Following on from their announcement surrounding the knowledge graph, Google have been busying themselves in preparation for what will arguably one of the hot search terms of the summer – London 2012. Currently, when a number of Olympic event searches are performed, Google are returning detailed knowledge graph results, including options for where to watch the event online. For example, take a peek at some of the below (one word queries!?) and searches for an example. Both the event times, previous records held and competitors are all included in the right pane of Google’s SERP page.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this is negatively affecting traffic hitting the official site particularly for those looking for schedule information, and I’ve ranted before in relation to this controversial development. That said, will Olympic goers and fans alike find it useful? I reckon so.
It will be interesting to see exactly how Google handle integration of social data from Google+ and other real time sources during events – typically with an event of this magnitude, social data becomes all the more useful with the volume of conversations taking place. Whether they choose to use it, and whether that will be integrated more fully into the SERPs due to its volume remains to be seen, but will give a pretty good indicator of whether Google+ is providing a level of data to them now which will further empower the main engine.