Will SEO ever keep up with search engines?

I’ve often said in the past that there’s no point in trying to ‘game’ Google, as anything you or I can think up will have been dealt with long ago. Reading about the things they’re working on always drives this point home. They’re invariably way past what we most of us might have thought possible.

A current project is a new technology called the Multitask Unified Model, or MUM. This is an answering engine that is trained in 75 different languages and many different tasks at once, “allowing it to develop a more comprehensive understanding of information and world knowledge” than previous models. MUM understands information across text and images and, in the future, can expand to things like video and audio.

In a blog post about the technology, Google gives an example of giving the search engine a photo of a pair of boots and asking “can I use these to hike Mt. Fuji?” This is the type of vague question that an expert human would have no trouble with, but only in the unlikely event that you could find that expert.

It seems to me that answering queries like this will require information from different websites, possibly in different languages, and the ‘result’ won’t be a list of links, but data grabbed from various places and combined. This is the level that Google is now working towards.

Not only will this transform ‘SEO’, but it may transform the web as we know it.