Leadership change out-runs Google

By Paul Hemsley

The internet might deliver news and events in close to real time but it looks like Australia’s fast moving political landscapes can even outrun the world’s biggest search engine.

After a tumultuous 12 hours that had Kevin Rudd topple Julia Gillard as Labor leader and reinstalled as Prime Minister, Google is apparently still playing catch-up with official events and still lists list Ms Gillard as the leader of the nation.

A Google search using the term “Prime Minister of Australia” was still returning results that put Ms Gillard at the helm of the nation at 10:50am on Thursday, a curiosity that will almost certainly be fixed in the course of the day.

The official swearing-in for Mr Rudd took place at around 09:50(ish) am according to timelines in live coverage of the event, so the news is still clearly filtering through the company’s racks of servers.

Even so, the out-dated digital artefact has underscored how technology is increasingly being challenged by a public expectation that the right information will be delivered in the blink of an eye.

Staff at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, online minders were predictably a little better prepared and reskinned their official website to Mr Rudd’s name and image by about 10:55am.

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