Give Me Media

How Google sent United Airlines stock plummeting
September 11, 2008, 2:45 pm
Filed under: Google, PR, search marketing | Tags: , , ,

I’ve been watching a fascinating story unfold in the US this week charting how a mixup on Google sent the share price of United Airlines plummeting by a massive 76 per cent. The event triggered an emergency halt in trading earlier this week as automated trading systems began a mass sell-off of United Airlines stock.

It all came about after a nearly six-year-old story detailing the airline’s bankruptcy filing in 2002 on the Sun Sentinel’s web site found its way back into Google’s news cycle which in turn was picked up by Bloomberg and the rest, as they say, is history. The Tribune Company, which owns the Sun Sentinel and other US newspapers has since removed the offending article from its archives.

I read the story before it was removed and despite it being clearly dated from 2002, and was clearly related to events in 2002 it still managed to wipe $1bn of the value off the airline in a matter of minutes.

Above all this shows just how important Google has become in the communications landscape today, and its no longer enough to simply assume that as long as your profile in the traditional media is good, that you can ignore what’s happening online, and in particular what Google thinks of you.

The United Airlines example will not be the last, and for people in the communications industry arguing over the technicality of Google’s algorithms that contributed to this, and how the story got republished is missing the point in a big way. What Google thinks of your brand, and how it is represented has a massive impact on your bottom line, so it’s about time you did something about it. Just ask United.


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: