Google has announced a redesign of its search engine that introduces a new way to explore topics using an artificial intelligence (AI) feature called MUM.
The search engine plans to guide users through the topics that interest them in a more visual way.
It claims to be 1,000 times more powerful than its predecessor, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), first introduced in 2019.
But how can Google users expect to benefit from the changes?
What is MUM and what does it mean?
MUM, short for Multitask Unified Model, is an algorithm created to search the Internet in different languages and via images to find answers to elaborate questions.
What do the changes mean to you?
Google users currently rely on the world’s largest search engine for answers found in text or recommended links.
The addition of MUM promises a huge change in what the use of the search engine can provide us. Users have experienced difficulty regarding language barriers before (e.g. English search tends to only lead you to English resources) and need multiple searches to get a full answer to their queries.
A key example would be: instead of producing two individual searches for “What’s the weather like in Finland?” And “What’s the weather like in Spain?” Google will present these results to you side by side. It will be able to cross your request in 75 different languages.
Google’s primary focus is on MUM’s ability to search using images.
MUM was created with the aim of providing solutions based not only on text, but on multimedia like images, videos and podcasts. This could invite users to become more specific in their queries instead of relying on vague and SEO friendly language.
How will these features affect users?
The three main features of Google MUM include:
Zoom on a subject
Being able to enter and exit topics related to your research seamlessly.
” To know “
Present user journeys through related topics to make follow-up searches more efficient. Searching for a person, event, or object would lead Google to recommend a series of extensive trail searches that will help you learn more about the topic you searched for.
For example, searching for “guitar” will present you with a number of avenues: “how to play”, “where to buy”, “tips”, and so on.
Visually searchable search results
This feature is already present in the search engine and targets users looking for inspiration in areas where a visual aid would be useful.
Researching hobbies like decorating, cooking, and fashion will provide options for visually exploring the topic.
You can research garden decorating ideas and see yourself offered a plethora of options from a number of sources which come in the form of searchable images.
How will this affect the search engine?
Google has been criticized by publishers and website owners for encouraging users to stick to the top ten links shown to them on the first page of its results.
This move could bring about a change in that strategy by encouraging users to tap into smaller, independent resources by encouraging paths and images.
MUM could also be good news for SEO critics by allowing website owners to post based on the actual purpose of the service / information provided, but that remains to be seen.