In a Format Area (aka. Rich Text Editor) all content is stored as XHTML and thus it needs to be well formed. So this means that if you add this URL in the content, the
& sign needs to be escaped into
&. Now technically that isn't necessary for the
href attribute of your link, but SDL Tridion still seems to force that on to us. Nothing you can change here for as far as I know.
However when I'm looking at my reference implementation, indeed when using a link with a query string I see the same behavior:
This is what I see in the Source tab of my Format Area, and if this link would be left like that (tried copying it into a browser), it indeed won't be correctly interpreted by Google.
But when I look at the published result of my webpage, even though there is
& in my
href attribute, when I click the link, it is interpreted as
http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&q=sdl+tridion and works as I want. I tested this on all major browsers and do need to add that my Publication Target language is set to UTF-8 and my files are also published as true UTF-8 files and contain
<meta charset="utf-8" /> in the HEAD of the HTML. So I think your problem might be solved if you make sure that your web pages are UTF-8 encoded.