Voting for candidates on the TV series American Idol is now possible with Google. A new interactive voting element appears in the search results when one searches for the TV series.
When entering the keywords [american idol], [idol], and [american idol voting], photos of the contestants are displayed as an independent element above the organic search results, along with the knowledge graph. Doing a search of a contestants name also triggers the voting element.
To vote with google, one needs to log into his/her account, and then click on the photo of the candidate that he/she would like to vote for. Up to 50 votes can be sent for every contestant in every episode of American Idol. Voting also works via a tablet or smartphone.
Google entered an official partnership with the media company and TV station FOX. According to Googles statement, no money exchanged hands for this cooperation: “Google isn’t paying, or being paid, to provide voting. You may see the word ‘Sponsored’ next to the online voting option, which means that this feature is part of our partnership with FOX.”
Despite everything, one could make the assumption that the search engine giant is testing the sponsoring from screen estate, and attempting to open up another future source of income.