MUM – A New Searching Experience
What We Know About It So Far?
Google MUM promised to open up a new searching experience for people, yet the update has revealed that it is pitting businesses against advertisers vying for the most visibility. So, the question you’re probably asking is, how do you win after the update?
The Google MUM update was launched to make searching the internet more intuitive and inclusive. But initially, when it was launched a couple of months back, very little was known about how the update would affect those ranking organically and those paying for visibility. Fortunately, now we know more than we did previously.
This article will look at what we know so far about the MUM update and what content creators or website owners, businesses, and others need to do to continue ranking high.
What Has The Google MUM Update Changed?
MUM is an acronym for Multitask Unified Model (MUM); the goal is to help answer modern search queries on-demand with the help of AI or Artificial Intelligence. The goal is to use AI to improve search capability. When searching for something on the internet, people face multiple results, usually across multiple languages and geographical boundaries.
MUM hopes to remove the need for users to carry out multiple searches to draw comparisons or gain insights. According to the search giant, the algorithm can understand and find solutions based on not just the text entered but also interpreting videos, images, and podcasts in a way that was not done before.
The AI now understands 75 languages, meaning it has the capability to pool and serve results, offering a holistic and comprehensive experience, possibly even answering the most challenging queries.
According to experts, Google MUM can redefine relevance for every search, which changes how people use search information. That said, all of this should be taken with a bit of skepticism because you can’t trust everything being said. Also, a lot of the capabilities may take a while to surface fully.
In a nutshell, MUM is meant to present users with more meaningful search results, i.e., with insights they needed eliminating the need to search further. It will also research sources further than any other search engine.
What we can expect to see is the algorithm going through multiple iterations. That being said, it is a fascinating move by the search giant, committing to build on it. But how will it continue to improve or “build on” without allowing machine learning biases to interfere in the process? Here is how:
- It will rely on humans to provide feedback. The so-called raters will use the Search Quality Rater Guidelines to understand how people find the information they need.
- MUM will undergo the same process as BERT did in 2019 to further hone its search model.
- The search giant will apply what it has learned from the latest research to reduce its carbon footprint while leveraging the power of the neural network training system to ensure efficient search output.
The Importance of MUM
MUM mainly works by interpreting meaning in a friendly way, which helps to remove language barriers, providing the most comprehensive search capabilities. The search is also fast and far-reaching compared to any previous update. Now, this is an important fact in a world where people are looking for relevant, accurate, and detailed answers in the shortest time. Here the “shortest time” is a few seconds.
The update also looks at user queries, comparisons, and questions from various angles, which reduces the time needed to find the correct answer.
Many web admins and SEOs have grown accustomed to keywords and SEO content being a big part of their ranking strategy or serving that information by meeting intent. In recent years the importance of intent has been further emphasised to draw attention to various specifics, but now it appears, keywords are losing some of their charm to key phrases, so Google MUM is searching for the keyword but one that’s used in a natural context, instead of being stuffed into it. The approach should help provide relevant answers to questions, leveraging NLP and knowledge of additional information supplements using various formats, i.e., images, text, audio, and video files.
Now for anyone wondering, having SEO or optimised content has become even more critical, but the way it’s drafted may need to change.
Benefits of the Google MUM Update
One of the biggest benefits of Google MUM, as cited by the search giant, is the algorithm’s ability to accomplish what they define as multiple dimensions of search results. In a way, content creators, website owners, and other people who used to target a search query are being politely asked to change their strategy. The so-called direct or exact response days are numbered. What is essential now is taping into user intent, something which is nuanced, complex, and multi-layered.
The AI smarts MUM is packing will be another piece of the “intent” and “thought process” puzzle.
Take, for instance; you were planning to travel to Los Angeles, from the UK. Some of the questions you would have are how much does it cost, how much does a taxi cost, which area is the best place to live, what to see, and vaccination requirements, among others. In fact, it could be a pretty extensive list; searching for answers using this list can take a long time. Google MUM is being seen as a way to shorten the time it would take to get those answers.
All Languages Created Equal
MUM is perhaps one of the most significant updates in terms of search languages. The new MUM update will provide results in a myriad of languages, both local and insightful compared to previous updates. In addition, Google aspires to make the search engine the go-to translator, delivering detailed information, similar to engaging with the average human expert.
New searches on Google aren’t limited by the search phrases users enter. In fact, people or users can get better answers to questions by searching via a video, image, or web page, which means better access to content from beyond just the English-speaking world.
The taking down of so-called language barriers will enable businesses, SEOs, and users to get localized insights. Now for digital marketers and SEOs, that will mean having more competition. User-created reviews on areas, and facilities that are currently being missed, will become a part of the search results if it is the best answer.
Users will no longer have to use local search terms, spellings and understand language nuances to find pieces of information that they want. In fact, the AI will start understanding what specific people are looking for based on how they search.
1000 Times More Powerful Than BERT
We think that MUM will soon know it all, mainly because it uses the same T5 framework, but it is 1000 times more powerful than its predecessor BERT. While answers to straightforward answers will instantly be shown, more nuanced or complex questions will benefit from the multi-modal approach. For instance, if you search for something and the answer is an image in Japanese, Google will pull that up! This is something which was previously not possible.
Leveraging Artificial Intelligence
Over the past two decades, if not more, search engines have generally been driven by the heavy emphasis on keywords, key phrases, and later intent coupled with numerous other micro factors. So, will the use of artificial intelligence change how businesses and SEOs think about attracting more people to their websites and improving conversions after the MUM update? Yes, in some way, things will gradually change as the AI becomes more intelligent and influences the core search algorithm, with it being able to understand nuances to offer more relevant and varied content.
One outcome we foresee is that wrong content will almost instantly disappear. Again, that mainly depends on ‘user experience.’ So, the overall SEO strategy will soon be understanding user intent, improving user experience, and accessibility. That means website content will need to be far better than just a few strategically placed keywords to rank. Content will need to make optimal use of multimedia content or formats. So, content marketers will now need to be focused on producing content for the end-user, something that’s important to remember the next time you get a website redesigned.
Google MUM is also much better at providing answers to comparisons. For instance, is it cheaper to live in Spain than in Idaho? Finding answers to questions like these would be pretty challenging, requiring users to dig around for an answer or compare all the information they are presented with. On the other hand, MUM will present users with the information they need along with other related information like the dress code, weather, and other stuff that the AI deems necessary to help that user.
What Do People Need To Do?
One of the questions many people have and have asked after the MUM update is how should their SEO strategy change? Should they continue sticking with what works, or should they change certain aspects of their strategy to help stay on top.
While these are hard questions to answer at the moment, since MUM is still rolling out in many parts of the world as this is being drafted, three are a few things you can do.
Create multimedia-rich content – There has always been the need to create content that people want to read and is helpful. However, with the MUM update, Google has ramped up its efforts to ensure that the content being served up is of the best quality the search engine can find. Your content should answer common questions and use multimedia formats so that MUM notices your pages. Sure, written content like articles and blog posts are still king, attracting a lot of attention, but you will want to back it up with images, podcasts, video, and audio content.
Multi-lingual SEO – Your content is now competing with all the others from across the world. The language barriers have been removed, which means SEO-wise, you want your content to be multi-lingual. Not only will it affect your rankings regionally but possibly internationally too, if it is relevant.
Build brand recognition – All future content produced should help build brand recognition via engaging written content balanced by media and images. You will also want to add structured data to every page that sends a signal to Google telling it what the content is all about. Keep in mind that this update is AI-centric, and so it learns as time goes on, becoming smarter. Though MUM will pull up answers for people searching, there will always be those who know where to find the information they need; your website needs to become that resource. Over time that will mean that your content is trusted, so even more competition will not mean that your audience size is compromised. So, make sure to continue working on building authority and expertise in the industry.
If there is one thing, you should take away from all this, value matters. Creating valuable content is now more important than ever with the MUM update.
MUM is one of the most critical updates by Google in a very long time. It essentially hands the reins of its search engine to artificial intelligence, promising that it will learn what people want and how to find what they are looking for. That means content with value, trust, and brand loyalty will precipitate to the top. It will also mean that marketers and brands will be competing for attention in the paid ad space and SERPs.
As a content creator or webmaster, MUM should motivate you to create better content and understand your target audience. The better you understand your target audience, and the more value you add, the more MUM’s AI-driven search algorithm will love you!