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How Law Firms Can Adapt Their Digital Marketing Strategies to Support New Search Capabilities

Google announced its forthcoming Multitask Uniform Model (MUM) to transform the way we search. MUM wants to function as a more active and responsive research assistant that answers your questions but also anticipates other information you may need to form a complete picture of the topic.
June 3, 2021

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies have evolved over the years, prompting small businesses to adjust their content to account for these rapid changes. When Google announced its new Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) model in 2018, digital marketing strategists focused on creating high-quality, easily-digested content that anticipated and answered common customer questions. Now, Google has announced what it’s calling a “new AI milestone”—a Multitask Unified Model (MUM). While MUM is still under development, it aims to transform the way we search and thus the way we write, present, and promote content. Here are a few things that small law firms should know about this upcoming breakthrough search engine algorithm.

What is MUM?

Google describes MUM as 1,000 times more powerful than BERT. Right now, MUM is being trained to anticipate, absorb, and respond to complex, open-ended questions. For instance, if you have a vague idea of what you want out of an upcoming vacation, MUM should be able to step in as a travel agent of sorts. Instead of asking a series of specific questions about your trip (i.e., “Where is the best family-friendly hotel in Palm Springs?”), Google hopes that MUM will take your general concept and present curated information to guide you as you plan all aspects of your trip. You’ll receive a narrative response pointing you to different recommendations and amenities—a much more customized result than a series of links that match your search queries.

Multimodal Results to Your Legal Questions

For now, Google’s search algorithm typically responds to your legal questions with links to FAQ sites or information about attorneys in your area. While these can be helpful, MUM is much more multimodal in nature; eventually, you should be able to perform a complex search using an image or video. According to Google’s announcement, “MUM would understand the image and connect it with your question,” so you can use various words, images, and media to elicit a response. As a law firm, you can start preparing for a more integrated marketing approach by diversifying your efforts, maintaining relevant and responsive written content, posting informational videos, staying active on social media, and asking clients to leave reviews.

Preparing Your Law Firm to Adapt to Upcoming Search Engine Advancements

Although MUM is still in the experimental phase, Google is excited about how this AI tool will help to streamline and enhance internet searches. Right now, BERT still operates like a helpful retriever of the information you specifically request. Ultimately, MUM wants to function as a more active and responsive research assistant that answers your questions but also anticipates other information you may need to form a complete picture of your desired topic. As businesses think about how they can harness these evolving technologies to serve clients better, it’s time to consider what your clients may be looking for—both consciously and unconsciously—so you can create content that speaks to these needs.

Wondering how you can get the most out of your digital marketing efforts? Give the LegalRev team a call today at (800) 893-2590 to discuss your goals.

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