After a year in lockdown, normality is returning to our lives, and it starts with the Google IO 2021 event. Cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event for developers hosted by Google took place outdoors, maintaining social distancing among participants.
Despite the changed circumstances, the tech event attracted millions of online viewers to the main keynote, shared on the official Google YouTube channel. Although you will discover the most important points presented in the keynote summarized in this article, we encourage you to watch the entire presentation. It will allow you to see the visual demonstrations that we cannot fully translate into words.
The Key Takeaway of Google IO 2021 Event: Personalisation and Meaningful Search Results
Looking over the latest announcements made by Google, we discern two main trends. One refers to making each Android phone a true reflection of their owner’s personality. The new changes to the Android interface put the full control in the user’s hands in terms of appearance, style, colour palette and interface theme.
The second trend, which is specifically important for you and your business, is the growing focus on giving users meaningful and accurate results to their Google searches. Google engineers have been working tirelessly to improve the AI that interprets search queries, and are ready to launch an ever more powerful algorithm than BERT.
So, what exactly did the Alphabet company announce during the Google IO 2021 event? Here are the main takeaways:
1. MUM – the Upgrade to BERT Algorithm Is Nearly Ready
If you thought BERT was the most advanced AI algorithm for filtering search results, here comes MUM, the acronym for Multitask Unified Model. As per the keynote presentation, MUM will be one thousand times more powerful than BERT and will have the capacity of learning 75 languages at the same time.
But what exactly will it do? According to the official Google presentation the MUM algorithm will be able to integrate and understand information from texts, videos and images. As the Google presentation states:
“We’re still in the early days of exploring MUM, but the goal is that one day you’ll be able to type a long, information-dense, and natural sounding query like, ‘I’ve hiked Mt. Adams and now want to hike Mt. Fuji next fall, what should I do differently to prepare?’ and more quickly find relevant information you need.”
This means that there is a definite push towards natural language and context in SEO content. Also, long tail keywords will play a more and more important role in your ranking strategy.
2. LaMDA Adds a Human Touch to Google Searches
While MUM is still work in progress, another change to Google searches is ready for launch. It is called LaMDA and stands for “Language Model for Dialogue Applications”. It is a machine learning model whose purpose is to understand human dialogue.
“Human conversations are surprisingly complex. They’re grounded in concepts we’ve learned throughout our lives; are composed of responses that are both sensible and specific; and unfold in an open-ended manner”, explained the Google keynote speaker.
Thus, LaMDA will attempt to understand natural dialogue and add a human touch to responses to search queries. It is running on Transformer, an open-source neural network developed by Google.
3. Businesses Can Learn More about Users’ Interactions with Their Apps
Starting with June, businesses will be able to get more analytical data about the way users interact with them through their dedicated app. Google Analytics for Firebase SDK (software development kit) will allow businesses to track clicks on ads promoting their app that take the user directly to the Google Play Store while using a desktop browser.
Previously, monitoring traffic to an app install from a desktop computer was unavailable. From now on, you can promote your app via ads on all devices and know exactly how many app installs you acquired.
4. Google Lens Allows Users to Shop from Their Own Photos in 100 New Languages
With Google Lens, users let the search engine identify items in photos and search for them. For instance, you can focus on the pair of shoes someone wears in a photo, and find them for sale in various online shops.
The latest update to Google Lens adds 100 more languages in which users can perform searches and read or listen to the translations in their own native language. This is a very important moments for marketers – a moment to create more relevant, descriptive and useful product descriptions to attract new buyers from a simple photo snapped at someone’s birthday party.
5. Google Maps Will Contain AR Live View
Imagine that you have your shop in a large mall, away from the main entrance. Some of your potential customers may get lost along the way and never make it to your store, no matter how attractive the offers on your website or Facebook page are.
This will be a thing of the past with the upcoming update to Google Maps. It will add a live AR (augmented reality) view of both the outside and inside of your premises. The AR tool will effectively guide your customers step by step with helpful graphics overlayed on the real world view of the street and your store.
6. Create Animated Images from Google Photos
Let us end the list of takeaways from Google IO 2021 event with an announcement that will interest you both professionally and on a personal level. Most people fire 5-6 photos in sequence with their smartphone at various events. What if you could mash them together and create a short animation?
The Google IO 2021 event indicates that digital marketing and SEO will become more user centric than ever. This means that the websites with the highest ranks in their niche will be those that truly put the customer at the core of their content strategy. SEO has long ceased to be only about keywords. It is about using keywords in a rich and meaningful way, so that consumers can truly find what they are looking for.