A few former Google guys just rolled out a brand-spanking-new search engine called Cuil. They claim it indexes the web deeper and smarter than any other algorithm.
So, what do you get when you put in my name? A search for Ike Pigott does indeed pull up things written about me, but very little written by me. The Cuil team claims:
Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance.
I have a problem with this claim, as you can go through the top fifty results and barely find a single website that I actually run. Instead, you find several Tweets with my name in them, or even worse, Jaiku messages that were nothing more than a re-post of my Twitter feed. It seems as though the more-traffic-more-authority model is still at work here.
Even worse, I seem to have lost my face. Look at these results:
So, in the first fifty results for my name, a person who does not know me would logically assume that is my picture. To make things even more strange, the picture that’s linked to the ZoomInfo result does not appear on the Ike Pigott ZoomInfo page.
So… this is a search engine that claims not to be influenced so much by popularity, yet it draws from websites like Twitter with insane amounts of traffic. It also claims to pull information in a more contextual way, yet misses the bulk of my input and gives me a complete facial makeover.
Yes, I’ll give these folks some time. After all, in the minutes it’s taken me to write this, the resultant buzz about this new shiny toy has already overwhelmed the server. It does make one wonder, however, just how many other search engines are out there popping up strange results. Google is well on its way to being a permanent verb, yet there’s still a significant amount of search traffic on those fringes. Most people can’t name more than two engines.
[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, cuil, search, search engine optimization[/tags]