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A Clash Between Checking out Your Sources and the Googlebot

Yesterday Harriet posted a story about checking out your sources. With the internet making research so easily accessible, the need to check out your sources is even more important. Otherwise, what you blog about becomes more of a questionable source.

Case in point, the Tribune Company. A huge company that runs many big newspapers.

In 2002 the Chicago Tribune ran a story about the airline UAL declaring bankruptcy. Googlebots continued to crawl this story which is said to be what caused the company's stock to lose nearly all of its value after an investment firm posted it on the Bloomberg financial news service on Monday. The story appeared over the weekend on an inner page of the website of Tribune's South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale. Google News then featured it in its search results, where it was discovered by Miami Lakes, Florida,-based investment firm Income Securities Advisers.

The Tribune says it believes Google continued using the technology to identify stories and make them available as search results on its Google News site, and that Google continues to misclassify stories. According to the Tribune, the technology owned by search engine company Google Inc treated the outdated story about UAL Corp's bankruptcy as current, breaking news.

Tribune said in a press release it had identified problems with Google's "Googlebot" technology months ago and asked the company to stop using it to "crawl" for stories on its website.

While the Googlebot technology may work for finding the best cake recipie or good hacks, it should be used with caution and a grain of salt.

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