Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Disturbing Google Finds

My sister, who is currently in Florida, asked me to save this Sunday's copy of the Buffalo News so she could check out the passenger list in case she might know someone on it.

The crash of Flight 3407 is receiving saturation media coverage right now in this area. But to my surprise there was no public passenger list in the paper. There were only a few names of noteworthy people.

Apparently is it turns out, there is not a blanket release of names in a list. The airline checks with each family about the appropriateness of releasing the name to the public. This of course is a little time consuming so there is no instant list published.

I did use Google in my efforts to find a list. And as is quite often the case with Google, some totally irrelevant results popped to the top of the list.

I came across at least two sites where when clicked on showed "Flight 3407 Passenger List" at the top of the webpage. But instead of a list of names there was a list of dirty pictures. Apparently some porn sites jumped on the Google Adwords program and made some very good guesses for keywords in a high traffic area. Absolutely nothing to do with passenger lists but I'll bet an awful lot of people searching for information clicked on those sites. I know I did, unknowingly.

To say the least, I got upset when I came across that stuff. How could any lowlifes do something like that?

Of course, after counting to 10, and getting myself thinking sensibly again, I started considering the condition of the advertising industry right now and the type of ads we have on TV and in the newspapers. It really is not much better. I guess what you would have to say is something like that it is just astute businesspeople jumping on an opportunity.

What a world!
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