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January 10, 2011

Google Can't Find Paris

If you use Google to search for [Paris], the top search result is a Wikipedia page for PARIS (Paper Aircraft Released Into Space), "a privately-organised endeavour undertaken by various staff members of the information technology web site The Register to design, build, test, and launch a lightweight aerospace vehicle, constructed mostly of paper and similar structural materials, into the mid-stratosphere and recover it intact".

Most likely, the top search result should have been the Wikipedia page for the capital of France, but a bug replaced it with a page about a curious project.

Search for [the capital of France], and the second search result is the same page about the space project. It's as if someone performed a search and replace in Google's index.

Update (a couple of days later): It has been fixed.

{ a faux pas spotted by Jérôme Flipo }

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