Every day, billions of people use Google to answer questions big and small. Among all the quests we see, the complex tasks are the most challenging to solve. For example: how to plan a family vacation? How to fix an appliance?
As opposed to a simple question, where the user knows exactly what they want — like “what's the weather like tomorrow?” — complex tasks require zooming in and out of searches in order to explore a topic or find an answer. To complete complex tasks, the truth is that people do, on average, eight searches. 1
In the latest edition of Google's Search On event, we showed how innovations in artificial intelligence are making information more useful, while empowering people to do complex tasks faster and easier than ever before. This is something that has advantages for consumers and marketers alike.
Complex tasks require an average of eight searches to complete.
New milestones in understanding information
Launched in early 2021, the Unified Multitasking Model (MUM) has been used by our customer-focused teams to help more people solve complex tasks. In Search On we had access to a preview of what is possible to do in this regard.
MUM is a significant leap forward in Google's ability to understand information and bring about better search results. This is one of our first multimodal AI models, and that means it can understand different formats of information simultaneously — such as text, image, and video. In addition, it can unlock information in new ways by inferring connections between concepts, topics, and ideas.
Together, these latest advances could create entirely new ways of searching, which help Google understand complex tasks and issues in ways it never could before.
Better answers for complex tasks
Picture this: you're enjoying a Sunday afternoon bike ride when the bike's gears suddenly stop working. You know you have a problem with your bike, but you don't know how to describe it. What you can do is show this problem to a bike mechanic, if you have one nearby.
Soon, you'll be able to use Google Lens to do just that. By pointing your camera at something and asking “what do I do to fix this?”, Google will be able to identify the problem — in this case, a rear wheel derailleur misadjustment — and connect you to information on the internet that helps with it, like a YouTube video.
With that in mind, we recently made available a feature that points out key moments in videos from search results. So you can jump to the exact moment that is relevant to your search. Maybe the bike manufacturer posted a video that shows how to solve this problem in a step-by-step way, or maybe someone passionate about cycling made a video tutorial about broken derailleurs. In any case, this would already be the right way to fix your bike.
Using MUM, Google can display “related topics” mentioned in these videos to help you better understand the task at hand. You may find that your bike chain is worn out and needs to be replaced to prevent further problems ahead.
These are just a few examples of what you can do with the new features. As Google search improves, everyone will be able to perform complex tasks quickly and with good results — and then go back to doing what they love most, like enjoying a bike ride.
The quest for automation is growing
With these up-to-date search resources, you can even imagine the many ways they will be used to find answers to challenging questions — something that will help countless people to advance their discoveries.
Some brands, already looking to the future, are using automation at all levels of Google's search advertising campaigns.
Companies need to be ready for constant change if they want to succeed in this new world. They must adopt an agile approach, a format that ensures their presence in the search results at all important moments of this journey. Manual and intuitive processes traditionally used by marketers to find customers, produce new creative or optimize performance are part of an approach that will be outdated. This model won't be able to keep up with the pace of change, given these new ways of searching Google.
Some brands, looking to the future, are using automation at all levels of Google's search advertising campaigns. For example, just before the pandemic, Nespresso started the automation process on 130 search campaigns, having managed 20 fully automated campaigns.
This approach had its trial by fire when the pandemic hit. Stores around the world closed their doors to face-to-face service, which generated significant fluctuations in searches for new and related terms. Nespresso's Google search campaigns, in this context, reacted immediately to this change: keyword bids automatically adjusted and budgets were reallocated. By directing customers to the online store, the brand saw a 13% increase in search-related sales and a 25% increase in total sales — both year-over-year.
If we look to the future, we'll see that Google's updates and innovations in search will continue to create new ways for people to access information and connect with the businesses around them. Now is a good time for marketers to prepare for what's to come. For them, this is also a good time to understand how using automation can help build long-term resilience and spur growth for the future.
Por: Darshan Kantak