The power of Google MUM

January 05, 2022 Eyal Arditi

A.I. We see its uses all around us, when we use our virtual assistants: Apple’s Siri, Google Now or Amazon’s Alexa. Another example? when we shop online and a recommended product is popping up or even when we relax and try to decide what to watch with Netflix or Diseny’s Plus.

The common denominator with all the examples is the use of an A.I that talks to us back, gives us a shopping recommendation or helps us decide which movie will be the perfect ending for our busy workday.

Google is no stranger to A.I and in fact uses it extensively to give us better search results and to make sure that we avoid fake news about the world around us. And with its latest update, we are about to witness the true power of the A.I

Hello MUM

Multitask Unified Model or MUM for short is the latest update from Google that is promising to once again change the way we browse the internet by giving us answers from various sources such as texts, images, videos and even podcasts. All of them combined will help Google to give us the exact content we need and help us find the answer to our queries.

According to Google, MUM is 1,000 times more powerful than BERT. With that amount of power it can and will improve the way we get our answers by giving us the information we need from web pages in languages we don’t natively speak or even understand and thus generating a unique content for your questions.

Google MUM Update - Bot

Let’s peek into the near future

You are preparing for your next great vacation in Argentina, one of your destinations is the Perito Moreno glacier.

Being a glacier you know it will be cold and you need to pack warm clothing, and plan your time there accordingly. So let's take a hypothetical view of some of the search history you will probably to when preparing for the trip:

  • Perito Moreno temperature
  • When is the best time to visit Perito Moreno
  • What type of warm clothing do I need in Perito Moreno
  • Entry fee to Perito Moreno

All of the above are valid questions but if you would ask local tour guide he may start to ask you other questions that you didn’t know you need to ask such as:

  • Do you want to scale the glacier?
  • Do you want to go on a boat trip near the glacier?
  • Do you want to witness the famous ice bridge collapse?
  • Do you want to visit other attractions in the area?

Now imagine that instead of asking all those questions, you are simply typing “Perito Moreno vacation” and the results will be not only about the site, but will also tell you the weather, the best time to travel, it will tell you about the boat trip, the ice bridge and not only that it will show you images of the site, of the bridge collapse and maybe even offer a travel podcast about the area.

Sounds great isn’t it? Well the good news is that the content you’ve just witnessed was from various sources around the web, some of them maybe even in Spanish that was instantly translated into your language.

This is the future with MUM

Bring your camera along

Let’s continue with our vacation plans. You've decided to scale the glacier and now you need a good pair of boots. The old trusty pair that you have are reliable but you don’t know if they will ward off the cold. Not to worry, just take a quick snap of the boots with your “Google Lens” applications and simply ask “Can I use these to Perito Moreno”.
MUM will analyze the shoes, figure out the make and model and will give you an answer you can rely on.

Understanding information across types

Source: Google

It gets even better

We all hate it when something goes wrong with our daily life. It can be something simple like a broken taillight or more complex such as a robotic vacuum.

We all want to save a bit of money here and there and a diy solution is something that most of us will look for.
Pointing the Lens camera at the broken item we will be able to simply ask “how to fix” and will get results from videos, forum posts and other relevant articles across the web.

In the reveal of MUM, Google showed a simple example. A part has broken in your bike, you don’t know the part name or how to fix it yourself.
A simple snapshot of the part in question will reveal its name and with a simple search query we can get results on how to fix iMUM’s artificial intelligence

Source: 9-5 Google

What should we do to prepare for MUM

MUM’s artificial intelligence is capable of thinking beyond our search query to understand our intent behind our search. Because of that we will need to think even more outside the box and offer our visitors with an answer that goes beyond the exact question they’ve asked.

That in itself can pose a great challenge since until now sites usually took the “exact response” route and created content that often only answered a single question or focused on the idea of storytelling and answering the question in between.

Give you audience what they really want

A lot of sites rely on their meta title and meta description as a major indicator for Google. While these signals are still important we need to take a look deeper into our content:

  • Keep up the good work - Seriously, your content is great and you know it? Then keep it up and make sure that your content is unique, answers the questions your visitors are asking and is easy to understand and navigate through.
  • Diversify and think outside the box - Make sure your content is answering not only one question, diversify and give as much as relevant information as possible. Help the visitors and Google understand your value.
  • Say hello to the neighbor abroad - With MUM ability to translate content on the fly you will find yourself competing with content creators in your niche and not only in your country. Want to stand out? Have you multilingual SEO strategy ready.

Don’t copy and paste

We all use stock images from time to time, they are great time savers and help get the message across clearly. However, we need to understand that if your site offers a unique image that stands above the stock images, it is more likely to show up in the search results and off course in the MUM generated page.

Are you a travel agency? Don’t rely on the same old and tired stock photos of attractions, send a photographer for a day photoshoot and have in your arsenal unique and beautiful images ready for your web site.

But what if this isn’t an option, not everyone wants or can afford unique images. Again we will have to diversify. Check your competitors, Are they using the same stock image? Then make sure you are using a different image. Try searching for the perfect image on other stock photos sites. You will be surprised what great results a little effort can have.

Final thoughts

There is no doubt that MUM is going to shake up the way we and our visitors search for information online and we need to make sure that our content whether it be in text form, images, video or audio is not only good enough, it needs to be great, it needs to be several steps ahead of the competition.

MUM will bring a lot of exciting opportunities that we will need to use and learn about. The future truly belongs to the A.I and it is here to make our life a lot easeir.