Google is introducing a few new ways to make it easier for users to find relevant information when searching for women’s sports, the company announced on Tuesday. The new updates come in time for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The search giant says it has expanded coverage of women’s competitions in the information boxes you see at the top of the results page to include over 380 leagues. Plus, Google has added more than 110 leagues across women’s soccer, cricket and rugby over the past year. It has also partnered with broadcasters and rights holders to provide easy access to live streams and highlights directly from the Search results page.
Google wrote in a blog post:
Most of the time, our automated systems are able to tell what you’re looking for by the words and context of your query. But there are other times, with these more ambiguous queries, when our systems are unable to tell which team — the men’s or women’s — or which specific person you’re looking for. We have and are continuing to roll out updates to make the features we surface for gender ambiguous queries more inclusive, for example making it easier to switch back and forth between men’s and women’s results for sports tournaments.
Google says its systems are taking into account increasing searches around tournaments and other factors so that they can better understand what users are actually looking for. By doing so, Google will be able to surface features related to women’s leagues and trending events.
In addition, Google has made improvements for searches in gendered languages like Spanish, German and Hindi. For example, queries like “jugadoras de béisbol” (the feminine of “baseball players” in Spanish) now give more gender-correct responses.
Google notes that although its systems are getting better at surfacing women’s sports coverage, it recognizes that there are imbalances across the web in terms of how men’s and women’s sports are covered. For example, if there’s a prevalence of content about men’s sports, that might mean Search is more likely to surface such information. To address this, Google is working with content creators and news publishers to increase the amount of relevant and high-quality media coverage of women’s sports.
For this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, users will be able to watch official highlights, follow their favorite teams, get notifications throughout the games and browse stats like head-to-head records, recent form and win probability.