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Google Announces Search Redesign Using MUM Algorithm via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google announced that MUM will be integrated into some searches on Google Search. Google’s search results page is undergoing changes that will introduce new ways to discover and explore topics for certain searches.

This new way of searching expands on the old way of searching for answers and introduce a more intuitive way to explore topics.

Google will in the coming months guide users down topic paths in a redesigned search experience for some searches that will be more visual.

One of these changes is apparently already in search.

The Google MUM Algorithm

Earlier in 2021 Google introduced a new search algorithm that can search across languages and with images to find answers to complex questions.

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This algorithm is called MUM, which is short for Multitask Unified Model.

The feature that Google is running with most is the ability to search with images instead of just text.

Google has already announced the integration of MUM into their Lens app in the coming months.

How Google MUM Will Change Search

The MUM algorithm will be introduced into Google Search and it will bring dramatic changes to the whole idea of what search means.

Users currently search for answers. But this new way of searching will help users explore more complex tasks while also introducing an entirely different way of presenting answers, particularly with images.

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The goal for these changes is to make searching more intuitive.

Google Search Redesign

Google characterized this change as a redesign of search and that’s exactly what it is.

This new version of search takes three big steps away from the old ten blue links search engine.

MUM is Changing Search in Three Important Ways:

  1. Things to know
  2. Topic zoom
  3. Visually browsable search results

What is Google’s Things to Know?

The “things to know” feature incorporates Google MUM to understand all the ways users explore a topic. Google provides the example of the keyword phrase, “acrylic painting.”

Google notes that there are over 350 topics associated to that keyword phrase.

The “things to know” feature will identify the most relevant or popular “paths” that users take in exploring that topic and surface more website content that relates to that.

So rather than waiting for users to conduct follow up searches, Google search will anticipate those related topics and surface the content.

This is how this new search feature works:

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“For example, we can identify more than 350 topics related to acrylic painting, and help you find the right path to take.”

Video Animation of “Things to Know” Feature

Topic Exploration in Google Search

The second new feature is referred to as Topic Zoom. This feature allows a searcher to jump in and out of related topics.

A searcher can broaden the topic or zoom in to a more granular sub-topic.

Visual Exploration

The third new MUM feature is one that appears to be available now in Google Search.

Visual Exploration is a new way visual way to explore a topic.

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This new feature will not show up for all searches.

It is restricted to searchers where the user intent is to find inspiration.

Google explains it like this:

“This new visual results page is designed for searches that are looking for inspiration, like “Halloween decorating ideas” or “indoor vertical garden ideas,” and you can try it today.”

How Google MUM and AI Are Changing Search

These new ways of searching appear to be designed to help searchers discover more websites and more web pages on the web.

Rather than limit users to the ten blue links, Google is making it easier for searchers to explore topics on many more websites than the old ten blue links way.

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This should be good news for publishers.

How do you SEO for this? I suspect that nothing is going to change on Google’s end as far as search optimization.

The traditional way of doing things where title tags and headings are used for dumping high traffic keywords in the Keyword-1, Keyword 2 style of SEO may have to be revisited, but that’s been the case for several years.

It may be useful to follow Google’s guidelines for titles and headings by using them to actually describe what the web page and the web page sections are about.

Making a web page easy to understand is one of the core attributes of good SEO.

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Citation

Read Google’s Announcement on MUM in Google Search

How AI is Making Information More Useful

Searchenginejournal.com

NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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