SERF'n With the Cuil Kids

By Dan Kuthy, Supervisor, Search Engine Optimization

Before we continue with today's SERF selection, I just wanted to remind everyone what SERF exactly is. In order to break everyone out of their regular pattern, and keep us informed on what else is new in the search space, every Friday, we pick a different search engine to use as our default for the day. Then we report back the following week on anything interesting we learned and how it might be applied to search marketing programs. Catch up on where SERF all began in Aaron Goldman's original blog post.

So now on with today's selection... I’ve been SERFin and hanging out with the Cuil kids this week. Although I did catch a few waves, I certainly had my fair share of wipe outs. With Christmas right around the corner, I spent some time browsing Christmas lights and certainly appreciated the 300+ character descriptions on The longer descriptions led to less bouncing back and forth from the SERP. The images were decidedly less relevant. My Christmas lights query returned a site about antique Christmas lights with a listing that looked like this:

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Cuil Antique Christmas Lights Listing

Inmate number 4980523 is definitely going to be upset to find that the penitentiary used his ID number without asking. As my curiosity grew, I looked to expand my search breadth. To my Christmas delight, I was presented with related searches to browse through:

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Cuil Christmas Lights Results

And also some other highly irrelevent categories, including Presidents of the United States:

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Cuil Explore by Category

For a visual search engine, I was much more impressed with my text experience than the visual experience. The images didn’t add much value and were often irrelevent to the content. Looks like needs to go back to the drawing board and tweak their image algorithm and improve their image indexing technology. Great concept, poor execution.


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