result will be carried over as how users interact with Generative AI results.

The future of search is evolving from SEO to OSO – meaning the days are coming soon when we have to optimize our content so that it will appear in horizontal SGE snippets too. In SEO, the ranking fight is limited to first-page appearances and featured snippets.

Discovery feeds, Knowledge base, and other snippets will be there but to appear on the top, Webmasters have to fight for SGE search responses. Generative AI is the additional snippet added soon in Google SERP.

In a nutshell, the width is going to be more important in SERP rather than vertical position optimizations. Getting a position in the first page of SERP is not going to be enough for getting organic traffic.

Remember the goal of OSO – To increase the search share of a content/website/brand. By appearing in Generative AI search results or various snippets across the search, this can be achieved.

Quick note: There is no practical formula to appear in Google AI generative results. This is an evolving concept and hence it will take time for us to reveal the final content optimization strategy.

Perspectives Optimization in Keywords & Content:

Ever heard of Perspectives? No? Well, it is more than Google Helpful Update.

In SEO, we always tried to fill the keyword gap and focused on targeting question keywords, long tail keywords, keyword variations, and LSI keywords to win the organic result position. Isn’t it?

Yes, these are all still going to be relevant but lesser than Perspectives.

Perspectives are going to add to SERP results – Meaning Google SGE answers will be generated based on User’s various perspectives, intent, and unique viewpoints. Those who optimize their content for various user perspectives will win the top results for sure. Optimizing content for a few keywords is not going to be enough for appearing in Generative AI cited results

Obviously, it’s going to be hard to design content like this…but it will provide real value to users. And that is the Ultimate goal of Google.

Here is an example of How you can add perspective to eCommerce content:

  • By incorporating user reviews & ratings into the product pages
  • By encouraging users to leave their thoughts about how they use the product? What things do they like? What things do they think could be improved?
  • By integrating user pictures/videos of using your product
  • By showcasing how your product work in real-life scenarios

Multi-Channel Search Optimization:

The Google SERP page is not far from where you will find high quality content fetched through all major platforms. Example: Yesterday, I saw a Tiktok video in a Google Videos search. This is a very rare case Google is picking video content from social platforms and not from its own YouTube.

The perspective of how search engines show results is changing. And we have to keep up with these changes.

In an upcoming Generative AI era, we’ll see top-performing organic content (reels, videos, short videos, etc) fetched through various social platforms into Google discovery feeds, news, videos, and the AI snippet. And that’s why it is important to widen our content reach and start production on more than one social platform. The bigger the reach, the bigger organic search share will be.

Hence, another important task in OSO is to optimize content for organic searches across all major search platforms and not just for ranking on the first page of a single search engine.


Final Words: Search Engine Optimization vs Organic Search Optimization

AI isn’t eliminating the SEO game completely. However, the game of Organic search optimization is going to be more relevant in the future.

OSO has just started and soon it will be the talk of the town. The Google Generative AI results are starting to take over the SERP results and days are not far where we will see us fighting for organic share by trying to appear in these VERTICAL results.

OSO is an evolving topic and there is a lot to be discovered. Stay tuned for upcoming optimization techniques.

What do you think about this new OSO concept? Do you have anything to contribute to this evolving topic? Feel free to share.

Related Resources:


FAQs: SEO vs OSO

What is the difference between SEO vs OSO?

SEO stands for “Search engine optimization” in which SEO experts try to win website rankings on the first page of SERP and mainly focus on vertical results. On the other hand, Organic Search Optimization (OSO) is the task of increasing search share by capturing multiple snippets positions in search engines (Generative AI results, Featured snippets, Discovery, Feeds, Videos, Horizontal etc). SEO focused on search engines, while OSO focused on all popular search platforms including search engines and social handles.

Is SEO going to die?

No. SEO is evolving and transforming into OSO.

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