Darshan Kantak, vice president, product management, search ads and Google Ads experiences, Google
Every day, billions of people turn to Google to search for answers to questions big and small. The most difficult to solve are the complex searches, such as planning a family vacation and fixing a broken appliance.
Complex tasks may require you to narrow down and broaden your search results in order to find the answer or explore a topic. Complex tasks require an average of eight searches to complete.
Google’s recent Search On event showed how innovations and AI help make the world’s information easier to find. It also empowers people to do complex tasks more quickly and easily than ever before. This has important implications not only for consumers, but also for marketers who want to reach them.
New milestones for understanding information
Since the announcement of Multitask Unified Model (MUM) earlier this year, Google’s consumer teams have been experimenting with its capabilities to help solve complex tasks.
Google’s ability understand information and provide better Search results is markedly improved with
MUM. It’s one of the company’s first AI models that is multimodal, meaning it can understand information across a wide range of formats simultaneously — like text, image and video. It can also infer connections between concepts, topics, and ideas, unlocking information in new ways.
Taken together, these new advances enable new ways of searching by allowing Google to understand complex tasks and answer questions in a way that is unimaginable before.
Better answers for complex tasks
Let’s say that a person is riding their bike on Sunday afternoon and notices that the gears aren’t shifting properly. The problem is obvious, but the person doesn’t know how to explain it. A bike mechanic might be able to point out the problem and offer their assistance.
Soon, Google Lens will allow users to ask questions about Google Lens by pointing at a camera and asking “How can I fix it?”
Google will be able identify the problem, in this instance with the rear derailleur, and connect riders to useful information on the internet to fix it. Google added the ability to identify key moments in videos via search results so people can jump directly to the relevant content.
In our example, the bike manufacturer might offer a video that shows how to fix a problem or a passionate content creator might provide a “how-to” guide for fixing a derailleur. The searcher will find the best way to fix their bike. Google can then use MUM to surface “related topics”, which are videos that have been referenced in the videos. This will help the searcher better understand the task. For example, they might discover that the chain on their bike is damaged and must be replaced to prevent any future derailleur problems.
The need for automation is growing
With these new search capabilities it is easy to see all the new ways people can find answers to difficult questions and advance their exploration of important topics.
To be successful in the new world, businesses must be flexible and adaptable to stay ahead of change.
Search marketers traditionally used intuition and manual processes to find customers, create creative and optimize performance. However, this approach won’t take them where they want to go. Some forward-looking advertisers are already realizing this and have begun to adopt automation in all aspects of their search advertising campaigns.
For example, just prior to the pandemic, Nespresso embarked on automating 130 actively managed search campaigns to 20 fully automated campaigns.
This approach was tested when the pandemic struck. German coffee shops and retail outlets were closed across the country, causing sharp fluctuations in related search queries. Nepresso’s Google Search campaigns responded immediately: Bids were automatically adjusted across keywords, and budgets were reallocated. By directing its customers to its online shop, the brand saw search sales increase by 13% and purchases by 25% year over year.
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