Google has narrowly missed out on the gold standard when it comes to delivering information about Olympic medals.
A recent look at the three main search engines, Google, Yahoo! and Bing, has discovered that they are all doing something to make it easier for users to access information regarding the medal rankings in the Olympics.
Conducted by Danny Sullivan for Search Engine Land
, the study awarded a gold medal and top marks to Yahoo! for the ease with which it displays the count for more countries in response to a single initial search.
In fact, Yahoo! displays the top nine countries by medal count by default, while Google only displays five and Bing three. It also allows searchers to click through and see a count for all winners by country.
Google did pick up enough points to secure a silver for its schedule, however, which shows upcoming events by date. Clicking on the event allows people to find out more information about each sport.
Microsoft's Bing, meanwhile, was relegated to bronze predominantly due to the fact that it only displayed medal rankings and other information when people searched for precise terms. Not all generic Olympic search queries would return the tables of medal winners, despite the fact that this is something almost all searchers are likely to be interested in at the moment.
It is worth noting that Google has also opted to list how many gold medals each country has won so far – the same ranking method as the official Olympic site – while the other two search engines have chosen to rank by total medal count.
With the Olympics dominating both offline and online news, the search engines could find themselves winning new fans if they play their game right. Google still has a substantial majority of the market, but if Yahoo! can offer people something extra they may just be able to win themselves some new long-term fans.
This shift in search engine traffic is something website owners will need to keep an eye on when it comes to working on their search engine optimisation.