September 21, 2021
Like previous Google updates — Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and Bert – the search engine's next update, MUM (Google's Multitask Unified Model), has a warm and fuzzy name that belies its influence on SEO.
While the update offers significant benefits, like support in 75 languages, and currently inaccessible content, like videos and podcasts, it diminishes the power of today's keyword-driven SEO. Now that users might find the best results in another language, MUM will explode the search competition.
At MUM's core resides a new algorithm enabled by artificial intelligence that allows the user to reduce the number of searches required to answer any particular query. The algo uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to encourage users to type phrases rather than just keywords. For example, a query like "When's the best time to visit Japan" will yield results from multiple sites and a video interview with a Japanese meteorologist captioned in English. Using its AI engine, also suggest that you take an umbrella and slicker if you're traveling during June and July.
What does MUM mean for you?
As we noted, MUM is multi-lingual. So, one fallout from MUM will be increased competition with sites outside of the U.S. One recommendation is: build narrowly focused sites with rich content and links to other high-quality sites. Marketing investments for 2022 demonstrate the trend: More budget for content, video, and social media.
In addition to AI, Google is also incorporating feedback from humans to understand how we find information. To their credit, the search behemoth is applying its latest research to reduce the carbon footprint of mammoth neural networks and boost efficiency.
Advice from Google for Content Creators and Site Owners – Pandu Nayak, Google Fellow and Vice President, Search
- Continue to build your expertise and authority in the industry
- Create high quality and focused content
- Content must answer questions – ask yourself, "what question does this content answer before creating it."
- Written content is still essential but uses multiple media formats, for example, video and podcasts.
- Content must be more than a few keywords
- End users are the focus
- Multi-lingual SEO as part of the strategy
- Ramp up regional relevance, neighborhood interests, or species both verbal and visual
- Add structured data to the page to give clues about content