After reading Danny‘s, and Mel‘s first impressions of the new search engine launched by former Googlers, Cuil, I did what anybody in the industry would do first: search for their name. I wouldn’t consider the result set the best choice, but the results were at least somewhat relevant.
However, my big concern came when I searched for broader terms like “conversion rate,” “web analytics,” “Search Engine Marketing” and then did searches for things like “airlines” and “marketing blogs.”
What was apparent in every one of those searches was that Cuil was using images from another website next to a listing for one of the competitor’s websites. For example, on the “conversion rate” search, the conversion rate squirrel stood next to Widemile. In the “search engine marketing” search, an image for search-optimization.com was next to our friend Gord Hotchkiss Enquiro‘s listing.
The only “marketing blog” out there seems to belong to my friend Lee Odden as his Online Marketing blog dominated the results. Lee your blog is good, but there are many others that are also worthy. Finally, searching for “airlines” brought me competitors’ planes next to American and Delta Airlines results.
If Cuil is not going to bring back images that are directly tied to brands in their blended search, I believe they will have negative word of mouth for a while. It also probably won’t help to attract advertisers if that is their intention.
Are you seeing some of the same things happening in your initial searches on Cuil?