There’s a lot of talk right now in the search community around MUM. Google’s new technology debuted yesterday during Google I/O. MUM stands for Multitask Unified Model, and it’s several steps beyond BERT that debuted in 2019. In fact, Google says it’s 1000 times more powerful than BERT. This means relevant and conversational content will become even more important in the coming years. 

Search engines try to deliver the best results for any query. That’s the reason behind any algorithm update, any new release. BERT took a huge step forward into understanding search intent. It uses natural language processing to understand the subtle differences in queries. And now Google says it’s taking 1000 steps forward with MUM.

 

What can MUM do?

Google said in a blog post they plan to use MUM to help you enter in complex queries and get the answers you’re looking for, rather than several searches. “MUM not only understands language, but also generates it. It’s trained across 75 different languages and many different tasks at once, allowing it to develop a more comprehensive understanding of information and world knowledge than previous models.”

The Google example is “I’ve hiked Mt. Adams and now want to hike Mt. Fuji next fall, what should I do differently to prepare?”. While this kind of search wouldn’t yield many relevant results today. Google hopes these kinds of complex searches will be the norm in the future because of MUM. And not just text, but images and videos can all be part of a relevant search query.

Google didn’t provide a release date for MUM. But it’s safe to say that if they’re announcing it, that it could be coming sooner than later. BERT really shook up the world of content to make the strategy more about relevant and conversational content. It’s likely that MUM will also have a significant impact.

 

Why should I care about MUM?

This new technology continues to emphasize the importance of good keywords and content. It means you need to write conversationally and with enough information and E-A-T that can help your content rank for these more complex terms. 

If MUM works the way it was demonstrated at I/O this week, it could be a game changer for the way we write and host content on our websites. Long tail and complex keywords will become the norm. And it will make it much more difficult for other search engines to compete with Google’s capabilities. 

Want to watch the demonstration from Google? Watch it here.

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Kristine is the Director of Content with Boostability. She brings a decade's worth of communications strategy work to the company. Kristine has a Masters Degree in Leadership and Communications from Gonzaga University and graduated from BYU with her undergrad in Broadcast Journalism. She's worked in television news, public relations, communications strategy, and marketing for over 10 years. In addition to being a part of the marketing team, Kristine enjoys traveling, sports, and all things nerdy.