Everything You Need to Know About Google’s Latest update- MUM!

Have you ever wished for Google searches to be more straightforward? Wouldn’t it be amazing if the searches could be more streamlined and less time-consuming? The Search team at Google is constantly trying to make things better and easier for its users. To shorten the number of searches we do for a query, Google has rolled out a new AI known as Multitask Unified Model, famously known as MUM.

With MUM, you don’t have to search for the same query to get desired answers continuously. Research shows that eight searches are done to get the answer to a complex question. 

Pandu Nayak, the VP at Search, explains this complexity with an example, “You’ve hiked Mt. Adams. Now you want to hike Mt. Fuji next fall, and you want to know what to do differently to prepare. Today, Google could help you with this, but it would take many thoughtfully considered searches — you’d have to search for the elevation of each mountain, the average temperature in the fall, the difficulty of the hiking trails, the right gear to use, and more. After several searches, you’d eventually be able to get the answer you need.”

However, he adds, if you are talking to an expert, you can answer candidly, and they will answer your query directly so you can prepare better. Getting a direct answer will help you prepare and save you a lot of time.

Just like the example quoted by Mr. Nayak above, we too tackle a lot of similar problems in our everyday lives, and MUM can solve them efficiently. Currently, Google has been using Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) to help it better discern the context of words in search queries. But at a recent Google I/O event in 2021, Prabhakar Raghavan, Senior VP at Google, claimed that MUM is a thousand times more powerful than BERT.

While BERT can answer specific issues, it can’t give us quick solutions to complex questions. This is where Google’s new AI- MUM, comes in to help us. MUM is expected to shorten your searches and provide you with better solutions to feel human interaction. For example, eight searches for a complex question mentioned above and its reading time.

How is MUM expected to Revolutionize Searching?

We already know MUM has the potential to solve the complex questions crisis. Also, MUM is 1,000 times more powerful and faster than BERT. Along with understanding your query, MUM also generates answers. How? MUM is trained in more than 70 languages and is continuously learning more. MUM can use these languages at the same time to provide you better results.

Along with providing significant global results, it can also give us local results quickly. So when you want to know the difference between Mt. Adams and Mt. Fuji to prepare yourself, MUM will reach out to Japanese articles, images, and videos. Yes, MUM can revolutionize the searching world just like that. This way, you get information about weather, essentials, local cuisines’ availability, the best route to climb, and top spots for great views on the mountain. Also, there is no language barrier with MUM. With BERT, however, you need to use the local language to search if you need local information.

Along with language, MUM also understands the nuances of your search. Simply speaking, in the query asked above, MUM understands you have already climbed Mt. Adams. Thus, it will not mention exercises and ways to get fit for climbing a mountain. MUM will instead showcase the weather you should prepare yourself for and the gear you will need. It will also bring up subtopics in the form of images, videos, articles from across the web to make your experience better.

MUM Understands Information Across Various Formats

A multimodal like MUM understands information through different formats, including words, images, and more, simultaneously. Mr. Nayak further explains that in due course, you will be able to upload a picture of your boots and ask the question, “Can I use these to hike Mt. Fuji?” MUM would consider the search and provide answers and a list of web pages to check the gear suitable to hike Mt. Fuji.

Will MUM Make SEO Obsolete?

Modifying the search on Google gives a chill down the SEO experts’ spine. Therefore, it is, in fact, a significant point of concern that needs to be answered. Google has always had the vision to make Searching as natural as possible since its inception. When BERT came out, Mr. Nayak wrote in his blog that keywords are happening since the search engine cannot understand queries seamlessly. The communication style of search engines is very different from asking the same question to another person.

BERT became the first milestone for Google to minimize keyword usage and understand the context of words instead. BERT already lowered the impact of keywords in use and ranking. Now, Google has realized that there is only one way to optimize their search engine, which is for users. However, MUM could revolutionize Searching in a way that keywords become obsolete. So, users will not browse for pages directly, but MUM would work as a personal assistant to answer the asked query. Thus, keywords would matter very little, and information/answers will hold more volume. To be more precise, words will now value more than keywords.

Keywords will play a role but not as much. They won’t get you a web page position, and you can’t optimize content for MUM either. There is no direct way to compete in the ranking game anymore. This will make people stop writing for algorithms and start providing real-time solutions.

This reality of providing solutions will help all digital marketers to create a more practical and helpful strategy to promote their clients and businesses. Also, getting searches quicker will help the local level, too; people who find it difficult to do text search and travelers who like to explore new places. We can’t wait for Google to integrate its algorithm. Can you?

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