Google News is Getting the Date Wrong on Old News Stories

Last week there was a bit of a brouhaha over Google news incorrectly giving the wrong date for a news story. In that particular incident Google news picked up a 6 year old story about United Airlines filing bankruptcy which upset the stock market for that particular stock. I’ve seen things like that happen before in the past despite Google saying that it was an isolated incident. Here’s an example of where Google News is still assigning the wrong date.

do the following query in Google News [inurl:2007 site:nytimes.com]

In the screen shot below take note of the dates Google is assigning to the two stories September 14, 2008 and September 4, 2008.

Now visit the actual pages those two stories are on and notice the original publication date

Subprime Troubles Sack HRJ

Vintage Neil Young, Still Working for the Muse

Google is assigning a date of September 14 2008 for a news story that was published on August 24 2007, and September 4th of 2008 for a story that was published on October 28, 2007.

Big deal you say? Well What if I’m in the financial market and as part of my job I have to monitor HRJ Capital, and I go to Google News and search for them [HRJ Capital] I get that story that was originally published on August 24, 2007 but that Google thinks was published on September 14th 2008. Do you see how assigning the wrong date to old news could cause a problem?

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