Google Showing Query Specific Results for Olympians

Barry posted about how Google is showing a NBC Olympics box link to Carl Van Loan NBC athlete page for the query “loan”.

Barry noticed that other queries are not returning the Olympics box:

What bugs me is that a search on other popular U.S. Olympics Athletes do not bring up the same style result. One of the most popular U.S. Olympics stars is Apolo Anton Ohno but all you get are Google Images at the top. Another very popular U.S. athlete is Shaun White, but no special NBC Olympics box for Shaun either.

That sounded weird, so I spent a little time testing the system. Barry is right – searches for full names like “Shaun White” and “Apolo Anton Ohno” don’t show the NBC Olympics box. But one word queries for “Shaun”, “Apolo”, “Ohno”, “Van” do.

Here’s a list of some other interesting terms the NBC Olympics box is showing up for:

team, olympics, nbc, 2006, winter, torino, winter 2006, kevin, michael, ski team, snowboard, cross country skiing team (but not cross country – interesting), team sprint

Looks like NBC is using exact matching for these terms, since the NBC Olympic box doesn’t come up for many broad match terms like “NBC News” or full olympian names.

Update: Looks like someone at NBC recently added a few more terms to their campaign. Full names are now coming up with the NBC Olympic box.