Looking for the latest results from Google for the 2016 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament? On Android, you’ll get a special section at the top of the search page. But on iOS and desktop, Google has no such special feature. That’s in contrast to how things worked for the 2014 FIFA Men’s World Cup.
On Friday, we reported how Google was inconsistently showing match results. Some searching for “world cup” would get them; others wouldn’t. Now the mystery is solved. Google said it only shows these special results on Android.
You can see an example of the difference below. On the left is what you get when you search for “world cup” on iOS, even when using Chrome. In response, you get standard “blue links” but no results. On the right, a search on Android, where the search page is topped with the latest results, with the ability to interactively click into them for more information:
For the FIFA Men’s World Cup in 2014, Google had a similar box that appeared as with the women’s tournament. The difference is that unlike with the women’s tournament, this appeared on desktop and iOS in addition to Android.
Google gave no explanation for why iOS and desktop aren’t getting the special results. The company simply confirmed this is Android-only and noted that its inline with the rich results that it is providing for 170 soccer / football leagues in 70 countries.
Google added that it does hope to expand this type of format to other platforms but is starting with Android for now. I’m still confused over this, since for the men’s tournament, this type of format worked across several platforms.
Google also noted that for a search on something like “nba final,” the rich experience only happens on Android. IE, it’s not some specific omission for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. But if you search for just “nba,” you will still get a special schedule and standings box even on iOS and desktop.