The fact that Google News uses automation to decide what to feature on its home page versus Yahoo employing human editors is often raised as a issue when comparing the services. In the case of the Michael Jackson trial, it looks like the humans won out. I’ve been watching both this afternoon to see how they responded to the not guilty verdicts in the case. All times listed are Eastern Daylight Savings Time.
- Approximately 3:50pm, Word Breaks that Verdict will be Read
- Approximately 4:00pm, Top Story at Yahoo News
- Approximately 4:27pm, Top Story at Google News
Note: The MJ story was listed at the top of Google News “Entertainment” section several minutes before being listed as a Top Story. Then, it was listed as only a headline in “Top Stories” before moving to one of the two top two stories (posted with image) on the left side of the “Top Stories” section.
- Approximately 5:14pm, Verdicts Begin Being Read
- Approximately 5:18pm, Reading of Verdicts Ends
- Approximately 5:19pm, Michael Jackson Acquitted Top Story on Yahoo News
- Approximately 5.41pm, Michael Jackson Not Guilty Listed Top Story at Google News
Again, listed a few minutes earlier in the Entertainment section of Google News.