Well, after letting it sit for awhile (Reading Week, specifically, since the class this is for did not meet) I have checked today to see how my hoax web page is fairing in Google. I was pleased to see that it was listed by Google (Google seems to find any page I post within about 10 days, which is fairly impressive!) and that it has started on the charts at 219 out of 988 pages for "Grammar Check" with the "pages in Canada" button checked (It did not make it into the top 900 of the 310000 web pages without the "pages from Canada" button.) I assume that its relatively high opening is based at least partly on (a) my using meta tags to correctly identify the content to the search engine; and (b) the fact that it is a current page. Now, the class exercise will be to see if we can get it to climb in the ratings by creating multiple links to it. I will have all my students start a blog (or use their current blog if they have one) to comment on the page and link to it, thus convincing Google that my page is getting references. Of course the point is to demonstrate to the class (a) how easy it is to post a page and have it show up, no matter how rubbishy the contents; (b) how search engine optimization strategies can help improve one's rankings; and (c) illustrate some of the lesser black hat tricks to move it up.
So, anyone reading this, if you could be so good as to add a link in your blog to http://people.uleth.ca/~runte/research/surveyresults.htm and either email me or comment using the comment function to tell me that you have done so, I will track how many links lead to how big a rise in the hoax page ranking.
(The hoax page also shows up in Alltheweb, KillerInfo, Answers.com, Kartoo, but none of the others so far... And perhaps significantly, it doesn't show up in Google Scholar.)