Google MUM Algorithm: Will It Make SEO Obsolete?
The best Google SEO strategies provide users with a great experience in the search results, but with the new technology – the MUM algorithm – some Google SEO experts fear that search engine optimisation might become obsolete. Google’s John Mueller recently shared his thoughts on the matter in a Reddit discussion about SEO becoming obsolete due to MUM.
Google SEO experts brought this topic up because MUM’s purpose is to answer complex queries that the ten blue links from the search results cannot answer satisfactorily on their own. MUM also provides users with answers from a wide variety of languages.
The Multitask Unified Model (MUM) is Google’s new way of providing users with answers to their complex questions. Google designed this technology to satisfy users and answer longer or wordier questions that are impossible to answer in just a few words or sentences.
The search engine’s technology can currently answer simple questions with just a few words or sentences through featured snippets. But MUM is 1,000 times more powerful than the BERT algorithm. The search engine company refers to it as a milestone, and its launching will be a significant event in the progress of SEO and search technologies.
MUM has a great way of answering complex questions. It uses the total sum of knowledge about a subject or a question, even though that knowledge is in another language. Since it can understand various languages, it can provide more authoritative answers, especially for strongly relevant questions in different cultures or languages.
Moreover, some content published in other local languages may be limited to the user, so Google may rely on MUM to solve this problem in the future.
For instance, let’s say that a professional Spanish chef writes a paella recipe article in Spanish. Users would find this article more authoritative and trustworthy since the author is more experienced with Spanish cuisine instead of a stay-at-home mom in California who blogs about recipes as a hobby.
In the same way, Google’s MUM can get information from Japanese content to answer search queries from people in other countries who want to hike Mount Fuji, for example. The technology also touches on other subtopics that only a native might know about.
Another helpful feature of MUM is to answer questions in the form of texts and images combined. This is a big deal for SEOs and site owners as it would be challenging to try and optimise an answer to a question partly with images. This is incredibly challenging since images are not words but rather a representation of an entity or a thing.
According to Google, MUM would eventually allow the users to take a picture of their hiking boots and type in this query: “can I wear these for Mt Fuji hike”?
MUM would then understand what the image is and relate it to the question that the user typed in the search box. The technology would then gather data to see if the boots would work in Mt Fuji. It could also present the user with blog articles about recommended garments when hiking on the mountain. In the MUM search paradigm, the technology would answer complex questions along with various subtopics, so optimising for keywords may not be as effective.
The technology gets information from different websites and languages. For instance, a MUM search query might get answers from an English website and a Japanese website. There is no accurate way of knowing which of the two sites is considered top-ranked, and this is causing confusion among many SEOs.
If the search engine uses five different websites to answer a query, for example, it may be impossible for Google to consider them all as top-ranked. That would be like selecting five winners who would break the trophy into five pieces, so each of them would have something to take home with them. If this is the case, would MUM redefine the definition of “top-ranked” for certain search queries?
No one knows how MUM will work once it releases in the months or possibly years to come. The SEO community is just making speculations based on the limited information that Google has shared. If MUM does launch, then the SEO community might have to seriously overhaul their existing methods in order to adapt.
John Mueller Comments On How MUM Affects SEO
Google’s John Mueller recently replied to a Reddit thread about MUM, saying that SEO will always be crucial.
He said that there will always be companies who practise keyword stuffing and other black hat tactics, so SEO will always be necessary. Moreover, he said that the SEO industry continuously evolves, and there is still plenty to do even if things do drastically change.
The Work Of SEO Evolves
The nature of SEO work is always constantly changing due to the nature of search engine algorithms. Some SEO experts and webmasters even have difficulty changing their strategies or letting go of their old methods.
For instance, some SEOs still hold on to the idea that ranking for Google’s search results still involves ten blue links. However, the truth of the matter is that the era of ten blue links is long gone, and it has been replaced with a hybrid that is more responsive to the search query context.
The MUM algorithm is Google’s new way to answer complex search questions. It considers content in different languages and gets bits of information from several sites to provide users with the best answers.
The launch of MUM is probably still far away, and the best thing for the SEO community to do is to just improve on their websites the best they can until then.
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