Bacach is Irish for “lame”

So, I’m sitting here, sick to my stomach and playing around with the new search engine called “Cuil” (pronounced “cool”) and I can say definitively that it is not cuil, it is bachach.

I’ve been around long enough to know that whenever a search engine touts the size of its index it’s going to suck.  I remember the “my search engine is deeper than yours” wars of the late 90s when dogpile, Yahoo, and AltaVista battled it out for search supremacy by touting more sites indexed than the other.  What happened was Google, who came along with a search algorithm that allowed users to put in misspelled words and returned relevant hits.  It won, hands down.

So what happened to Cuil?  They claim that relevancy is their mantra, they are former Google engineers, and they claim (and my search results prove) that they are indexing a ton of the web, so they should be good, right?

Wrong.

Search for Tim Bostelle, I’ll wait.

See?  The results are just plain bizarre.  Why is it returning 6 different instances of some paper I worked on in Library School?  Why doesn’t it return my web site?  Why is the number one hit a page that doesn’t exist?  Something smells funny about these search results.  While they claim to be using headlines and meta tags as priority over text it looks like they are also weighting obscure pages.  Maybe they are doing that to show how “deep” their search is?  I don’t know, but I also don’t find it at all useful.

Of course I’m not the only one who sees something wrong here.  John Dvorak (who’s web presence is significantly more than mine) did some searches and found the exact same problems.

Looks like Cuil is just plain bachach.

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