Big Upset: Live Search & Win Kentucky Derby Search

The major search engines are often quick to point out occasions when they’ve done a good job anticipating searchers’ needs and providing instant answers to search queries right in the search results; see this Live Search announcement about instant Oscar Award results as an example.

But when they miss an opportunity? That’s someone else’s job. And over the weekend, Rick Duncan did just that when he compared Google, Yahoo, Live Search, and to see how they handled the search phrase, who won the kentucky derby.

The results?

Duncan says Live Search was the winner from his Sunday morning experiment, barely edging out I’d say they both win because they answered the query (and because I’m not interested in Mint Julep recipes). Have a look and decide for yourself:



Google and Yahoo provided no such quick answers, but Google at least had a result halfway down the page that showed the name of the winning horse.

All of the search engines provide quick answers at sports events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics. But it’s a mystery why Google and Yahoo overlooked thoroughbred horse racing’s equivalent of those major events this weekend.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Search Features: Shortcuts


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Matt Cutts

    I’ll just point out that if you leave out the hard-coded “one box” results that someone added manually to Ask and Microsoft, Google was the first to have the answer in the algorithmic/crawled results, at least according to the images in the original post. :)

  • Danny Sullivan

    Fair enough, Google does get two crawled results that mention the winner in their titles. But the results from 2005 and 2008 aren’t exactly poster children for freshness.

    More important, Google should do more hard coding for queries like these, I’d say. I don’t think those searching really care how you got the right answer to the top of the page. I doubt they’re thinking, only Google did it with the algorithm. I’m pretty sure they’re just jazzed to get the right answer as early as possible on the page, however it happens.

  • Matt McGee

    Matt – that’s only cuz you guys love the Huffington Post. ;-)

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