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Google Now Using MUM For Detecting Personal Crisis Searches & BERT For Detecting Shocking Content

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Google Now Using MUM For Detecting Personal Crisis Searches & BERT For Detecting Shocking Content

Google promised to let us know when they expand when they use MUM in search and Google did just that yesterday with this new announcement. Google announced how they are using MUM for better detection of queries around personal crisis. And Google also said the search company used BERT to reduce unexpected shocking search results.

MUM Now Used To Detect Personal Crisis Searches

Google said by using MUM, Google can “automatically and more accurately detect a wider range of personal crisis searches.” These topics include searches on suicide, sexual assault, substance abuse and domestic violence – all features Google has had since at least 2011 but now Google is getting smarter about it. In these cases, Google would show you a hotline and other helpful information like the image below:

Now with MUM, Google Search “can better understand the intent behind people’s questions to detect when a person is in need, which helps us more reliably show trustworthy and actionable information at the right time.”

This should roll out in the coming weeks, Google said.

BERT Now Used To Detect Unexpected Shocking Content

Google is using another AI feature, named BERT, which it has had in play for a while now, but now using it for “steering clear of unexpected shocking content.” Google said that BERT helped reduce unexpected shocking results by 30%.

This was most seen in reducing explicit content for searches related to ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender. Google said “BERT has improved our understanding of whether searches are truly seeking out explicit content, helping us vastly reduce your chances of encountering surprising search results.”

This goes above and beyond Google’s SafeSearch adult filters and other technology it has used in the past.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Note: I had a hard time finding an appropriate image for this story, I went with a person shocked to see something with the BERT angle.




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Jeff Ferguson On Issues With SEO Studies & Ranking Factor Studies

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Jeff Ferguson

In part one, we go through Jeff Ferguson’s long history in search marketing. In part two, we pick up with him starting his own agency. Then in part three we talk about the state of SEO studies.

In short, he goes off on his rant on SEO studies done on ranking factors and other areas. In short, he was not a fan of those studies and he wrote a lot about how they were done wrong. He wasn’t saying the intent was wrong, the companies that made these studies really wanted to help. But doing ranking factor studies are just too hard and really hard to prove.

Of course, it ruffled a lot of feathers in the SEO community. But he goes through more on why he did what he did and what he wanted to get out of it.

You can learn more about Jeff Ferguson at Amplitude Digital and follow him on Twitter @CountXero.


You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.



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Apple Maps Street View Camera Backpack

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Apple Maps Street View Camera Backpack

Here is a photo of some guy walking around Israel with an Apple Maps street view backpack. It was captured by Hillel Fuld the other day and posted on Twitter.

Google has its own street view backpack, which is more impressive to look at.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.



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Google’s Internal Menu System Tracks Googlers Food Preferences

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Google Internal Menu System Tracks Food Preferences Tweets

A Googler shared screenshots of the output from the Google internal menu system where it told her that one day she avoids salades and then she must have had some salads to correct that and the next day it say she enjoys salad. I am just amazed Google tracks the food Googlers eat and offers suggestions.

Here are those tweets embedded:

This is really not a photo of the day but close enough…

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.



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