What can make your company stock crash from $12.50 to $3 a share within 15 minutes? The answer: An article in a local newspaper... from 6 years ago.
Wall Street Journal reports a truly amazing story (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122100794359017593.html) that reads almost like a science-fiction. Here is a possible chain of events:
- Hurricane is near Florida
- People search online for plane delays in Florida
- In search results they stumble upon a six-year-old article about bankruptcy of United Airlines published in Florida's Sun-Sentinel newspaper
- Since it is Saturday night, not many people are on the site of the newspaper, so even a few hits make that old story move up into the list of popular stories
- Google's crawler, that checks popular stories every 15 minutes or so, notices the change and picks up the old story
- Being old the story does not have proper tags that would identify it as a 2002 story
- Monday morning, a financial research firm notices the story on Google and assumes it is current
- The story is supplied to Bloomberg
- Wall Street traders see the story and... stock plunges down within 15 minutes!
Wow! I just wonder what other old story will make it big on the stock market...
And what can IRO do? Should we search for our company name in variety of word combinations? Maybe not even stopping on the first page of search results, but looking through the first ten pages or so?