First Google questioned Mitt Romney’s chances of winning the US presidential election. Now it’s suggesting that Austria is less important than Australia.
You Say Austria, Google Says Australia
In a search for Austria’s biggest companies, Google automatically changes the query and searches instead for Australia’s biggest companies:
Forbes spotted the glitch, which is the second major problem like this to hit Google recently.
Romney Can’t Win
Last month, Google gained attention because of how a search for “romney can win” caused Google to suggest, “Did you mean: Romney can’t win,” as shown below
Our previous story, Even Google Thinks “Romney Can’t Win”, covers this more and how it was caused by Google’s spell checker getting confused.
Good Intentions Gone Bad
The Romney problem has since been fixed. The Austria-Australia problem is likely due to Google seeing lots of searches for “austria’s biggest businesses” that get changed by searchers themselves to “australia’s biggest businesses.”
It is easy to accidentally type the wrong name, and if that is happening a lot, then Google might have automatically thought “Austria” was a mistake it was trying to helpfully correct to “Australia.”
Chances are, Google will override this in the near future or tweak its algorithm.
Now go watch this classic clip from Crocodile Dundee, which puts the headline in this story into perspective, for those who don’t get it: