Google works hard, to give the best results out of your search queries, part of which is it aims to bring the world’s information more accessible. It brings new updates to give its users more relevant and helpful search results. The last major Algorithm/Technology update brought by Google was in 2019 named “BERT”. It not only impacted the process of performing SEO on a website but also changed the way Google process queries of its users (for good). But, that’s not it, Google is coming up with its new AI-based Technology MUM – Multitask Unified Model and it may change the way we search queries on Google, and simultaneously impact the SEO process to be done. So let’s have a look.

What is Google’s MUM technology?

Google MUM – Multitask Unified Model as explained by Google himself, is one of the most advanced AI-based system Language model or set of algorithms which will compile answers from resources such as websites (of different languages), from images, from videos, from audios to give a comprehensive ‘expert like answer’ to a complex query* typed in a search bar.

*  Google MUM applies only to the complex queries, Google will respond normally to normal questions.

In simple language, this means ‘for a complex query’ typed in a search bar of Google, MUM can use different resources in different formats to form an expert answer.

MUM can use the following type of websites and their elements as resources.

  1. Websites in 75 languages.
  2. Web elements such as text, image, audio, video

MUM will use the above-mentioned elements to give the most unified and comprehensive search results. This is because one website may have a good answer for one particular topic and a different website for a different topic so on.

MUM gives a collective answer for some special types of queries(as mentioned below). The Google search results would have content from different websites of different languages and mediums.(text, image, audio, video)

Understanding Google MUM with the help of a scenario?

Let’s say you are from California and you want to take your family to New York for a holiday. Today, Google could help you with this, but it would take many thoughtfully considered searches — you’d have to search for a few questions like the following ones.

  • What is the best time to go to New York?
  • What are the best flight rates?
  • What are the types of clothes to carry?
  • Which are the best hotels for a small family etc.?

At present, you need to type in all these above queries individually to get the answers. In fact, it is an estimate that people issue 8 queries on average for complex tasks like this one. But if you were talking to a Travel expert or personnel on the Travel desk; you could ask one question and he/she will answer all the above.

Since Google MUM can surface insights based on its deep knowledge of the world. For a query “Best time to visit New York” it could highlight in its search result that “the best time to visit New York begins from April to June till early November, and visiting New York in April will be cheaper, as the flight rates and hotel packages are on the lower side, but the best family hotels are booked months in advance”. MUM could also surface helpful subtopics for deeper exploration, so “hotel booking should be done before November in the previous year” etc.

Isn’t that Amazing for a single query of “The Best Time to Visit New York City” you may get an answer like the one from a Travel desk operator. This example is not unique — many of us tackle all sorts of tasks that require multiple steps with Google every day and Google MUM, it will be made capable of handling it.

How “Google MUM” will impact my SEO world?

1. Increases the relevancy of Websites/blogs written in the regional/native language

As per the Google article on MUM, it will remove the language barriers to access information. For example: Coming back to our Holiday in New York scenario. If the traveler wants to search for the best Japanese restaurant in New York. It may be possible that the best information on the Japanese restaurants in New York may be present on a Japanese Website (written in the Japanese Language). But MUM could transfer knowledge from sources across languages, and use those insights to find the most relevant results in your preferred language. As claimed by Google, the Google MUM system is capable of transferring knowledge across 75 languages.

The cases like the above will impact the importance of websites/blogs written in native/regional language etc. So, there are chances that if the quality of the content is good, it will be added to the search result of any relevant search queries regardless of the language barrier. So, the webmasters of the website in native language/regional language can now rank for the query in any language and thus breaking the Language barrier.

2. Expand the Multimedia content footprint’s chances of ranking on Google search results.

As mentioned earlier, Google’s MUM Technology is multimodal, which means it understands information across modalities such as text, images, video, and audio, and more simultaneously. That means if you are traveling to New York, you may click a picture of cold cream to ask Google, ” Is this cold cream suitable for skin protection?

Google MUM would understand the image and connect it with your question to let you know your best fit (cold cream). It could then point you to a blog with a list of recommended tips such as “10 tips for protecting your skin in the cold weather in New york’s city”.

As an SEO expert or an affiliate marketer or a webmaster, this should already excite me as my existing multimedia, lying dead on my website for years has a chance of ranking again.

How much would be the time required Google for a complete rollout?

As per Google Inc, they will bring MUM-powered features and improvements their search results in the coming months and they will continue to improve this for years. 

The time span for the rollout is steady because, Google is claiming to be going through a rigorous evaluation process to ensure that they are providing more relevant and helpful results, eliminating any bias indicating pattern in machine learning for fair search results.

It has also involved Human raters who follow their Search Quality Rater Guidelines, to help Google understand the quality of results.

After all this, it should not come as a surprise that Google is claiming its Google MUM system to be 1000 times powerful than “BERT”.

What SEO efforts should I put to rank after the “Google MUM Algorithm” rollout?

Also, it is apparent that the MUM will be applied in the case of “Complex queries”. In complex queries, you may require multiple answers, from multiple websites. So right now all SEOs and Webmasters etc should only focus on improving content on their website and nothing else.

As an SEO master or an Affiliate marketer, right now, it is only advisable to concentrate on creating the best content you can. It will take time to see how the searches across Google are changing after the rollout.

Will the Google MUM affect the SEO of my website?

No, at least not so soon. Google MUM’s (Unified) search result will heavily depend on the type of query. For normal queries such as “What is the capital of England?” etc the search result would be the same as you see today. Also, Google MUM, as of now, has its own limitations in understanding few modalities such as audio and video.

Google has announced that MUM Technology is being rolled out in the coming months and years to come, so, it is not a single Algorithm update or anywhere near it, it will be a group of algorithms and complex AI machine learning system will tweak and change during the course of years.