Google, the most popularly used search engine, has announced that it will be redesigning its search experience to provide users with a new way to explore and discover topics. All these new expansions are advancing the existing MUM search result algorithm.

 

Google’s MUM algorithm stands for ‘Multitask Unified Model’. It was announced earlier in 2021 to enhance the ability to search across languages and images. This expansion is looked at as a way to find outright answers to questions. The redesign is rounding off by reinforcing the ability of Google Search to search with images instead of just text. Multitask Unified Model has already been announced to integrate into Google Lens, the virtual search engine.

 

The search results page is already undergoing changes that will soon allow users to discover and explore topics in a new and better way. To be precise, the redesigned search experience will become more ‘visual’.

 

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Sounds intriguing, right? Well, let’s get a sneak peek into Google’s MUM Algorithm.

Google MUM Algorithm

MUM, short for Multitask Unified Model, is an algorithm created by Google to search for a topic to find answers to elaborate questions. The key feature of this algorithm is its ability to search with images and not just text. To understand how amazing it is, let’s take a look at how a typical search works on Google.

 

Users search on Google using text-based inquiries or using keywords. Google’s crawlers then crawl through the world wide web to look for indexed pages on the Google Search Engine to pull the best-optimized page containing the same keywords.

 

Classic Google Search

The classic search method

Google Lens has already integrated MUM technology enabling users to add a query after taking a picture.

 

Twitter

Source: Twitter

Google MUM Search

Now, can you differentiate between the classical search method and what the future holds?

 

In the above example, a user takes a photo of one of the bicycle’s parts and asks how to fix it. Google makes an accurate match of the search and helps users solve their queries by providing relevant information. This eliminated the manual search option, where the user first had to research bike parts and then conduct a separate search to fix them.

 

Search Engine Land mentions that this capability will arrive in early 2022.

 

Well, before we move on to how our search is about to get redesigned, it will be interesting to know what MUM already is.

 

The technology behind MUM is similar to BERT – Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. But, it is said to be 1000X more powerful as it will help you multitask to unlock information. According to Google, MUM can understand information across different formats and languages to deliver compelling results to users.

 

Besides the technical functions and features, the good news for the users is that now they only need to do fewer searches.

 

Google

Source: Google
 

Look at the example above. As the normal search stands, users have to search for different pieces of information to find answers to this question. For instance, you’d look for the average temperature in the fall, the right hiking gear, hiking trail difficulties, and so on. Comparing the search with MUM, you would be able to get more answers for the same question.

 

In this case, MUM could very well understand that the user is comparing two mountains and wants information relevant to the two. MUM is capable enough to offer deep knowledge of the topic through dispensing helpful subtopics.

Features that will leverage MUM

In the announcement, Google also unveiled SERP features based on the new MUM technology, but eventually, the company plans to improve it over the coming months.

 

Here are some of the revealed features:

Things to know

The new “things to know” feature is meant to understand all the possible ways a user explores a topic. For example, Google looks for the keyword phrase “acrylic painting.”

 

Serch Engine land things to know

Source: Search Engine Land
 

 

What they note is surprising. This particular keyword has over 350 topics associated with it. So now, what the feature will do is – it will identify a relevant path that a user takes to explore the topic and suitably surface the most suitable web content that relates well to it.

 

Simply put, users now don’t have to conduct a follow-up search because Google Search will anticipate it in advance and put forth the required content.

Topic zoom

“Topic zoom”  is the second new feature to be introduced. This feature allows a user to jump in and out of topic searches related to their query. For example, a user can easily broaden the topic or zoom in to get a more granular search of the sub-topic.

Search Engine Land topic zoom

Source: Search Engine Land
 

This feature will be available under “Refine this search” and “Broaden this search.”

Visual Exploration

The third new feature that is available in Google Search now is its visually browsable search results. It is a new ‘visual’ way to explore a topic. This feature is much more usable in the context where the user is looking to find inspiration.

 

Hallowen Decoration

If you search for Halloween decoration ideas, you’ll be presented with a host of options from different website sources that come together in the form of browsable images.

More announcements from Google

In addition to MUM announcements, Google also mentioned that a more ‘visually browsable’ interface will be available soon for certain search results pages. In addition, enhancements will be made to the About this result box. An assorted “shoppable” experience will be offered for apparel-related queries, and users will get to use in-stock filters when they search for local products.

Why should we care?

The examples and the unveiled features significantly point out that the search engine will become smarter and provide a deep search for each topic the user searches. This means that merchants now have to apply product schema and more accurate data feeds that will show up on Google.

 

All the revealed features simply enable users to learn more about the topic by relating it to other subtopics. Therefore, these features can be an opportunity for SEO experts to use them. For example, marketers could connect users with a search to another related search or other searches that they are ranking for.

 

People will now witness the interconnectedness of these features and Google’s search results, which offer new search methods. SEO too will move a step further from the ten blue links to reflect recent changes while making the most of the visibility opportunities. If you think that search optimization will alter with the introduction of new features, well, don’t be so certain. By far, everything will be done in the traditional ways, such as using high-traffic keywords, titles, and headings, and describing the web page and its sections.