News is all over the place today about the new Google competitor, Cuil (pronounced like “cool”). There are a few interesting aspects to it, like the paneled search result display and related categories area. However, when I did a little ego-surfing, the results were very strange.
First of all, my own website didn’t even show up on the first page of results (on Google, it’s the first result). The weirdest part were the seemingly random images associated with the results. My LinkedIn page, for example, shows a still taken from a video interview I gave over a year ago that isn’t even mentioned on my LinkedIn page. The Cranky Geeks result has the old album art for The Sword and Laser, my sci-fi/fantasy book club’s podcast.
Cuil says that they have 120 billion web pages indexed, which according to Techcrunch means they could be “arguably the most comprehensive search engine on the web.” But what good is an index that large if the results don’t make any sense? On one discussion thread started by Jim Goldstein on FriendFeed, commenter Jared (W.) Smith says:
This picture thing treads incredibly dangerously. Think of the potential misappropriation claims when someone’s photo is randomly associated with an article about, say, a person with a similar name committing a violent crime. Cuil needs to stop the practice. I found my LinkedIn profile with a completely random picture of a person who was nowhere near the profile. Not cool.
What do you think? Have you tried Cuil yet, and if so what did you think of the results that came up? Should Google have anything to worry about here?
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