Sunday, August 14, 2011

Google results include live PGA tournament results

While watching the PGA Championship I wanted to find the official PGA Web site.  So of course I Googled it.  To my surprise, the Google results included a live report of the top of the leaderboard.  Google for years has tried to offer the top links from popular Web sites - but those were static links.  This is live data.  It reflected the results broadcast live by CBS.  Within seconds, Google search results had what CBS broadcast and what the PGA had on their Web site.

Did Google wire something special for the PGA event - was there a content syndication deal, whereby the PGA leaderboard was fed live into Google search results - or are Google's robots that amazing?


Ok, after the PGA tourney ends, this offers more clues.  A Google search for "pga championship" includes at the top of the hit list:

PGA Tour PGA Championship
1.Keegan Bradley-8F
2.Jason Dufner-8F
3.Anders Hansen-7F

This is not correct.  That's the final score in regulation play.  Keegan Bradley won the tourney in a playoff.  So let's look at the official PGA home page.  A section there is obviously the source of the wrong info.  Hours after the winner was determined, this little corner of the PGA page hasn't been updated.  So that's what Google is drawing from.

But still I wonder: did Google arrange a feed from the PGA, or did their robot just find this corner of content? Google was obviously monitoring the content constantly, so I vote feed.

Click on the screen shot to see how Google reflects the wrong information from the PGA site.