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July 29, 2008

How NOT to search the web

I was over at JMG-Galleries reading about a couple of software launches. one was for a photoshop product called Adobe Lightroom 2. Jim had some good and not so good opinions about that but what he really had a problem with was a new search engine called cuil.com.

The Ugly is reserved for the new search engine Cuil. Cuil was getting tons of press today and was being blindly praised as the new kid on the block to challenge Google. As most found out today who tried Cuil it was far from impressive and probably could be considered to have one of the worst Web 2.0 lauches of all time. Why the hate on Cuil? –
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Software/Service Launches.

So I gave it look see to figure out if it was unique to him, or if I would have some weird results too. Turns out, it’s worse than he described. Wow, that cuil site is pretty bad. I searched for my top keywords and didn?t even show up. Then I searched for my name and got some very interesting results including other people – namely a bikini-clad super model in a provocative pose (I?m a one-piece kind of guy). For me, it sucks that my top keywords don’t result in my site showing up and its weird other peoples photos are displayed with my name, but for Jim and others who depend on the internet for their livelihood (directly or indirectly) its a deal breaker. Jim explains on his site why it matters so much so go on over to his site to read it yourself.

The good news is, there is another option. Try searchme.com for a new kind of search engine that delivers accurate and useful results. It’s more pizazz than function so if you’re looking for specific information in a hurry, you may want to stick to traditional search engines. But, if you’re looking for a specific site or just surfing around, or are more visual than textual – this is the search engine for you.

As you can see in this screen capture, the interface is a lot like the iTunes library display. While you don’t get a long list of search results, you do get a great preview of the search result sites with your search terms highlighted – so you can check for relevance. For example, if I search for my name, I will get several sites that reference me specifically, I will also get several sites that reference people who have my first name with someone who has my last name. Another way this is useful is if you’re looking for a product or vendor. You can quickly see if the results are a fan site or a sales site – very handy in my job and I bet at yours too.

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4 comments

  • At 3:00 pm on July 29, 2008, Kristi commented:

    Cuil said it found two results but only showed one. Searchme.com is awesome! I love the screen captures. Right away I saw my blog. It had the old look but it was me.

    [Reply]

  • At 5:11 am on July 30, 2008, Kathy @ Virtual Impax commented:

    WOW! That is BAD!
    I typed in my business name. It’s not a commonly searched for phrase so on most searches, I get an instant #1….not here. My website is now a blog with PR 4 with Alexa in the mid 400K’s and it’s buried in a bunch of JUNK (ie: sites that reference my site).

    It looks like this search engine is trying so hard to be anti-Google that it forgot why people use Google.

    [Reply]

  • At 3:40 pm on August 1, 2008, Neil Parks commented:

    I looked at Cuil and so far I am underwhelmed. Some of the links were very old. Several had graphics that did not match the site.

    Oh well, it’s brand new. There are obviously a few bugs and kinks to iron out. Maybe it will improve.

    [Reply]

  • At 7:15 am on August 3, 2008, Fading Whispers: The Chronicles » Blog Archive » Giving things a fair shake pingbacked:

    [...] to Google cuil to see how much it sucks. I can’t be bothered to put pictures of the frankly bizarre search results I’ve been getting. Still, it’s a new search service and it was founded by ex-Google [...]

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