Sign up for our daily recaps of the ever-changing search marketing landscape.
Watching The World Series Through Google, Bing & Yahoo’s Eyes
The first game of the World Series is underway, as I write this. Curious about how it’s going, I turned to the search engines to see if they’d knock it out of the ballpark with some instant answers. Yep, if you’re a San Francisco Giants fan. Not so much, if you’re a Texas Rangers fan.
Google & The World Series
Batting first is Google, where I did a search for giants, as a Giants fan might to get the score:
Nice. Just what I wanted, the current score right at the top of the page, where the first arrow is pointing at.
You Got Footballolate In My Baseballbutter!
Notice the second arrow. Baseball’s San Francisco Giants, meet football’s New York Giants. Football fans are looking for standings, too, and there’s a direct answer being provided for them.
Sort of. It doesn’t appear that there was a football game tonight, so I’m not really sure what the 5-2 stands for. But I’m sure football fans know (and are slapping their heads and calling me an idiot, as they read this).
By the way, when I repeated that search on Google, I discovered that the baseball standings oddly moved down the page:
This happened even when I used a different browser, so it wasn’t related to Google perhaps seeing me search again and deciding to change things up. C’mon Google. When the baseball game is on, it should be at the top.
Life’s not so happy if you’re a Rangers fan of the baseball variety, who entered rangers to get the score:
Shown at the top is the score for the Atlanta Thrashers versus the New York Rangers, from their hockey game tonight. Scores for the World Series match are nowhere to be seen.
For Baseball & World Series, A Changeup
Both baseball and world series are other searches baseball fans might be doing tonight. What do they see? A new format, a nice one giving the overall World Series standings, plus the score of the current game and time of the next one:
At the end of Google’s inning, I’d call it 3 out of 4.
Bing & The World Series
Time to bring on Bing. Like Google, a search for giants brings up the current score:
I like Bing’s display much better than Google’s. It’s easier to read, plus you get the current pitcher, batter and last play shown.
Rangers Robbed Again
For rangers, Bing strikes out, just like Google. You get New York Rangers hockey standings, no baseball:
In this case, I think I prefer Google’s format a bit more. I found it easier to read with all the information listed in one single column.
Bing’s score, like Google’s, is 3 for 4.
Yahoo & The World Series
How are things at Yahoo? For giants, there’s a nicely formatted score box:
I like how you can see which bases are loaded, though I miss the inning-by-inning rundown.
Rangers Finally Win
For rangers, success!
I Got The Accordion Blues
In a search for baseball, there’s one of the new accordion boxes that Yahoo hopes will draw people in. The information shown isn’t what I’d say most people searching right now would want, which is the current score for the Major League Baseball’s World Series:
Another accordion box appears for world series, and it’s similarly disappointing:
Too bad. I thought Yahoo would be 4 for 4. It’s more 2 for 4. But for Rangers fans, I think Yahoo deserves some extra credit.
Google, Bing — Spare Some Love For The Rangers
Rangers fans looking for scores on Google and Bing were pretty much out of luck, if they used their team’s own name. A Silicon Valley bias?
Google’s based in Mountain View, so the SF Giants are their hometown team. Bing’s based near Seattle, so you could argue their not going to favor either team. But they’ve got a Silicon Valley office, and being based on the West Coast, they might be thinking more about the Giants than the Rangers.
I doubt there’s any formal bias in action here, but they both should get it together before game two. And Yahoo, dump those accordion boxes.
Postscript: Checking back at Bing, I noticed there are scores for a search on Rangers that sometimes show, further down on the page:
At first, I thought I’d missed this. But after doing some repeat searches, it wouldn’t always show. Disturbingly, I also found that sometimes when searching for Giants, the display I liked above did NOT appear. But I also searched just after the game ended, so that might have been a factor (though it really shouldn’t, not just minutes after the game). Here’s hoping Bing can make these appear consistently.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.