The 2008 Olympic Games are well under way now and the blogosphere and news channels are abuzz with Olympic-mania. News of a violent murder tops today’s news, but there’s plenty of regular Olympic drama unfolding as well. What’s in the pipeline today? A Greek runner test positive and is excluded, some swimmer (Phelps) beats his 400 IM by a full second, tree huggers bemoan China’s shroud of air pollution, and will Georgia pull out of the Olympic games? Compelling stuff eh?
So, being the search engine marketing industry professional that I am (and not having an ounce of curiosity about the actual Olympics) my first thought was “How are the search engines going to leverage all of this Olympic mania?” So I set about to see what each engine was doing to capitalize on… I mean cover the Beijing madness.
Google Olympics coverage
Not surprisingly Google’s homepage logo/doodle reflects the Olympic spirit as the games get under way. I’ll try to update the Google 2008 Olympics Logos/Doodles Gallery each day as each new logo/doodle is introduced.
However, logo customization is just the beginning of Google’s Olympic involvement. Olympic related search results at Google are topped with a custom ‘Medals Count’ block to help you track the progression of the games.
Google introduces a page where you can track the 2008 Olympic summer games – a basic roll-up of Olympic related goodies including a highlight of an iGoogle gadget version of the mashup, a YouTube Olympic coverage spot (kinda like a YouTube ad), a pretty sweet Google Maps mashup with Medals count, Events tracking and stadium information, and the latest & greatest 2008 Olympics related results from Google News.
If you have an iGoogle homepage you can add Googles 2008 Olympic Games gadet which basically brings the informational portion of the mashup to your iGoogle homepage for up to the minute updates.
YouTube has a dedicated 2008 Olympic Summer Games channel where you can track news, recaps, athlete profiles and highlights on Beijing culture. There’s lots of coverage here already, so plenty to watch.
Yahoo Olympics coverage
Yahoo’s content portal homepage highlights the Olympic activities and provides Medal Count, and quick-links to tops stories, athlete profiles, recent related video clips and a full list of Olympics related news.
Yahoo Search adds unique block for Olympics searches – Similar to Google’s special ‘medals count’ block, the Yahoo block goes a few steps further and integrates links to related news, videos, Olympic schedule and several top stories.
Yahoo Sports – 2008 Olympic games coverage – The Yahoo Sports channel provides complete Olympic games coverage – news, videos clips, on-the-scene culture covers and more.
Microsoft (MSN/Live) Olympics coverage
Live.com rolls out a full skinning of the live.com homepage (today it’s a bike racing image)
Live.com also provides a 2008 Olympic summer games link to a query/macro which is aggregate coverage of the related news, video and natural search results.
If you’re a fan of xRank, you’ll want to check out Live.com’s Olympic flavored xRank highlighting various Olympic athletes and filling you in on who-is-who.
MSN, Microsoft’s content portal, boasts a prominent plastering of Olympic spirit with complete NBC Olympic coverage at NBCOlympics.com
Dogpile Olympics coverage
Even search aggregator Dogpile joins the Olympics-mania with an homepage skinning and a simple link to search results for the query “2008 summer Olympics”
Search covers 2008 Olympic summer games pretty well
If you’re a big fan of the Olympic games, you’ve got to love the added focus the search engines have placed on the games this year. The special results blocks, aggregated news coverage and focused video channels make following the games & associated drama as simple as a few mouse clicks. But what has your experience been like?
Your Olympics + Search Experience?
So how has your Olympic & search experience been? Have you been able to find the information you wanted in a timely fashion? Is the online news coverage biased, or lacking compared to traditional media sources (TV, radio, newspaper)? Are you not interested in the Olympics at all and reent seeing it plastered everywhere..? I’m interested to know – comment below!