Google wants to be your personal guide to the World Cup 2014 competition, which begins today in Brazil, by making it easier to find details about matches, players and more through simple Google searches.
With that in mind, Google has unveiled several World Cup-centric search features that will give soccer-crazed fans all they want to know as it happens, according to a June 11 post by Emily Moxley, a Google product manager, on the Google Official Blog.
"From the last-minute U.S. goal against Algeria in '10 to the head-butt watched 'round the world in '06, every four years the beautiful game captures the imagination of billions of people," wrote Moxley. "This year, wherever you are, Google is bringing you closer to the action than ever before."
As users type in simple searches for terms such as World Cup or World Cup USA, Google Search will automatically now provide soccer fans with team lineups before the match, live scores, and up-to-the-minute information about goals and player statistics, she wrote. "You can also stay updated on your favorite teams with Google Now [cards]—you don't even have to search."
Also beefed up just in time for the World Cup are Google Trends services, which give live rankings about the players, teams and moments that are the focus of the games in real-time, wrote Moxley. "At google.com/worldcup, you can explore these moments throughout the tournament, whether it's insight on how a country is feeling ahead of a big match, or where fans stand on a controversial game-winning call."
Google is also celebrating the World Cup 2014 competition by presenting a detailed Street View gallery of the 12 stadiums in Brazil that are hosting the games; this provides fans with inside views of the facilities. In addition, there's also a related Street View gallery of colorful images of public streets that have been painted to commemorate the games. The painted streets are one of Brazil's tournament traditions, according to Moxley. "As the world unites under a common love for a single sport, there's sure to be a lot of action. From dramatic tumbles to magisterial strikes, and from contested headers to flops and flags, we'll be there to help you discover and connect with the moments that matter most."
Google's World Cup 2014 features follow its other activities in the world of sports in recent years. In February 2014, Google Street View expanded its imagery for cities and towns in the host country of Russia just in time for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games to help Olympics fans vicariously explore some of the sites they were watching on television and online during the events.
The Olympics are a huge draw for Google users, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The 2012 Olympics were ranked seventh in Google's Zeitgeist 2012 listings of the most popular global and U.S. searches for 2012 using Google Search.
In July 2012, just in time for the Olympic Summer Games in London, Google added new high-resolution images to Street View that featured highlights of Olympic venues in the city. The images included photos taken from high above at the Olympic Park and Village being used for the games. In some images, the final construction touches can be seen as they were being added to the open-air Olympic Stadium.