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What does Google's MUM update mean for your nonprofit's SEO strategy?

If you keep tabs on the SEO space, you may have heard rumblings of yet another Google update.  

If you don’t keep tabs on the SEO space (which is totally fine, that’s what I’m here for), Google recently announced the release of the Multitask Unified Model, or MUM, technology. This is a new language-processing model which will be used to drive their search algorithm soon—as early as summer or fall 2022. 

So, what exactly does MUM mean? And why should it impact your nonprofit’s SEO strategy? That’s what I’m here to share in today’s blog. 

What is MUM? 

You may remember we covered Google’s BERT update a few years ago. BERT’s whole aim was to help Google process searches like a person would. The AI powering MUM is said to be 1,000 times stronger than BERT. 

According to Google, MUM can handle even the most complex of queries, searching trillions of pages of content—including images and videos—across more than 75 languages. 

That being said, what exactly does this mean for SEO? MUM will be a paradigm shift for how a user interacts with Google as a search engine. Instead of answering problems to one question, MUM can help Google address multiple problems in a single query. Here’s the example Google shared in their release announcement:  

“Take this scenario: You’ve hiked Mt. Adams. Now you want to hike Mt. Fuji next fall, and you want to know what to do differently to prepare. Today, Google could help you with this, but it would take multiple thoughtfully considered searches.” 

The benefit to MUM, is that rather than having a user dig through the internet to find the different information they need, MUM’s AI understands the complexity of your search, and curates results for things like altitude, weather and packing gear. 

A second important feature to note is that the MUM update will also help break down language barriers that make accessing information inherently difficult. As many nonprofit organizations serve diverse audiences, this feature is huge.  

How should nonprofits prepare?  

The MUM update will be big for SEO, so here’s what you should be doing to prepare for its release: 

1. Focus on your ‘EAT’ content 

As we all know by now, content is king when it comes to a winning SEO strategy. This won’t change. In the coming months, refocus your efforts on content that promotes expertise, authority and trust (EAT) in the sector you serve.  

For example, if you’re a food bank, focus on producing content that not only identifies but also solves the root causes of hunger in your area.

2. Supplement blog content with video content 

As I mentioned earlier, MUM can not only search written content, like blogs, but also images and videos. This makes producing content across multiple mediums more important than ever. 

If you’re an international relief and development organization providing aid after a devastating hurricane, you could produce a blog detailing the impact of the storm and the work your organization is doing to serve the community. However, instead of just sharing that blog to your social channels, try posting 5-10 second video clips showcasing your work along with it. This will help you establish authority and trust not only with your donors, but also with Google’s new search algorithm.  

3. Realign your keyword research 

Up until this point, keyword research could remain relatively static. But with the MUM update, keyword research will become more dynamic due to Google’s new ability to source answers from across different languages, giving a certain level of authority to specific languages depending on the query.  

For example, if you’re looking for a paella recipe, the MUM algorithm might give higher authority to a Spanish language recipe from a website hosted by a Spanish cook rather than a food blogger out of the U.S.  

Our team is keeping a close eye on Google’s MUM updates. As more information is released, we’ll be adapting our clients’ strategies in response. If you’re looking for help managing your nonprofit’s SEO strategy in the wake of all these Google updates, contact us today!  

Mitchell Chokas

Mitchell Chokas has been guiding organizations through the fog of search engine optimization (SEO) since 2017. As SEO Supervisor at RKD Group, he helps nonprofits maximize their website traffic through dynamic SEO strategies that adapt to the ever-changing landscape of organic search. Mitchell loves the challenge that SEO brings in trying to match the psychology behind search intent to the science of algorithms.

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