Sport & Entertainment
JAM | Jul 25, 2023

Google to improve searchability for women’s sport

Shemar-Leslie Louisy

Shemar-Leslie Louisy / Our Today

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Reading Time: 3 minutes
The FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy is pictured during an event at Summit at One Vanderbilt observatory in Manhattan in New York City. (File Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Google announced on its blog on Tuesday, July 25, significant improvements to its search features, making it easier for users to access information on women’s sport in time for this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

These updates aim to provide better visibility and coverage for women athletes such as the Reggae Girlz’ campaign in this year’s edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

During the previous World Cup, Google Trends saw the largest spike in search interest related to women’s football in its history. To enhance the fan experience, Google’s search features will provide real-time updates, in-depth stats, and even a Mini Cup Game, engaging football aficionados and casual fans alike.

Becks Wood, the director of product management at Google (Photo: LinkedIn @Becks Wood)

Becks Wood, the director of product management at Google, emphasised the personal significance of this endeavour as a former Division One field hockey player who witnessed the disparity between coverage and visibility for women’s sport compared to men’s sport throughout her career.

To address this imbalance, Google has expanded its coverage of women’s competitions in the information boxes displayed at the top of search results. Over 380 leagues are now included, with more than 110 leagues added in the last year alone. The coverage spans sports such as women’s football, cricket, and rugby, allowing users to stay updated with the latest scores and results for their favorite teams.

Furthermore, partnerships with broadcasters and rights holders enable easy access to live streams and highlights directly from the search results page for major events like the WNBA and UEFA Women’s Champions League, Women’s Premier League in India, and Liga MX Femenil in Mexico.

The logo of Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in New York City, U.S. (File Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Google has also been focusing on improving its understanding of sports-related queries, particularly those that may be gender-ambiguous. By making systematic updates to interpret such queries more accurately, the search engine ensures users get relevant and inclusive results.

To cater to users searching in gendered languages like Spanish, German, and Hindi, Google has made specific improvements to align search results with the gender requested. Queries in these languages now provide more gender-correct responses and a richer experience.

Google acknowledges that there may still be instances where its systems fail to deliver equitable search results, due in part to the existing disparity in content related to men’s and women’s sports on the web. To address this, the company has committed to working with content creators and news publishers to increase relevant, timely, and high-quality media coverage of women’s sport.

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