Google News: your mileage may vary

A couple of weeks ago the most exciting thing going on was Nokia World. Its kind of taken on the same effect on gadget zeitgeist 3GSM or IFA have had for international audiences.  This is where you are likely to find out Nokia’s perspective on different technology developments, I was particularly interested in seeing their take on mobile TV, haptics and augmented reality – of which only augmented reality only got a significant mention. I was just clicking through Google News timeframes from 1 month to 1 day to see the latest news when I noticed that the article numbers didn’t make sense.

It could be logical for the 1 day coverage number to be less than the 1 week number and so on. It wasn’t so I checked all the time gaps:

Past month

 Over the past month, there was about 10,186 articles covering this subject.

Past week

Over the past week, the figure changes to approximately 9,974 articles.

Last day

The last day goes up to 10,214 articles.

Last hour

And the last hour was 10,326 articles which is quite frankly ridiculous.

This didn’t make that much difference to me in this case, but when monitoring a client campaign I would use this numbers to give me a sense of how an announcement is gaining traction through the online media landscape. Given the high quality of algorithmic search provided by Google its easy to take what we’re told for granted, so it’s good to realise that your mileage may vary.