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Google Gets Better As A Sports Search Engine

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Google put out a big list of algorithm changes it made in May, and several of them are related to people searching sports-related queries. Specifically, the changes are related to Soccer, Basketball and Golf.

The relevant changes:

  • Unified Soccer feature. [project codename "Answers"] This change unifies the soccer search feature experience across leagues in Spain, England, Germany and Italy, providing scores and scheduling information right on the search result page.
  • Improvements to NBA search feature. [project codename "Answers"] This launch makes it so we’ll more often return relevant NBA scores and information right at the top of your search results. Try searching for [nba playoffs] or [heat games].
  • New Golf search feature. [project codename "Answers"] This change introduces a new search feature for the Professional Golf Association (PGA) and PGA Tour, including information about tour matches and golfers. Try searching for [tiger woods] or [2012 pga schedule].

Here’s a look at the “tiger woods” results:

Tiger Woods search results

Here’s “nba playoffs”:

NBA Playoffs

Google has made other sports-related improvements in recent months. In April, Google made the following changes:

  • MLB search feature. [launch codename "BallFour", project codename "Live Results"] As the MLB season began, we rolled out a new MLB search feature. Try searching for [sf giants score] or [mlb scores].
  • Spanish football (La Liga) search feature. This feature provides scores and information about teams playing in La Liga. Try searching for [barcelona fc] or [la liga].
  • Formula 1 racing search feature. [launch codename "CheckeredFlag"] This month we introduced a new search feature to help you find Formula 1 leaderboards and results. Try searching [formula 1] or [mark webber].
  • Tweaks to NHL search feature. We’ve improved the NHL search feature so it’s more likely to appear when relevant. Try searching for [nhl scores] or [capitals score].

In March, Google made these changes:

  • Live results for UEFA Champions League and KHL. We’ve added live-updating snippets in our search results for the KHL (Russian Hockey League) and UEFA Champions League, including scores and schedules. Now you can find live results from a variety of sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, NHL and others.
  • Tennis search feature. [launch codename "DoubleFault"] We’ve introduced a new search feature to provide realtime tennis scores at the top of the search results page. Try [maria sharapova] or [sony ericsson open].

Have you found Google to be more useful for finding sports information in recent months?

Google Gets Better As A Sports Search Engine
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