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Google’s MUM Capabilities & the Future of Search

Google has recently announced a redesign of its search engine with the introduction of an artificial intelligence feature called MUM. 1,000 more powerful than its predecessor BERT, Google MUM allows the search engine to better understand the content and search intent. Not only is MUM trained in 75 different languages, but it also understands information across text, images, videos, and podcasts. We’re here to tell you how MUM will change the SEO community.  

What is Google MUM?

MUM, standing for Multitask Unified model, is an AI-based technology that not only understands written text but understands any kind of content. The main issue MUM aims to solve is the need to type out several queries and searches to discover the answer you need. MUM can understand information from different formats such as pictures or videos, allowing the search engine to provide complex answers to search queries. MUM takes Google a step forward in fulfilling their mission “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” 

Removing Language Barriers 

MUM is trained in 75 different languages, which breaks down a significant barrier allowing Google to learn from worldwide sources. For instance, if you are searching for information on the best restaurants in Thailand, MUM can transfer knowledge from sources in Thai and can use those insights to provide you with the most relevant resources in your language. This provides you with results that are more commonly found across different areas.  

Understanding different types of information 

MUM is multimodal, meaning it can understand information from formats like webpages, images, videos, and audio content.  MUM could be the first generation of AIs that have the ability to combine multimodal information the same as humans do.  

What will change with Google MUM?

Google MUM‘s model is more intuitive than previous search models. With MUM, a user can ask a starting question, along with additional questions relating to the topic. For example, you could ask Google MUM a complex question such as “I’ve hiked Mt. Adams and now want to hike Mt. Fiji in the fall, what should I do to prepare?” Google MUM will understand that the user is comparing two different mountains, while taking the season into consideration, and then provide a complex answer. MUM will be almost like having a conversation rather than your typical search engine.  

Will MUM kill SEO?

Quite the contrary, MUM is going to revolutionize SEO as we know it.  

MUM could be the potential end of keywords. MUM will be less dependent on keywords and will be able to pull information from a wide range of mediums and topics. Of course, keywords would still be important in the search query but it won’t help better position your webpage. MUM will be less reliant on written content. Now that MUM can analyze video, image, and audio media, there are more sources to gather information from. This, in addition to the removal of language and regional barriers, means that there will be more competition for search. For instance, if you search “Best Restaurants in Japan” instead of returning information from sites only in English, MUM can provide information from Japanese sites, even from podcasts or videos.  

Every time Google makes an update, SEO experts have to evolve. We can’t predict what will happen to SEO with the rollout of MUM, but it isn’t at the stage yet where a super-power AI can decipher our natural language. Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller says “I don’t really see how this would reduce the need for SEO. Things always evolve” In terms of SEO, we will have to wait and see what Google MUM has in store.  

How to prepare for Google Mum

Knowing this information, what is the best way to prepare for Google MUM? Continue to optimize your content keeping multimedia in mind. Google MUM will be advantageous for any of your video, audio, or visual content. Be prepared to evolve your SEO strategy if needed. Be flexible and keep up with trends and information as more comes out about Google MUM. MUM will begin powering certain features in the coming months. If you have any questions on MUM and the impact you might see in the future, reach out to our team today. 

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