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Google Explains How Their AI Systems Work

Google Explains How Their AI Systems Work

Google Search can understand human language thanks to a variety of artificial intelligence (AI) models that work together to produce the best and most relevant SEO results. Google’s Vice President of Search, Pandu Nayak, explained to SEO experts how their AI system works using simple terms in the company’s official blog.

Below are some of the AI models that help Google perform well to give better search results:

  • RankBrain
  • Neural matching
  • BERT
  • MUM

None of these AI systems work alone; they all assist one another by doing various tasks to comprehend the user’s question and find relevant content to answer queries.

Google Explains Their AI Models

Nayak shares what Google’s AI algorithms accomplish and how it makes search results superior for users.


RankBrain, was the first AI system that Google introduced in 2015. RankBrain ranks the SEO results according to relevance to determine the best arrangement for search results. Although it is Google’s first deep learning AI system, it has a significant impact on search results today. It aids Google in comprehending the relevance of a search query to real-world ideas.

Nayak painted a picture of how RankBrain works. For example, if a user types “what’s the name of the highest-level consumer on the food chain” on the search bar, Google’s systems see these words on numerous pages and learn that the idea of a food chain may be concerned with animals rather than human consumers.

RankBrain understands how these words relate to their concepts. By doing so, it recognises that the user is looking for an “apex predator”.

Neural Matching

Google launched neural matching in 2018. This AI model allows the search engine to comprehend the relevance of queries to websites based on knowledge of broader concepts. Neural matching does not focus on individual keywords; instead, it looks at entire pages and queries to determine the ideas they represent. Thanks to this AI model, Google can comprehensively scan its index for more coverage and easily find relevant content to show in the search results.

For instance, if someone tells another person a grammatically incorrect phrase like “insights how to manage a green”, the latter would likely be confused. But with neural matching, Google can easily understand what it means. Neural matching can tell that the person is looking for management tips based on a famous, colour-based personality guide. This is all thanks to the AI model’s capability to look at the question’s broader representations of concepts, such as personality, leadership, management, and more.


The BERT algorithm was first used in 2019 and is now employed in all queries. It aims to get relevant content and rank it. When words are used together in a certain order, BERT can grasp how they connect to one another, ensuring that important terms are not excluded from a query. BERT can understand complex language, allowing this AI model to rank relevant web content quicker than other algorithms.

For instance, if a person types into the search bar, “can you get medicine for someone pharmacy”, BERT will understand that the user wants to know if they can pick up medicine for another person.

According to Nayak, Google used to ignore short prepositions, and this would result in them showing content about filling a prescription. But with BERT, the search engine now understands that even little words may have important implications.


In 2021, Google released the Multitask Unified Model (MUM) – its latest AI achievement. BERT is 1,000 times less powerful than MUM, which can both comprehend and generate language. It has greater global knowledge and can understand information better than BERT because it was trained to learn 75 languages and do numerous different tasks simultaneously.

MUM’s capacity to comprehend language includes text, visual representations, and more in the future. For this reason, SEOs refer to MUM as a “multi-modal” AI. Google is just beginning to grasp MUM’s potential; therefore, its usage in search is currently limited.

Google is presently utilising MUM to enhance searches for vaccine information on COVID-19. The search engine company will use it in Google Lens, enabling searchers to use both text and pictures in their search queries in the months ahead.

MUM was made to answer long-form questions, which are too complicated to be answered with a snippet or link. The answer requires paragraphs of information, each of which has several subtopics. With Google’s MUM, the system can now show more relevant answers for complicated questions.

One complex query that Google used as an example during their MUM announcement includes one that asks how to prepare for climbing Mount Fuji in the autumn. A person might have to conduct multiple searches to find the perfect answer to their question. For instance, they will have to search for the elevation of each mountain, the difficulty of the hiking trails, the average temperature in the autumn season, the appropriate gear to use, and more.

Another example of a long-form question is: “what are the differences between bodies of water like rivers, oceans, and lakes?”

This question will need several paragraphs to discuss the qualities of rivers, oceans, and lakes as well as a comparison between each other.

Complex questions will need complex answers as well. Below is an example of the answer’s complexity for the question above:

  • A lake is referred to as still water because it is not flowing
  • A river flows
  • A river and a lake are usually freshwater
  • However, a lake and a river can sometimes be salty or brackish
  • An ocean can be miles deep

Users must search for several questions to completely answer a long-form question before they can get a satisfying answer. But as Google continues to develop the MUM algorithm, these days may be over.

Stay Up to Date with Google’s Algorithms

Learning about the technology that Google uses in their algorithms is the key to developing an effective results-based SEO strategy. Are you looking to improve your website’s search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic?

 We are up-to-date with Google’s latest AI models and algorithms. Our tried and tested white hat tactics will leave no stone unturned in boosting your site’s visibility online. Plus, we offer a free in-depth SEO audit and phone consultation so you can get a clear picture of your site’s current condition. You can learn more about our offers by visiting our homepage.

We will work closely with you, allowing you to stay informed about your SEO’s progress and be with you every step of the way until you achieve your business goals. Contact us today to get started!