Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cuil not so cuil

It's been done to death already but I can't help agreeing with the pundits who say Cuil will not replace Google as the search engine of choice. I did a search for "Doogal Bell" and most of the returned sites were search listings on other sites that linked to my stuff. OK, I could get to my stuff indirectly this way, but it's hardly what I'm after. Doing a search on Google brought up this site, my home page, the Random Pub Finder and my photos on flickr, which is what I'd expect. It did throw up a few useless directory and search listings sites but further down the list. OK, not very scientific, but it's very rare Google gives me unhelpful results so it's still relevant I think.

The Cuil website says "Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance". Isn't this the largely discredited method of searching the web that was used by search engines before Google came along? So how's it going to be better now? It was way too easy to game those search engines by just repeating keywords in the text of your page.

Anyway, it'd be nice if somebody did come up with a decent alternative to Google, it's becoming increasingly obvious that they will soon be a monopoly and we all know what monopolies start getting up to...

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