Google’s algorithm can understand when a source agrees with the same fact

Google’s Multitasking Unified Model (MUM) algorithm is now able to identify when multiple high-quality sources agree on the same fact.

This MUM update is part of a major effort to improve online information literacy.

A Google-backed survey conducted by the Poynter Institute found that 62 percent of respondents encountered false or misleading information on a weekly basis.

To help people distinguish fact from fiction, Google is making some changes to its search results.

Here are the full details of the update Google announced today.

Improvements to Google’s MUM algorithm

By improving the MUM algorithm, Google can learn when multiple sources on the web have reached consensus.

What does this mean for search results?

Google will now fact-check its Featured Snippets to see if other reputable sources agree with the information.

Pandu Nayak, VP of Search at Google, explains how advances in the MUM algorithm make this possible:

“Our system can check snippet annotations (one or more words marked above a featured snippet in larger font) against other high-quality sources on the web to see if there is general consensus on that annotation, even if the source uses a different word or Concepts that describe the same thing. We found that this consensus-based technique significantly improves the quality and usefulness of featured snippet annotation.”

Additionally, MUM can help Google more accurately determine when a query can be better served No Featured snippets.

As a result of this update, Google will reduce the number of times featured snippets are triggered in these situations by 40%.

Help searchers identify trusted information

With the MUM update, Google has also introduced additional features to help searchers find information they can trust.

Expand “About this result”

Google is expanding the About this Result feature with more context, such as:

  • How widely spread the source is
  • Online reviews about sources or companies
  • Whether another entity owns the company
  • When Google’s systems can’t find enough information about the source
Image credit: Screenshot from, August 2022.

About this result is now available in the Google app and more languages ​​including Portuguese (PT), French (FR), Italian (IT), German (DE), Dutch (NL), Spanish (ES) , Japanese (JP) and Indonesian (ID).

Content consultation on information gaps

New in search results alerts users when there isn’t enough reliable information available for a particular query.

Google shared an example of a conspiracy theory-related search that triggered a new content advisory:

Google's algorithm can understand when a source agrees with the same factImage credit: Screenshot from, August 2022.

resource: Google
Featured image: Andrii Yalanskyi/Shutterstock

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