google mum update

How Google Mum Is Affecting Ranking, Content, And Link Building

Table of Contents

released a new called Google MUM in June 2021.

Naturally, as an professional, my first thought is, “Great. How will this affect my rankings, content, and ?”

This update is not like any other updates that we see from Google. It affects the SEOs in a bigger way. This is why we decided to write about this post today and highlight its importance.

What is MUM?

MUM, or The Multitask Unified Model algorithm, was built by Google to help searchers find content easier, across multiple languages, using AI.

“We’re addressing one [problem] many of us can identify with: having to type out many queries and perform many searches to get the answer you need,” says Pandu Nayak, Google’s Vice President of Search.

MUM seeks to consolidate multiple searches into a single action and turn search into a familiar human experience.

Let’s look at an example to get a glimpse into how this algorithm shift will affect the search journey of users. We’ll call this example “The Marathon Example”, in which it will be easy to see how the past and future of a compares to a natural, human conversation.

“The Marathon Example” will illustrate how MUM will change the landscape of search.

Pretend the user is preparing for a marathon.

The Marathon Example – Google in 2021

Currently, to learn more about a subject, a user may have to type in multiple exact, long-form queries to find a specific answer. For instance, if a user wants to prepare for a marathon, they might enter at least four search queries such as:

  • [Fitness regimen for a marathon]
  • [Best running shoes for marathons]
  • [How to run long distance]
  • [Running training schedule]
  • (and so on)

They would then need to read up on one topic at a time, performing a new search query for each topic. The user leaves the search experience with fragments of information and no clear path forward.

The Marathon Example – Natural Human Conversation

In contrast, if that searcher were to approach a human friend with the same concern around marathon training, they would simply ask their friend a single question: “How do I prepare for a marathon?”

The answer would be a thoughtful response from the human’s experiences. It would naturally cover everything the searcher would want to know – fitness regimens, best running shoes, long-distance training, examples of schedules, etc.

The searcher leaves the conversation feeling as if they have a cohesive understanding of how to train for a marathon.

The Marathon Example – MUM

The idea behind MUM is to bring that same humanistic efficiency to the search process.

For example, a user can ask a single, broad query such as:

  • [How do I prepare for a marathon?]

Then, the algorithm will intuitively perform a search and display results that encompass all the subqueries – fitness regimen, best running shoes, long-distance training, examples of schedules, etc – that may exist within that one broad query.

The user leaves the search experience feeling as if they have a cohesive understanding of how to train for a marathon.

In short, Google now wants to understand the nuances behind a searcher’s query, allowing it to provide a comprehensive experience that hits on all of the searcher’s potential queries.


In 2019, Google introduced BERT as a powerful language model that changed how queries work on the results page (SERP). Because it understood the language better by looking at the full context of a single query and thus , BERT served more relevant results to users with its bi-directional algorithm.

BERT is able to process queries in two directions at a single time, helping the user feel that Google understood their needs. This was unlike anything we had ever seen before in the world of search.

A machine could now comprehend and predict millions of users’ needs at a single time. Sounds earth-shattering, right?

But get this – MUM is said to be 1,000 times more powerful than BERT. Yes, 1,000 times.

To make it even more amazing, MUM will be able to display accurately translated information from global websites in 75 different languages. SERPs will no longer be limited to the user’s native language.

MUM is built on the same system as BERT, but it can now handle multiple tasks simultaneously. This means it can answer complex questions more directly than BERT.

Why is this so exciting?

Users gain access to more information at once, including video, podcasts, and graphics, without needing to perform multiple searches.

On the other hand, you, in particular, should be excited because your content has the potential to become visible to a much larger, global audience.

MUM Features

When MUM was announced in May 2021 at the Google I/O event, we were shown three key features destined to change to the landscape of search:

  • “Things To Know”
  • Topic Zooming
  • Visual Search

“Things To Know”

The “Things to Know” feature will display the logical SERP pathways MUM thinks the searcher will use after a specific query. This feature could provide you with a glimpse into a searcher’s thought process when it comes to a product or service.

By researching keyword phrases and understanding how Google presents information to the searcher, you can gain insight into what type of content to produce.

Based on the advanced AI used in the algorithm and its deep knowledge of the world, Google assumes where a typical searcher wants to go and displays a natural pathway that mimics the average inquiry process.

For example, if you searched [marathon workouts], Google might present pathways including “how to get started,” “best cardio routines for at-home gyms,” and “endurance-building tips.”

Additionally, MUM is fluent across 75 languages, which means it can cross-reference content in other countries and provide accurate translations.

So, if you are searching for a marathon route in another country, MUM could discern which localized content is relevant to your search and translate it for you. After all, locals in another country would know more about their routes than a foreigner.

You would now be able to get higher-quality, more accurate information from locals in your native language.

This technology truly gives searchers access to global content in a way that is relevant to their searches.

Topic Zooming

Topic Zooming’s capabilities are exciting, especially for brands that struggle to serve content in a super niche industry.

This flexible feature allows users to narrow or broaden a search topic, enabling searchers to jump in and out of related topics more quickly. Additionally, brands may have an easier time increasing their discoverability, especially if their content typically covers granular issues.

If your search query is [marathon training schedule], you have the capability of broadening the topic to [marathon basics] or [marathon tips]. You can also make the topic more specific by narrowing in on [marathon running techniques], [best shoes for marathons], [what to eat before a marathon], or [marathon training groups].

Searchers will soon be able to start with a simple search; after a quick visual scan of the results page, they can receive several different answers to their current query and subsequent queries.

Visual Search

MUM’s third key feature will help deliver a more visual search to users.

Businesses who rely on pictures to sell their products (eCommerce websites, artists, graphic designers, etc.) can expect their graphics to show up in the regular search results, not just the image search results.

When a user searches for inspiration, MUM will understand that the user ultimately wants visual results. For example, someone might search for [best scenic marathon training routes] or [best shoes for marathons], and MUM will serve them extensive image results along with the standard ten blue links.

MUM will also help identify related content in videos, even if the video does not explicitly mention the topic. This gives the searcher a more in-depth SERP, allowing them to dig deeper into a topic without searching multiple queries.

How MUM Changes SEO Strategies

After analyzing the basics of the MUM algorithm, we can understand that search is changing to serve users better. Ultimately, searching for multiple queries will become a thing of the past.

The new AI can anticipate a searcher’s needs, allowing users to discover new pages and content. With the rollout of Topic Zooming and Visual Search, the SERPs will no longer be limited to the 10 blue rankable links.

How can you use this to your advantage?

MUM & Content

Content must align with the searcher’s intent – now more than ever. Historically, Google’s algorithm updates have always been to serve the end-user.

Each algorithm change has carved a path that leverages helpful content to answer questions.

MUM is a giant leap forward in regard to giving users what they are asking for.

Since MUM targets users, you must:

  • Think creatively about how people search.
  • Optimize for the end user and the algorithm.
  • Create clear, understandable content.

While keyword optimization will always be necessary, you’ll need to switch your thinking to optimize for human understanding instead.

How To Optimize For Human Understanding

Instead of creating content determined by keyword rankings, you must create content from a conceptual query. Keywords should describe what’s on the webpage and what the sections are about instead of simply leveraging high-value keywords in headers and titles.

The new AI technology can filter through content more quickly, making “wrong” content disappear faster.

These deliberate changes aside, your goal should remain the same: to serve the user high-quality, relevant, and valuable content that answers a query.

MUM & Ranking

Google will begin to prioritize content that matches searcher intent, in addition to traditional ranking factors. This is not breaking news.

What is breaking news is how rankings may be affected by MUM’s ability to translate global content that fits the user’s search intent.

MUM, fluent in over 75 languages, provides better answers to queries, meaning that it can pull results from other countries and serve them to the user in their natural language.

Take the Mount Fuji example that Pandu Nayak used in her introduction of MUM:

If American users want to compare two hiking trails on Mount Fuji, MUM understands that some of the most relevant content would likely come from Japan.

So, since Mount Fuji is in Japan, MUM scours Japanese content and serves users articles in their preferred language.

With MUM, your target audience has the potential to expand worldwide instead of under the confines of a nationwide search. The door is now open for searchers to find global content.

Global content now has the potential to outrank your content.

How To Rank When SERPs Around The World Will Be Considered

In alignment with Google’s E-A-T standards, you need to keep focusing on building valuable, relevant content, and allow MUM to do the work for them.

To help increase the chances of ranking on the SERPs, you should create multimedia content, because MUM filters through results from podcasts, images, audio, and video.

This could mean adding a short video to a blog post that helps reinforce the topic or using graphics to visually show a point.

Additionally, you should consider switching to a multilingual . Also similar to multiple SEO strategies we have on our blog here: Multiple SEO Campaigns. Helpful or Not?

Content in the U.S. will soon compete with content in Asia, Europe, Australia, and other significant resources around the world.

Incorporating localized keywords into translated content could help users find this content in their native language more easily.

MUM & Link Building

No matter how Google serves content to the user, people still want to know they can trust your content and brand. With that in mind, we can assume that with the door opening wide for global content, will be as important as they are now, if not more important.

How To Navigate MUM In Regards To Link Building

Google still emphasizes content that follows its E-A-T standards. The best way to improve your E-A-T is by continuing to execute solid, reputable link building strategies.

Final Words

You should keep in mind that MUM looks beyond written content. While the user looks to find the most relevant answer, MUM looks at the video, graphics, podcasts, and other non-traditional content.

Modify your content creation strategy to include a variety of relevant, high-quality content types. It won’t do much good if you offer just written content when someone else answers the query better in a video or in another language.

Expand your content to make sure you are hitting all areas of the new search.

Whenever Google announces a new algorithm, it’s natural to wonder how it will impact the day-to-day search. After all, that’s our job, isn’t it? However, by looking at the basic features of MUM and understanding Google’s ever-present standards, we can conclude that the core of Google hasn’t changed.

Google wants to serve relevant and valuable content – just like always. While we focus on providing content readers want to read, MUM will do the rest of the work.

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  • Just-iko avatar Just-iko Thank you very much for answering ☑️ ✨
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 Put your content in the right HTML tags and Google will show it this way.

    In the picture that you show, the first content is put in a list with bold headings.
    The second content is a FAQ on that page.

    Put in the right HTML tags and Google will pick it up nicely.
  • Just-iko avatar Just-iko Hello, I'm a newbie in this field, any guidance would be appreciated :) some questions please, is there any idea on how to make our website could appears like that in Google search? The one that I marked..
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 Semrush or Ahrefs will help you for spying competitors.

    I think Semrush has a trial period as well.
  • Aadhi avatar Aadhi Buy semrush, you can buy it at cheap rate by using Group buy method
  • SG.CK avatar SG.CK Any free tool for spy traffic and ranking ?
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 Search on google “htaccess redirect rules”
    Put them in your website’s htaccess file if you are using Apache
  • BrunoAfonso avatar BrunoAfonso how should I go to solve this issue
  • BrunoAfonso avatar BrunoAfonso Can you explain a little bit more? My website is not wordpress, I use amazon web services
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 You can make a 301 redirect to the correct page on your website.
    If you are using Wordpress then SEO plugins like rank math have this feature.
    If you don’t want to use SEO plugins then there are many good redirect plugins in the Wordpress repository.
    And if you are not using Wordpress then .htaccess file is your friend.
  • BrunoAfonso avatar BrunoAfonso For example, is this image, the second link "THU Main Event" goes to a different page that it's supposed to. How do I fix this.
  • BrunoAfonso avatar BrunoAfonso So I have a website and when you search for it, one of the hyperlinks that google provides goes to the wrong page, is there a specific way for me to change that?
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 Need more explanation
  • BrunoAfonso avatar BrunoAfonso Hello people, does anyone know how to fix a hyperlink within a google search?
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 Semrush shows you all the links that it considers as toxic in its domain overview dashboard. You can then use these website list to disavow in GSC.
  • rrakesharmaa avatar rrakesharmaa I want to remove high spam backlinks via Disavow tool. So i need these links.
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 extract high spam score backlinks.
    This is little confusing for me to understand

    Do you want to remove high spam backlinks to your website or do you want to receive backlinks from websites that have a high spam score?
  • yaswanth avatar yaswanth Now I use the Search console live URL inspector. It shows the page source and screenshot with an error(If any).
    Result: The page is not mobile friendly in the screenshot. All the element's styles are broken.

    Now, I feel like, " What the hell is happening in rich result tester? The google bot shows everything is ok, and in the search console, this is happening."

    # Problem Digging Stage final stage - Solving the problem
    The easiest way to solve the problem is to compare the thing and find the difference.
    Is rich results tester a google bot? Yes!
    Is it owned by google? Yes!
    Is it have any link with the official search console crawler? No!

    Now, What is the difference between 2 crawlers?
    Their IPs are different. They work differently.

    Summary: Google bot (Offical bot) is not able to crawl all elements in the webpage. It is not able to read all styling files. All other bots(services that use crawl as Google Bot) can view/crawl the page.

    List of official google bot IPs:

    Solution: Rather than digging into all files, we changed the hosting server located in the exact location.

    Thank you for reading this article. It takes a few mins to read this article, but It took hours to find the correct problem with a solution. If you find this article valuable, give it a like and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them.
  • yaswanth avatar yaswanth Solving Critical Indexing Problem (CASE STUDY)

    Last week I received a message from a friend he is requesting me to help him index a page of his website. I said, " Wait, sometime google will index automatically" Then he said he was getting problem with his homepage. So, I started digging. First, I want to find the problem. Then all other things were easy.

    # Problem Digging Stage 1 - Analyze the top layers
    Checking the basic things
    1) No Index tags
    2) Canonical tags
    3) Website page Age

    Result: Nothing Found

    # Problem Digging Stage 2 - Getting Deeper
    1) Checking status codes (If there is any redirects, 404 error, or soft 404 errors)
    2) Using an SEO browser to check the web page accessibility
    3) Trying with different user agents

    Result: Nothing Found

    # Problem Digging Stage 3 - Analyzing and
    comparing past and current stages of webpage
    1) Checking the Wayback machine for any spam content history
    2) Checking the search console for errors
    3) Other page's indexability

    Result: I got some clue. Search console shows "Page is not mobile friendly."

    # Problem Digging Stage 4 -Finding the reason for the search console error.
    When I checked the web page with SEO Browser, the page was mobile friendly, and I also tried "crawl as Googlebot." Everything looks good. Then where is the problem?

    One thing was confirmed google is not able to view the webpage clearly. And all other bots are not getting any problems.

    So, I decided to use only google properties in the further process (Because only the google bot gets stuck).
    I selected three tools to process further.
    1) Google page speed insights
    2) Google rich results tester
    3) Search console Live URL inspector

    First, I used page speed insights to check If the google bot can crawl/view the page or not(If there are any issues in crawling, then the tool returns a lighthouse error)
    Result: everything is ok

    Second I used Google rich results tester. It provides the page source and screenshot of the webpage.
    Result: everything is ok
  • achann avatar achann Backlink actually link that provided outside web, so if you use instagram and insert your web link that still counted as backlink.
  • achann avatar achann If you want to be free, why not using mailchimp for email blast. Or maybe you can use whatsender for whatsapp blast, there is nulled version I think.
  • achann avatar achann Um.. Maybe you can use whatsapp blast and give link? Or maybe you can use email marketing and give link to your web?
  • rrakesharmaa avatar rrakesharmaa How can I extract high spam score backlinks for my website? Is there any free tool that provides all high spam score sites HELP ME PLEASE 🙂
  • nkap avatar nkap <@211319858258771968> hey, would you be able to share the website that you want guest posts on? I’m in touch with a few fintech businesses and can ask them whether they’d be interested in putting a post on your site.
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 <@211319858258771968> it sure will work. Make sure to write that it’s free to post as guests. A lot of websites do not mention this and writers usually think it’s paid opportunity only.

    Keep us updated of how well this goes for your website.
  • soutaraku avatar soutaraku Thank you so much for the detailed guide. I'll see if I can put up the Guest Post page to start with! I hope my email gets bombarded in a good way haha
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 You should start putting up a page called Guest Posting on your other website where you put articles, etc.. and put all the requirements there which you are looking for in the guest posts. Make sure to leave your email as well for easier contacts.

    Build up some links to this page. Because most of the writers are looking to write for high metrics website that have good DA, TF, etc...

    Once you have a page setup it will help you get attention from people who are searching on Google.

    Next you can start sending the URL of this page to people whom you think might be interested to write for your service on social networks like twitter, linkedin, etc.

    Also list this page URL on websites that have posts like free guest posts list in SaaS, free guest posts list in "your niche", etc. Something like this:

    These will get you enough traction to attract guest posts from various contributors over the time. Your email will be bombarded with emails following the above tips.
  • soutaraku avatar soutaraku I can translate guest post to Japanese and put it on our website to share stories from overseas. I thought it would be interesting for our readers and a good way for link building.
  • soutaraku avatar soutaraku It's not titled as contribute/guest posts page, but there's a website we put interview articles and such. We surely can put guest posts on that website.
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 <@211319858258771968> does your website have contribute/guest posts page?
  • soutaraku avatar soutaraku Hi guys! I'm a Japanese SEO specialist/ content editor working for a fintech company, and looking for someone to put guest posts on our website (preferably about fintech or SaaS market). Are there any good place to look for people willing to guest post?

    In Japan, not many people write guest posts, so I'm kinda lost. Twitter trick is only guiding light to me, <@838326478924021760>. Thanks for sharing.
  • Deleted User avatar Deleted User trying it out right now
  • nkap avatar nkap Great idea! Will definitely try it out. Thanks mate.
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 A good trick to get guest posts for your website. <@456226577798135808> <@755307075625549854>
  • Büşra avatar Büşra Thank you very much. I'll try 😊
  • nkap avatar nkap Yeah me too!!
  • naaz avatar naaz <@755307075625549854> Thank you for the detailed answer. Hope <@341197404302737408> finds the right solution for this.
  • nkap avatar nkap <@341197404302737408> Just these:

    You can try 3 things: (I suggest you try the 3rd option first)

    1. If there are any links in your coverage report that’s actually not from your domain/property, I’d recommend you use the Search Console’s removal tool to remove these from your property.

    2. If you’re using any page builders like elementor etc make sure you turn off search engine indexing for things like templates. You can find this in Yoast SEO settings. With this setting your templates and unnecessary pages won’t be indexed. Are you using elementor by any chance?

    3. It’s also possible that your site has been hacked. If random URLs are appearing in analytics and search console the first thing that you should do is check your .htaccess file to see if someone has put any rewrite rules.
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 <@755307075625549854> got any views on this?
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 did you change your permalinks sometime back in last few months?
  • naaz avatar naaz <@838326478924021760> bringing to your attention on this.
  • Büşra avatar Büşra hello guys! I need to help about SEO optimation. I'm using wordpress Yoast. I saw dummy link like as `````` I haven't these in page. Btw ı'm using google search console. Why may be this? Is anyone has idea about that?
  • ankit662003 avatar ankit662003 does anyone know how to create seo silos?
  • ankit662003 avatar ankit662003 hi
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 Just know that we are all here to help each other
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 No worries mate.
  • Alex25 avatar Alex25 The thing is idk what to ask .
    I'm just stuck
  • ddev66 avatar ddev66 Drop your queries here

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