Cuil Search No Google but Getting Better

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-08-19 Print this article Print

=Is Cuil Current?  }

Despite this improvement, Enck said the search results are still wonky. She said she ran quite a few searches on Cuil since its launch and has seen little improvement in the results for any keywords since then. For instance, a search for one of her other Web sites, Quanta Webdesign, returns only sites that link to Quanta.

I think Cuil has a long way to go before they can begin to give Google a run for their money. I think it's stunning that they went public with the site before they worked out these rather serious issues.

I'm glad to see Cuil is improving, though I still have a quibble with the service. In doing a Cuil search on my colleague Roy Mark, a picture of our former boss at comes up, which is pretty inaccurate given that Roy has been with eWEEK since last September.  

Cuil's Sollitto tried to clarify for me that, unlike standard image search based just on names to photos, Cuil uses an algorithm that is applied more broadly across the Web based on concepts, content, context and relationships to provide images for non-name searches as well. He added:

This is why a picture of one of your colleague's former colleagues may appear next to a result mentioning him; the former colleague is "related" to the search subject. While the relationship may not be current (as you note), it exists on the Web and is a relevant result to the search subject.

He added that Cuil recognizes that people doing searches solely on names may only prefer images of that person, rather than text results that relate to the subject and image results that relate to the subject, so "we are working to tweak our algorithm to increase its bias in that direction and demote other images for those specific name searches."

I accept Sollitto's statement, and I appreciate Cuil's hard efforts to meet customer concerns. But as a journalist I can't help but thinking of relevant searches as ones that are the most "current."

What do you think? Am I wrong to expect this of Cuil?



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