Google comes not only in its classic form — www.google.com — but also in national versions, as for example:|
www.google.ae (United Arab Emirates)
www.google.us (United States)
The French version above stands out as being the only one that blocks the Ukrainian Archive at www.ukar.org. For example, searching for "Lubomyr Prytulak" produces ukar.org in first and indented-second positions in all cases except that of France, where in fact ukar.org is never produced no matter what is searched for. Residents of France wishing to avoid such Google.fr blocking might be able to rely on the google of other countries.
Asking for Google.com or Google.us in Canada forces the Canadian user instead to Google.ca, though the Google of other countries than the United States can be accessed without difficulty. A Canadian having trouble accessing Google.com can take an indirect route, as for example travelling first to groups.google.com, and there clicking on the "Web" link on the upper-left. In general, it might often be possible to get to a desired but blocked Google by going first to one that is not blocked, and clicking on the sought-for alternative there.
Some chilling information on search engines — especially on Google — is available at www.google-watch.org/bigbro.html
On the evening of 15-Jun-2003, the Google search for "los angeles superior court" (including the quotation marks) suddenly demoted UKAR from 6th place to which it had slowly climbed over the preceding months, to 24th place. Such a sudden fall could have had several causes, one of which could be Google's response to external pressure to alter its rankings, and another being manipulation of Google rankings by people outside Google. Because of the possibility of such corruption or manipulation, Internet users might wish to repeatedly compare search engines, and favor those able to maintain independence and objectivity. Although one must beware of reflexively construing every puzzling event as a manifestation of conspiracy, an examination of the sites that began to outrank UKAR in a Google search for "los angeles superior court" revealed so many that were of little interest or relevance that the conspiracy hypothesis was encouraged. For example, one of these sites that now suddenly outranked UKAR was a single page on which a lady presented herself as a candidate for a position on the Los Angeles Municipal Court way back in November 2000, the only relevance to the Los Angeles Superior Court being that in the list of those endorsing her could be found three judges on the Los Angeles Superior Court. In view of such perverse ranking, it was wondered whether Google had either succumbed to corruption or was being fooled into making bad rankings, and whether alternative search engines had come to deserve higher trust.
With rankings bouncing up and down somewhat after 15-Jun-2003, but with the Google ranking for "los angeles superior court" eventually stabilizing ukar.org in 5th place, the only dependable moral was that the web author is at the mercy of the search engines, and if manipulation of search results is taking place, he might have no way of knowing it, and no way of appealing.