Google has come a long way since it first started providing search engine services some twenty-five years ago. Throughout each development and iteration, the company’s mission has been the same — ‘to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’
While SEO is associated with Google, the practise of optimising content to improve online visibility can actually be applied to any search engine provider. It just so happens that Google handles over 90 percent of all search queries worldwide. There’s very little point in tailoring your web development and content to any other algorithm.
With that in mind, it makes sense that SEO practises have evolved in reaction to Google. The search engine introduces a new ranking factor and search engine optimisation professionals instantly move to tailor content accordingly. The latest change expected to cause a bit of a ruckus is Google Multisearch.
As a leading provider of search engine optimisation in Melbourne, Newpath Web considers it our responsibility to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings over at Google and how new ways to search impact our clients’ online visibility and traffic. Continue reading to learn a little more about Google Multisearch and how we expect it will impact the search engine optimisation game.
How Google is changing
In the early days of Google — we’re talking twenty years ago — achieving a top search engine results ranking took very little skill. Professionals that provided SEO services tended to simply cram content with as many keywords as possible, a practice now known as ‘keyword stuffing.’ It didn’t matter that this content was not actually relevant to users. All that was important was having Google’s algorithms respond positively to your tactics.
The smart people at Google caught on to this pretty quickly, and to the fact that unless their service was providing people with a positive user experience, they would likely take their business elsewhere — to Bing or Yahoo. They knew they had to build algorithms that would reward websites that took seriously the overall user experience. Such a website would be secure, responsive, and contain content that was genuinely useful.
Every iteration of Google’s algorithms have moved closer to this goal. You might think that their job is pretty much done. However, the search engine’s data scientists and engineers believe there’s still plenty of work to do, and they’re turning to Artificial Intelligence to help them out.
Last year, Google announced the unveiling of a new technology known as Multitask Unified Model, or MUM. In Google’s own words:
‘MUM uses the T5 text-to-text framework and is 1,000 times more powerful than BERT. MUM not only understands language, but also generates it. It’s trained across 75 different languages and many different tasks at once, allowing it to generate a more comprehensive understanding of information and world knowledge than previous models. And MUM is multimodal, so it understands information across texts and images and, in the future, can expand to more modalities like video and audio.’
For users, Google promises that MUM will help provide more nuanced answers to queries. For SEO experts, the deployment of MUM and its influence on other Google technologies — like Google Multisearch — points to the direction that SEO strategies need to be heading.
What is Google Multisearch?
A little over a month ago, Google announced a feature called ‘Google Multisearch.’ Billed as a way to ‘go beyond the search box,’ Multisearch harnesses advancements made in AI technology to provide a more comprehensive search experience.
I’m sure many of us have been in the situation where we have needed to search for a particular product, service, or answer on Google but haven’t been able to phrase the query using words alone. Perhaps you want to purchase a particular dining room table but want to check first what type of cleaning products can be used on the material. Describing this situation succinctly and accurately using words is quite difficult.
Enter Google Multisearch. This technology allows users to combine words and images into one query. In Google’s words — ‘you can go beyond the search box and ask questions about what you see.’ Currently, the search engine suggests Multisearch will be most useful in solving queries around decor, fashion, and styling. But you can only imagine what this technology will look like a few years down the track.
How to use Google Multisearch?
Google Multisearch is currently only available as a beta feature in English for U.S users. To access Multisearch, users need to download the latest version of the Search app, open the app, tap the Lens camera icon, upload an image or take a snap of something in front of them, swipe up and tap the ‘+ Add your search’ button to add text.
Google also states that Multisearch currently does not rely on MUM technology but they are investigating ways they can combine the two for more powerful search. While Multisearch may not have been born from MUM, there’s no doubt that Google’s increased reliance on AI technology forms a direct link between the two.
Multisearch and SEO
What does all this mean for SEO? Well, there’s no clear consensus just yet, particularly since Multisearch is still in beta phase and only available to US users. However, experts who provide SEO services would be wise to monitor how Google is harnessing AI technology to improve their services.
Ultimately, it is safe to say that Google’s goal is to create a search engine powerful enough to answer any possible question a user throws at it. You won’t need to ask a subject matter expert to answer a niche query — Google will be able to do it for you. Note that this mission positions the user as central to the algorithm. Every SEO activity needs to first and foremost consider the user experience. Only then will Google’s algorithms reward you.
From a practical standpoint, this means that tasks like content creation should be done purely to serve users. Of course, including relevant keywords will help users find your website. But ultimately, by focusing on writing blog posts and articles that your customers will actually find useful and interesting, you will naturally see improvements in your SEO ranking.
Applying this mindset to all SEO activities will set you up for long-term success, regardless of the current technology Google is spruiking.
Multisearch may not yet be impacting SEO activities, but there’s every chance it will have a significant impact on your website’s visibility and traffic numbers a few years down the track. With that in mind, now is the time to speak with a company that provides search engine optimisation in Melbourne. Contact Newpath Web today to learn more about our SEO services and how we can improve the quantity and quality of traffic to your website.