Now Google’s Americanising our dates
There was uproar - uproar, I tell you - at the start of the year when it was revealed that Google was favoring, er favouring, American spellings. Now they are trying to make us adopt American date formats. Make us I tell you.
Americans use a preposterous mm/dd/yy format (going from the month to something more specific (the date) and then back to something less specific (the year)). In Britain, we use dd/mm/yy.
Use a date as part of a search at Google, and it tries to be helpful. So if you search for, say, 11 November 2010, it'll include results with 11/11/2010 in them.
But as these examples show, if you search for something like 5 September, it returns pages with 09/05 in them (the US format for 5 September, which is actually the 9th May here in the UK), and not those with 05/09 in them (the UK format for 5th September).
Here's a search for the phrase "Scrum V 2010/2011 9 May 2010". Google makes bold any words in its results that are part of your search phrase. You can see the first result is a program with 05/09 in bold - but 05/09 is 9th May only in the USA. In the UK it's the 5th September, which is when that program was actually broadcast.
Here's the issue in reverse. The search is for "World Service Programmes - The Forum, 5 September 2010". The words in bold are "World Service Programmes - The Forum, 09/05/2010". But 09/05 is the 5th September only in the US. In the UK, it's the 9th May.
Even worse, the bottom result has 5 Sep 2010 in bold in the meta description - but 05/09/2010 in the title is not in bold as Google thinks that means the 9th May.