Ok, so it’s not an “official” week, but we’ve all had enough time with Cuil to gather first impressions. Like so many other bloggers out there, Cuil is a mixed bag at best thus far. While there are some pretty cool features with Cuil even some Google hasn’t implemented, there are still a lot of problems.
The biggest obstacle that Cuil faces is making sure relevant results are posted first on the results page. As a test subject I typed “Koopa” into both Cuil, and Google. The results were interesting to say the least. Google’s top hit was a wikipedia page dedicated to information about Koopa (who is the main bad guy from Super Mario Bros.). This is probably the safest result to have as a top choice, but there are definitely worse sites it could have indexed. Cuil on the other hand had a very different result for its first hit. abcworld.net apparently has a page mentioning the name ‘Koopa’ in an overwhelming fashion. The problem is that the site has broken images, and is rather amateurish looking. So even though Cuil is boasting a larger index of sites than Google, they have some work to do to make sure they’re organized effectively.
Cuil’s second problem stems from what I thought would be one of their coolest features. When I saw that Cuil presented pictures along with their search results, I thought this would be one of their big selling points. It’s a fact that people like to see, not read. But after searching Koopa, I’m more skeptical on this new feature. Here’s a list of some of the images that were shown after my Koopa search:
-Pretty neat old school painting with Microsoft paint work done to it
-An picture of an older John Lennon
-other various video game characters
-two characters relevant to the name Koopa
So only two of the seven pictures that were indexed on the first page had anything to do with Koopa. So although the image indexing feature is intriguing in theory there some definite bugs to be worked out before I’d call it useful.
One of the features that I love about Cuil, and still love even after a week is their tabbed results. Although it’s not a whole lot different than Google’s “searches related to” feature, it’s alot more effective. Their tabbed browsing reminds me of how browsers use tabs so people can keep up with their favorite websites better.
So there you have it. After a week I’d say that Cuil has growing pains that will need to be worked out as soon as possible. If there were no such thing as a search engine, then I’d say Cuil could take its time. Unfortunately for them internet users will always have the warm blanket that is Google, so Cuil better be getting to these problems ASAP.