Bill Hartzer

Did Google and Bing Predict the Southwest Airlines Emergency Landing?

Did the search engines, Google and Bing, today predict the Southwest Airlines’ emergency landing of Flight 1380 at Philadelphia Airport (PHL)? Absolutely not–but based in the Google and Bing search results, it appears that that they may have actually predicted that news.

There are several accounts on Twitter, including @fedupwithswamp, @agecosmos, and @favor_in_christ that have pointed out that Google’s search results showed the wrong timestamp in the search results.

I first noticed the @favor_in_christ screen capture of Google’s search results, where they searched for “why was southwest flight 1380 cancelled”. At the bottom (I added the red arrow), you can see that Google shows that posted nearly 5 hours BEFORE the emergency landing of flight 1380, that flight 1380 had made an emergency landing:

And, I also noticed another Tweet by @AgeCosmos, showing that Bing also shows in incorrect timestamp:

Bing’s search results are actually showing 7 hours, 8 hours, and 10 hours ago–which is apparently incorrect, as well. Those timestamps would be hours before the Southwest Airlines Emergency Landing.

As you might imagine, Google and Bing are both experiencing major problems with timestamps in their search results. It’s been reported before by SERoundtable, and Google wants to get these timestamps in the search results correct. I have reported this issue a long time ago, and have even personally been in touch with Google reps (in person).

I do know they have identified the issue, and unfortunately that’s all I can say about it at this time. If I get an official update, I’ll certainly post it.

Update: Right after I posted this, I took a look at Google’s search results and, even though I posted this within 10 minutes, it says that I posted this 5 hours ago, which is wrong. See the screen capture below:

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