What You Need To Know About The Google MUM Update

Everybody has heard of the phrase “mum knows best” and with Google’s new Multitask Unified Model (MUM) update, the statement still rings true. At Google’s annual conference, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, announced the AI-model update is just one among a range of steps that Google is taking to make users’ searches easier while interacting with search engine technology.

A recent post by Pandu Nayak explained Google’s MUM update and their goal to provide simplified results for complex queries. Not only are they looking to improve complex search results, but they also aim to deliver search results that overcome language and format barriers to deliver an improved user experience.

As a whole, search engines have operated the same way for the last twenty years. Of course, there have been continuous improvements and updates along the way but the same rules have still applied: type out a text search and the search engine will return a mix of organic links, rich results and ads. With the MUM update, however, it uses an innovative solution that accesses a wealth of previously hidden information around a core query, providing more of what we want without having to carry out multiple different searches. The update is said to be so innovative that it is 1,000 times more powerful than BERT.

But what does this mean for business websites, SEO experts, and agencies providing marketing services? Let’s look into what we need to know about the Google MUM update.


What Is The Google Mum Update?

It would be easy to see MUM as a more advanced version of BERT, especially since Google is treating it as a similarly important milestone for language understanding and describing it as being far more powerful than BERT. While this is partially true, they have managed to improve the search engines ability to determine intent, providing relevant results and incorporating different verticals (like image, video or local search).

With more recent advancements, like the last BERT update, search engines have increased their language processing capabilities, which enable them to better understand queries and return more relevant results. Both algorithms are based on transformer technology and MUM has BERT language understanding capabilities built into it, however, MUM is based on a different architecture and is capable of substantially more.

Key differences between MUM and BERT:

  • MUM uses the T5 text-to-text framework and is 1,000 times more powerful than BERT.
  • Google MUM can understand and translates 75 different languages, including text and images
  • As the name suggests, Google MUM is designed to perform multiple tasks at the same time to gather information for users.




Understanding multimodal information

MUM understands and analyses multiple sources of information, which means it can analyse information from different formats like webpages, pictures and more, simultaneously. The requirements for image searches are becoming more and more frequent. Eventually, you might be able to take a photo of your ski mask and ask, “Is this suitable for skiing in France?” and from there MUM would understand the image and connect it with your question to let you know if your mask is suitable for the area you plan on skiing in.


Applying advanced AI to Search

Every improvement to Google Search undergoes a rigorous evaluation process to ensure we’re provided more relevant, helpful results. Not only does artificial intelligence protect search engines from manipulation and hacking, but it also helps them with their ranking algorithms to improve search quality for users.

To get a little more technical, this specific area of artificial intelligence involves machine learning that teaches the program to rank algorithms. Machines are taught to create an optimal list from a set of possible outcomes, learning from each of the variables over time.

Just as Google vigorously tested the many applications of BERT launched in 2019, MUM will undergo the same process as they apply these AI technologies in Search. By using a program that continuously grows and adapts, Google is able to look for patterns that may indicate bias in machine learning to avoid introducing bias into their systems and user searches.


Searches without language gaps

Language can be a significant barrier to accessing information, especially when we have access to GLOBAL information. With the ability to understand and search in 75 different languages it will help the search engine to have a comprehensive understanding of the information. Google MUM has the potential to break down these boundaries by transferring knowledge across languages. It can learn from sources that aren’t written in the language you wrote your search in, and help bring that information to you.

“I think it’ll support much deeper information understanding and we hope to be able to convert that deeper information understanding into more robust experiences for our users.” – Source: https://searchengineland.com/googles-pandu-nayak-shares-his-roadmap-for-mum-and-how-it-can-help-the-company-handle-more-complex-queries-350288


How can Brave help?

This new update is going to change the way websites are ranked and the performance of many businesses on Google. We want to make sure you get the most out of the MUM update. Brave’s SEO and marketing team can create content for your website that remains high quality and focused yet opens up the possibilities that tangential linking can bring. MUM’s new multimedia reading skill will give you the opportunity to create videos and podcasts as well as blog posts and articles that can appear in searches. This means that content will now compete amongst the most significant contributions around the world so contact a member of the Brave team today to make your content and your business stand out.

Our Cambridgeshire based team have successfully optimised the online content of many sites in a range of industries. If you’re ready to get ahead of the update and boost your online traffic, then why not get in touch, we’re always happy to talk about how best we can support you.

Written byJamie Flett

Google Partner
Facebook Marketing Partner
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