"Dead men don't sue" - the Mail's HTML refuses to clear Air France 'terror suspects'

 by Martin Belam, 11 June 2009

Earlier this week there were reports that Islamic terror suspects were amongst the passengers of Air France Flight 447. It seems that these were based solely on the names on the passenger list, and with subsequent checks it has emerged that this wasn't actually the case. The Daily Mail has altered this online story accordingly.

Daily Mail Air France story

However, if you look at your browser furniture when you visit the page, you'll note that whilst the headline of the story says one thing, the URL and the HTML <TITLE> tag that are indexed by search engines imply something else. The title still reads:

"Names of two passengers on doomed Air France jet linked to Islamic terror groups | Mail Online"

The vital words 'cleared of links' seem to be missing.

An oversight in the CMS when updating the article, or a crafty bit of link-baiting SEO for when the page appears in Google results?

Evidence from Google suggests the <TITLE> tag and URL were changed...both the results shown here go to the same page and have the same article ID number, but none of the bits within the Mail's own control mention the two dead men being cleared of the accusation. Only the workings of Google's snippet algorithm is showing that the links proved false.

Google results for the Mail's story

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