Organic search engine optimization, until recently, had been a fairly straightforward endeavor. The goal was to optimize the content on a Web site so that it would show up in the organic results on one or more of the major search engines—results that were composed of nothing but other Web sites.

However, in the middle of May 2007, Google began rolling out its "Universal Search," something it had been working on behind the scenes for several years.

This new search option may have long-term repercussions for every search engine optimization company if it is something that is preferred by the public and becomes the standard.

What is Universal Search?

Someone using Google's Universal Search will find that a query brings back results that encompass not only Web pages but also videos, blogs, images, news articles, and other media available online.

While Google already had in place options for searching each of these areas separately, many searchers did not notice those options or did not know how to use them—a phenomenon that became known as "invisible tabs."

With Universal Search, there's no need to select a separate menu item—the search will return results that encompass many different types of media. For example, a search for "breakdancing" might bring up not only Web pages about breakdancing but also blog posts about it, videos showing technique, and news articles about it.

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image of Scott Buresh

Scott Buresh is founder and CEO of Medium Blue, an award-winning search engine optimization company.

LinkedIn: Scott Buresh