London 2012: women earn more medals, compete in more events, and represent more countries

Clearly, the U.S. has the best women in the world.

As the London Olympics near their end, one of the biggest, most significant storylines is the dominance of America’s female athletes. There’s no other word for it. It’s because of the women — not the men — that the United States stands atop the medal table. – The Modesto Bee

Our ladies have also pulled in twice as many gold medals as the men.

And that’s despite the fact that 10 percent fewer women’s medals have been awarded so far. – Seattle PI

 

Altogether, women represent 44% of the Olympic athletes, up from 26% at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Thirty-four countries sent more women than men to compete.

Finally, a nice article from USA Today exploring this historic shift:

Something historic and even a little strange is happening in the 2012 London Games. A nation that has been known for wielding a strong male chauvinistic sports streak has fallen in love with its female athletes. And it’s not just the Brits. American female athletes, outnumbering their male counterparts for the first time in an Olympics, are having their finest Games so far, outpacing the men in gold medals 18-10. Overall, they’ve won 53% of all U.S. medals, up considerably from 31% in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

Google ads Amazon-style products to search results – in a big revenue grab

An interesting update by Google which seems directly targeted at Amazon. These new Product Ads from Google will compete with Amazon’s commission model, and may come down to who has the better search.

With billions of dollars in revenue the stakes…

 

In the early days of Google, users would type in a query, we’d return ten blue links, and they’d move on happy. Today people want more. When searching for great local restaurants, people want places to eat right there on the results page, not another click or two away. It’s the same with hotels, flight options, directions and shopping.

Today we’re announcing a new initiative to improve our shopping experience over time–so that shoppers (your customers) can easily research purchases, compare different products, their features and prices, and then connect directly with merchants to make their purchase.

First, we are starting to transition Google Product Search in the U.S. to a purely commercial model built on Product Listing Ads. This new product discovery experience will be called Google Shopping and the transition will be complete this fall.

Ranking in Google Shopping, when the full transition is complete this fall, will be based on a combination of relevance and bid price–just like Product Listing Ads today.

In addition, merchants who want to stand out from the crowd can choose to participate in our new Google Trusted Stores program. Google Trusted Stores is a badge for e-commerce sites which gives users background on merchants—whatever their size—including ratings for on-time shipping and customer service. Google stands behind merchants that have earned the Google Trusted Stores badge with a $1,000 lifetime purchase protection guarantee per shopper.

Second, starting today we’ve also begun to experiment with some new commercial formats on Google.com that will make it easier for users to find and compare different products. These include larger product images that give shoppers a better sense of what is available and also the ability to refine a search by brand or product type.

For example, below is  what stargazers could see on Google.com when searching for [telescopes], or for a specific product, such as [Celestron CPC 800].

 

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