There are two important elements in organic optimization.
1. On-page Optimization
2. Off-page Optimization
Both are equally important, although implementation of a successful strategy for each is drastically different. On-page revolves around the changes made to the website itself to increase indexing and optimization of strategic keyword phrases. Off-page optimization refers to the strategic implementation of a plan to garner high rankings though link baiting, submissions, social participation and other tactics.
Want proof that off-page organic optimization is important? Deal. Check out the screen shot below. Notice how “Google’s Sandbox test site for Google Caffeine” is coming up for the 2nd organic search result for the keyword “Caffeine”. Well that’s strange. We might expect the Wikipedia entry and perhaps even Starbucks, but Google’s test search engine code-named Caffeine? This isn’t because the site is optimized for the keyword “Caffeine”, but rather because there are a ton of websites linking to it that are discussing “Google Caffeine” in their articles and often within the link to the Caffeine sandbox. This is unintentional off-page optimization.