Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

July 30, 2008

Even More Reasons to Laugh at

Even More Reasons to Laugh at Cuil.comGoogle Blogoscoped's Phillip Lenssen has compiled a hilarious list of graphical errors encountered today at - the dizzy-headed Britney Spears of Internet Search Engines. I wonder who's going to be insulted more by this: Eric Schmidt or Steve Ballmer?

Go Phillip!

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July 29, 2008

Fun With Search Engines: "Tarnished Internet Portal" Proves Google is Best

Fun With Search Engines: Tarnished Internet Portal Proves Google is Best
After seeing Yahoo referenced as a "tarnished Internet portal" today in a news article, I examined the search engines to see which of them properly associated this characterization. Neither nor nor nor newcomer had any data, but Google, in its infinite wisdom, correctly revealed a smiling picture of Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, along with a bunch of stock charts in decline. Does anyone need additional proof about Google's superior search prowess?

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Even With Bugs Fixed, Cuil Doesn't Cut It

Even With Bugs Fixed, Cuil Doesn't Cut ItI revisited today after Blogging very negatively about it yesterday, and the results were a little better than those reported ealier. But after doing several searches, it appears that the results are still easily bested by Google. I don't think this is a technical glitch: just a direct result of an algorithm which doesn't properly take into account site popularity. Yes, popularity isn't a perfect proxy for site worth, and it can be gamed by SEOers. But factoring popularity (PageRank) out of the picture has serious consequences that unfairly discriminate against site publishers. For example, another site I run,, hardly even makes an appearance for the keyword search "wild parrots in Brooklyn." My site FYI is the only site that deals with this topic systematically, has been up for more than three years, and has excellent rankings in Google and the other engines. But for some reason thinks it's completely irrelevant. I'm sure there are thousands of other site owners who've been pushed off the page one SERPs on This hardly serves the needs of users or publishers.

Search results do matter, and the mere fact that claims to index more pages than Google doesn't necessarily translate into increasing accuracy. Cuil's failure to provide accurate results isn't a bug: it's a feature that was designed in from get-go. For this reason alone users should shun it, and I expect that once all the PR dust has settled, we'll all quickly forget that even exists.

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July 28, 2008

Cuil Isn't Kewell: It's Ridiculous

Cuil Isn't Kewell: It's Ridiculous

I was expecting something special when I test-drove this morning. As you prolly know, Cuil was developed by a couple of former Google employees, and it's being positioned by the press as a Google killer.

Hey - I'm not asking for top rankings in Cuil. But what the heck does it tell you when Cuil can't find ANY results for Ghost Sites? This site has been up here for 12 years already, and has hundreds of backlinks. What's the matter, Cuil: is your crawler really that slow?

What a joke.

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