How Google MUM might turn SEO upside down

In June 2021, Google released an update for MUM, Multitask Unified Model, an innovative technology that is supposed to help the internet mogul deliver better search results to its users with a range of advanced features. Among others, MUM is said to be able to understand and translate 75 different languages including text and images, thus overcoming language and format barriers.

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While those performing a Google search will surely benefit from MUM by encountering a much better search experience tailored to their needs, MUM will most likely have a significant impact on businesses and advertisers who were already struggling with everchanging SEO regulations. With users having to perform less searches to get answers to their queries because MUM can access information that had previously been hidden from plain sight, businesses will now have a much harder time competing for a desirable spot on the first couple of pages in search results.

What is MUM?

MUM is a newly launched Artificial Intelligence used by Google to provide users with a more human-like search experience. Similar to talking to an expert face-to-face, MUM is designed to provide answers to more complex search queries on the spot rather than having to issue multiple queries.

MUM is the new BERT

When Google introduced its Natural Language Processing technology BERT in 2019, it was considered a milestone in the search engine landscape. BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) was much better at understanding language, providing users with more relevant search results.

What made BERT unique was the fact that it took all words within a sentence into account rather than just looking at one word after the other in the order given. By doing so, it could figure out the true meaning of a sentence and deal with more complex queries much easier.

So why do we need MUM? According to Google, MUM is 1000 times more powerful than BERT and much better at understanding language on a human level. Mostly because MUM is able to multitask. In a split-second it reads text and comprehends its meaning, gathers in-depth knowledge about the topic presented, enriches its knowledge via video and audio, filters through content in 75 different languages and translates findings into multi-modal content presented in the user’s own language.

MUM’s Impact on SEO

Search Engine Optimization, the quest to have your company, products or services listed as high up as possible in Google search engine results, is still a mystery to many. The algorithm Google uses to determine who deserves a spot on the first page is constantly changing.

At the moment, MUM is not yet used as a ranking factor for search queries. Google has further announced that it will undertake rigorous testing and evaluation of its new AI before making it fully available to the public. However, when BERT was first introduced in 2019, it affected around 10% of search engine results.

While an exact publication date for MUM is still unclear, it will most likely have an even more significant impact. Google already used its new technology to improve searches for Covid vaccinations around the world. The company has also indicated it would incorporate MUM into Google Lens, combining text and image for more intuitive ways to search the internet.

Focus on yourself

With Google aiming to answer people’s questions and solve their problems within its own system boundaries, businesses in the future might be better off focusing on improving what they have to offer their audience and building brand awareness in order to stand out from the crowd.

No matter which way MUM will lead us, the following things you can do today to ensure that your website is taken seriously by Google for the time being.

  • Add structured data to your pages.
  • Create content that is new, original and meaningful for your audience.
  • Ensure your text is well-written and easy to understand.
  • Focus on keyword quality rather than quantity.
  • Make optimal use of multimedia formats.

Quality is and remains the number one priority when creating website content. MUM-friendly content will be the same as SEO-friendly content is to date: interesting, relevant and valuable. With MUM being able to break down geographical and language barriers, you could potentially benefit from a much wider audience.

At this point, MUM is set to be introduced to Google products in early 2022. If you would like to learn more about Google’s latest AI technology and how it may affect your SEO strategy, talk to the friendly experts at Energise Web today.

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