A few more notes.
Today, there was another German summary of the situation by KerLeone in Mosaikum.
There was also something related in Microdoc News, about the 74 Google country interfaces (click on the title Chunking Google Results to see the rest of the text).
It seems that Google never actually gives you more than 998 results, even if it announces more.
It’s possible, according to Derek Thornton, a technical translator who lives in Germany, on FLEFO, that each of the country interfaces simply presents results based on the past behaviour of its users. This is probably something I ought to know already – I am not an expert on Google. It would mean that if I look up an English phrase in Google, the results will be affected by past searches of English in Google in Germany.People keep recommending other search engines. For instance, I was told that Yahoo has an advanced search engine that is very like Google, but I’m not sure in what way. Alltheweb is recommended too. I can only try these out when I have a serious search to do. At the moment I’m doing a translation that came with its own background material. I am using the wonderful indexing search program dtSearch to analyse it.
KerLeone points out that the pseudo-English www.google.com page that you get in Germany, the one with a link saying ‘Want to go to Google Deutschland?’ or some such, does not exclude www.stormfront.org, although to the best of my knowledge google.de does.
K. refers to an article (in German), Google filtert, by Burkhard Schröder. That article, however, seems mistaken when it says that Germans who use google.com are redirected to google.de if they try to see Nazi sites like www.stormfront.org, whereas the Austrians can still see it. But I just found www.stormfront.org in the advanced search at www.google.com (Germany).
K. also points out that Alltheweb is localized too (it offers a choice of ‘Any language’ or ‘German and English’, so it knows I’m German).
He concludes that the theoretical problem is what is worrying, not the actual current search results. I agree.