Starting today, World Cup-related Google searches will include video content from ESPN. This morning, ESPN and Google announced a partnership where both live matches on WatchESPN and recorded highlights from ESPN FC will be integrated into Google search results. The agreement marks the first time that Google is adding what they call "fresh in-game video highlights" into search.
Why? Both ESPN and Google see big advertiser potential in sports searches that include video highlights. "As befits the world’s biggest sporting event, ESPN and Google are teaming up for the first time to make ESPN FC video highlights available instantly to millions of fans and to make it easier to find live games on WatchESPN within Google Search," ESPN executive John Kosner said in a statement. "It is the latest example of how ESPN leads the marketplace with powerful digital solutions that delight fans and excite advertisers." And, of course, Google has a vested interest in exploring the possibilities of almost-real-time video in search results.
The partnership is one of a number of moves by Google to test new technology during the World Cup, which is expected to be a test of both mobile Internet and a massively increased number of Internet users worldwide. Google has also added new Google Now functionality for the World Cup and Twitter is also using the World Cup to test new marketing strategies.