At 4:02PM (Eastern), Google posts their Q4 earning results on the Business Wire. The big, big news (definitely the biggest news out of the valley for today) is that their numbers fell short of consensus estimates. At 5:11PM Reuters posts their summary of this news item and at 5:29PM, AP does the same. At around 5:30PM, this news cluster lands on Google News under the Business section. At 5:45PM, a CNN (via CNNMoney) writer has published an article covering this news.
It’s 6PM (Eastern), a full 2 hours since this news landed, and no sign of it on Memeorandum. This exhibits a limitation of pure algorithm-based aggregators is that in their attempt to maintain a high signal-to-noise ratio, they have a hard time grabbing big stories that are just breaking. However, I know several people that consider Memeorandum to be the best source for real-time Tech-business news. Clearly in this case, it is not.
What’s somewhat amusing about this is that the first news organization to post a follow-up to Google’s own announcement was not even US-based. It was The Financial Times, a London-based publication.
UPDATE: At around 6:15PM (Eastern), the news hits Memeorandum. The head story is the AP article and it has a couple posts from the blogosphere connected to it. I’m guessing what happens is that since there’s tons of news items posted by AP every day, there’s no way to isolate immediately which few are actually big news. Big news publications, in this case like CNN or TheStreet.com, publish fresh copy on the news and do not generally back-link. So, unless you are clustering news by relevance, you’re not going to be able to figure out what’s big until bloggers, for which back-linking is common practice, start posting about it.
Also, one could certainly argue that for 99.9% of people, a 2 hour delay is totally justifiable especially if it means keeping a high signal-to-noise ratio. I know for myself, this would usually be my preference as well.