I initially retweeted the news and explained that it was a trick shortly after.
It would have been a low shot, really. I don't think it's even possible to remove that large set of results on all the datacenters of Google in a short time frame.
What really happened
Someone made up this query:
Initially the result page was empty (Your search - ... - did not match any documents). Then people began tweeting and sharing the query and Google started showing up them as the unique results:
So how did they do it?
At first I thought someone used a capital i (I) to substitute the L of Oracle, but Google is smart and would perform a case-insensitive search in this case:
Nevertheless, the difference between capital i and lowercase L is not so visible in Google's font.
But, if you try to paste the link or save the page and go over it with hexedit, you'll notice this:
This is clearly the sign that someone has inserted non-ASCII characters in the query.
The character table for Unicode/UTF-8 says that we have, in sequence:
CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER OThis combination of characters is very unlikely to be found in actual documents. In fact, at first it did not produce results. Furthermore, in Google's font of choice, Arial, the difference between these letters and their latin counterparts (if there is any) is again not clear to the naked eye. It makes sense to reuse glyphs that are actually the same in ordinary printed text.
LATIN SMALL LETTER R
CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER A
LATIN SMALL LETTER C
CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER BYELORUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN I
CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER IE
And finally, the forgery replaces the majority of the latin letters, because replacing only one or two would lead to a Did you mean: oracle notice.
So UTF-8 struck again, and some of us were fooled by a ingenious, well-forgered Google query. Technically this is called an homograph attack.
The potential of UTF-8 as a dangerous mean of fooling users is great - imagine if non-latin URLs will become a reality. Fortunately, the ICANN and major browsers have been working on a solution, but we as web developers should be aware of the problem too.