Throughout 2021, our virtual marketing assistants helped businesses and organizations adapt their SEO strategies to over a dozen updates that Google rolled out throughout the year. Two of these updates, MUM and Page Experience/Core Web Vitals, are expected to make even larger impacts on SEO in 2022. Here’s what you need to know and how to respond.
Google recently began rolling out a new AI-based technology designed to understand and manage complex search queries, called Multitask Unified Model or MUM for short. Google describes MUM, as a “new AI milestone for understanding information.” MUM is 1000 times more powerful than its predecessor BERT and designed to transform how Google helps users with complex tasks by utilizing advanced analysis on the backend and innovative functionalities on the frontend. The goals of MUM include:
- Removing Language Barriers – MUM can understand and generate 75 different languages, giving it a more complete understanding of data and world information than its predecessors.
- Improved Understanding of Multi-Media Format – MUM is multimodal, which means it will have the ability to understand information from different media formats, including webpages, text, images, audio, video and more, simultaneously.
- Complex Query Solutions – Google recognizes that users sometimes need to use multiple queries to refine a search and find the information they are looking for. MUM will provide additional search elements and present more accurate results on the first search, reducing the need for multiple queries.
MUM technology-driven features for Google Search are expected to include:
- Google Lens visual search and image recognition.
- Translated results provided from content in multiple languages.
- A ‘Things to know’ section that will make it easier for users to explore and understand additional aspects of a topic.
- Improved understanding of misspelled words and key moments in video content.
How to Adjust Your SEO Strategy for MUM
With MUM, search engine results and ranking are expected to continue putting more emphasis on the context of a given query and presenting diverse types of content to a user based on their search history, content preferences and locations.
Businesses and organizations can prepare for MUM by optimizing their existing SEO strategies including:
- Using all available markups, including meta tags (the text that shows on Google search results to describe the page’s content) and meta descriptions.
- Creating useful content for site visitors that answers common questions and provides context around topics.
- Creating content in different forms (“multimodal” in Google’s parlance), including text, images, audio, and videos.
Page Experience and Core Web Vitals
“Page experience is a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value.” In other words, Google ranking considers not only the quality and relevancy of content, but also how efficiently users can interact with that content. Google’s page experience ranking is composed of multiple factors including page speed, mobile friendliness, HTTPS, and now, Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals were added to measure the quality of user experience resulting from page performance, including page loading time, interactivity, and visual stability.
How to Adjust Your SEO Strategy for Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are designed to help developers understand a user’s experience on a web page. As such, fixing most problems indicated by Core Web Vitals will likely need to be addressed by your website developer. However, all site owners can use the tools to gain insight about where a site is creating pain points for an audience, whether it be accessing content or interacting with elements, such as buttons and links, on a site.
Site owners and developers can address Core Web Vital issues using SEO and site development strategies including:
- Using Search Console’s new Core Web Vitals report to identify groups of pages that need attention.
- Using HTTPS.
- Creating a mobile friendly site.
- Reducing the extent to which elements of your page change their size or location, which Google refers to as “cumulative layout shift” (CLS).
- Improving first input delay (FID), a measurement of how long it takes a user to be able to interact with a page element, such as a button, to less than 100 milliseconds.
- Improving largest contentful paint (LCP), a measurement of loading speed, by caching and compressing images, video and other webpage elements that typically slow down a site.
SEO and Content Still Rule
Businesses must stay ready to adapt and respond, as Google continues to focus on improving the quality of search and user experience. While there are numerous guidelines and best practices that can be used to improve ranking and SEO performance, it all still comes down to focusing on traditional SEO strategies: keep creating high-quality, updated content that meets users’ needs and optimize your website. If you need help implementing these changes, let us know!