Google Updates MUM It Can Now Understand Multiple-Source Consensus

author image Written by: Rabije Gashi Corluka           Categories - In The News

Google added some improvements to featured snippets, about this results, and the content advisories in Search, Search Engine Roundtable reports. It’s all about transparency, truth and putting an end to fake news. Wow, that was a flashback!


MUM Improvements

After its update, MUM will now power Google’s featured snippet callouts. The search engine’s systems will check snippet callouts against other content on the web and find a general consensus, even if other content is written in a different language or uses different words.

For those who are hearing this term for the first time, a callout is that little section of words (or a single word) above the featured snippet, usually written in a larger font than the rest of the search result page. Now you know.

Google will also fact-check each of its featured snippets and see if other authoritative sources agree with the information presented in the feature. Also, the algorithm can help the search engine find out if and when queries are better when served without a featured snippet. For example, when searching for things that just didn’t happen. Here’s what Google said in the announcement:

“…for example, a recent search for “when did snoopy assassinate Abraham Lincoln” provided a snippet highlighting an accurate date and information about Lincoln’s assassination, but this clearly isn’t the most helpful way to display this result.
We’ve trained our systems to get better at detecting these sorts of false premises, which are not very common, but are cases where it’s not helpful to show a featured snippet. We’ve reduced the triggering of featured snippets in these cases by 40% with this update.”
Creative TRND_Google Updates MUM_screenshot
Photo Source: blog.google

‘About This Result’ Expansion

Google is adding more context to this feature.

It’s doing that by showing reviews, how widely is a source circulated, if a company is owned by another entity, etc. It will also say if Google can’t find a lot of information on the source.

Later this year, Google is bringing this feature to Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Japan and Indonesia, in their respective languages.  They’ve added the feature to the Google app as well.

A gif shows the About this page feature, where someone swipes up on the navigation bar in the Google app while browsing the website for the Rainforest Alliance, and sees a panel with information about the source from across the web.
Photo Source: blog.google

Content Advisories Expansion

The search engine is expanding content advisors to those searches where its systems can’t be certain of the results’ quality. Google said this “does not mean that no helpful information is available, or that a particular result is low-quality.” Here’s an example they shared:

A gif shows a content advisory that says “It looks like there aren’t many great results for this search” along with tips like checking the source and trying new search terms.
Photo Source: blog.google

Why This Matters?

Being susceptible to false information is a dangerous game. Access to proper, fact-checked and honest information should be a priority, and Google is obviously working on that. In a time of click counts and ‘firsts’, getting the right information can be a challenge. Good guy Google is here to fix that. These latest updates work hand in hand with their recent updates on YMYL topics. Read more about that here.


Rabije Gashi Corluka

Rabije always enjoyed finding different angles to a story, so it’s not surprising her curiosity influenced a move to a new continent, widening her perspective. She enjoys hearing people's stories and learning about different cultures and places - but most of all, she loves putting her thoughts on a piece of paper. Her love for writing led to her studying Journalism and PR, but she actually became a storyteller during her radio-hosting era. Now, she uses her skills, experience, and love for writing to help your brand stand out.

Big Announcements Made During Google Search On 2021 Event


The Google Search On 2021 event is in full swing, and in typical Google fashion, some big announcements were made by the search engine.

For those who are unfamiliar, Google Search On is an annual event hosted by the search engine where big announcements related to the future of search take place.

From changes to the Google Search experience to improvements to MUM, here is a breakdown of some of the biggest announcements to come out of this year’s event.

MUM’s the Word

One of the biggest takeaways from Search On so far is that Google has redesigned Google Search and added some cool new features. These features are designed to enable more natural, intuitive ways to search through “advanced AI systems like MUM.” This includes:

  • Things to know
  • New search refinements
  • Visually browsable result pages
  • And more

MUM will also be used to gain a deeper understanding of videos in Google Search.

Google announced a new MUM-based experience that will be used to recognize related topics in a video, even in cases where a topic is not directly mentioned. This will be launched in English Google search results in the next few weeks.

“Things To Know”

Google is launching a new “Things to Know” feature. Here’s how they explained it:

“When you search for a topic, like acrylic painting, you can see all the different dimensions people typically search for, and find the path that’s right for you.”

Google will use this to come up with additional details and determine the appropriate categories for a topic. When a user clicks on these, Google will show a featured snippet for that option and give them the ability to click on and see more results.

Shoppable Google Search Experience

In the U.S., Google is launching a new “shoppable search experience” that makes it simpler to shop on mobile directly within Search results.

Here is an example of what this will look like: When a user searches for “cropped jackets, a visual feed of jackets in different colours and styles along with information like local shops, style guides, and videos will appear in Search results.

Of course, plenty more announcements were made that we can’t even begin to get into here. For all of the big announcements, check out https://searchon.withgoogle.com/

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Google Uses MUM to Identify Vaccine Variations in Over 50 Languages In Seconds


Nearly two months after announcing the Multitask Unified Model (MUM), Google began testing out its first application of the technology and is reporting some pretty impressive results. According to a blog post published on July 6, Google was able to identify more than 800 variations of vaccine names in over 50 languages in just seconds during its first-ever application of MUM. The blog post stated that without MUM, this would have taken the search engine weeks to complete.

After validating MUM’s findings, Google applied them to Search so that people could “find timely, high-quality information about COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.”

“Our ability to correctly identify all these names is critical to bringing people the latest trustworthy information about the vaccine,”said Google. “But identifying the different ways people refer to the vaccines all over the world is hugely time-intensive, taking hundreds of human hours.”

READ MORE: Google Announces New MUM Technology 1,000 Times More Powerful Than BERT  

What is MUM and How Does It Work?

Announced back in May at Google I/O, MUM is a technology developed by Google that is built on a transformer architecture. It has been compared to the BERT algorithm that rolled out in 2019,  however, Google is reporting that MUM is 1,000 times more powerful and has incredible multitasking capabilities.

READ MORE: BERT Explained – Everything You Need to Know About Google’s Biggest Update in 5 Years

Google explained that MUM can learn from and transfer knowledge across 75+ languages.

Here is a great example provided by Google that demonstrates what this looks like:

“Imagine reading a book; if you’re multilingual, you’d be able to share the major takeaways of the book in the other languages you speak — depending on your fluency — because you have an understanding of the book that isn’t language- or translation-dependent. MUM transfers knowledge across languages much like this. Similarly, with its knowledge transfer abilities, MUM doesn’t have to learn a new capability or skill in every new language — it can transfer learnings across them, helping us quickly scale improvements even when there isn’t much training data to work with.”

This means that MUM requires far fewer data inputs than previous models to accomplish the same task.

While its first application focused on identifying vaccines, going forward, Google will be looking at ways to use MUM to dramatically improve Search as a whole.

“Our early testing indicates that not only will MUM be able to improve many aspects of our existing systems, but will also help us create completely new ways to search and explore information,” said Google.

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