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MUM

SEO After MUM: Google’s Multitask Unified Model

Google’s Multitask Unified Model (MUM) revolutionizes how we use search engines to find information online. The million-dollar question is, will it also disrupt the SEO industry? Let’s take a look at what MUM brings to the table and how it can interfere with your SEO efforts.

Defining MUM: Google’s Multitask Unified Model

The Multitask Unified Model (MUM) is similar to BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) but 1000X stronger. We’re looking at a language model that can process complex queries — so complicated that you wouldn’t have even considered asking Google until now. 

Let’s use the same example Google used to illustrate this new comprehensive understanding of information. You plan to hike Mt.Fuji next fall, and you need to know how preparation for it is different from when you hiked Mt. Adams.

As a general rule, if you use search engines to document yourself, you need to perform a series of connected queries to gather information from multiple sources. According to data provided by Google, you would go through an average of eight queries to get all the details necessary to answer your question.

Thanks to MUM, Google will be able to answer this complex question instead of having you go through multiple-step research. Simply put, you won’t have to break down the complex question into a series of queries and make your research one step at a time. Thanks to MUM, all you’ll have to do is ask your question as if Google were an expert in hiking, and the search engine will find the right information for you.

With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the search engine is now ready to make online research faster, easier, and more accurate than ever before. As the model relies on multitasking, Google will simultaneously process information across multiple types of content. The new model can gather data from text and images to deliver comprehensive answers to your complex queries in seconds. For example, you could even upload a picture of your hiking boots and ask Google whether your equipment is suitable for hiking Mt. Fuji. With MUM, the search engine understands the image and is able to process your query and answer your question. 

In the future, developers plan to add video and audio content to make it easier for the algorithms to identify accurate information fast so users have better experiences. 

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A Global Change in Search Habits

Another impressive change brought by MUM is the increased access to information across languages. Not only is Google’s MUM capable to multitask, but it’s also multilingual. Even if the language of your question is English, Google will search for information across more languages and translate relevant results for you.

Google is able to understand and generate language in 75 languages of the internet, which means users in non-English speaking countries can also benefit from the search engine’s ability to handle complex tasks. 

It’s hard to predict how Google’s multitask unified model MUM will change the way we look for information online. However, it’s safe to say internet users are likely to start making more complicated queries than they used to with time.

Furthermore, they’ll expect results to be comprehensive, fast, and more accurate, making it difficult for other search engines to keep up and maintain their position in local markets.

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Will Websites Continue to Need SEO? 

Google uses artificial intelligence to understand complex queries, process information online, and match each question with the best possible answer. But it doesn’t understand language as we do. The language model used by the search engine still needs hints, terms, and synonyms to identify the important information on a web page.

Some keywords in the text might lose importance, but having the right terms in the right places across your texts and metadata will still be necessary to let the search engine know what your page is about.

SEO as we know it might become irrelevant, and new elements will take its place. Google will continue to need updated, accurate information, so you’ll have to find ways to signal the search engine and tell the algorithm that your page is worth considering for specific topics.

Since the ultimate purpose is to deliver the best possible answers, high-quality content will continue to be the differentiator that puts pages in front of the right audiences. It’s likely Google will continue to rely on its users’ feedback to rank pages—if your readers are happy with your content, spend time on your page, and interact with your website the algorithms will notice. Exact keywords will matter less, and user experience will be more important than ever.

However, we’re still far from seeing MUM queries as the new norm. In the meanwhile, optimizing for your readers not just for algorithms, will continue to be a key elements in any successful SEO strategy.

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