Cuil Image problems not easily fixed, apparently

Cuil is the new search engine on the block providing a new competitor in the search engine wars. How they will stack up against MSN, Yahoo and Google remains to be seen but it seems these guys have a few issues yet to iron out.

Cuil tell us they

Cuilís goals are to index the whole Web, to analyze deeply its pages and to organize results in a rich and helpful way that allows you to explore fully the subject of your search.

which is great because that means they’re not just rebranding Google as so many other “new” search engines are – these guys are actually doing the hard yards and applying their own algorithm.

Cuils listing for PropertyInvestor.info

But when I search for property investment nz – a subject dear to my heart I’m thrilled to see that one of our sites is on the first page. Only problem is who are the guys in the photo? It’s not a photo I recognise… and using PicLens with Google on the same search phrase doesn’t throw up that photo at all.

What would happen if the subject was slightly ambiguous – could I end up with photos that I found distasteful?

My About page with a gorgeous wee cherub

A quick check on my name brought up this blog in 1st position but further down there was a link to my about page with a gorgeous baby… only problem is I have no idea who the cherub is!

Is there a chance I could be contacted for breach of copyright because I don’t have permission to associate that image with my site?

A further search on Google tells me this is not news, but since Cuil has been launched for a while now why are they still using images on their results when they know they have a problem linking images to the listed page (even the site would be good!)

A check on their FAQ turns up this so they’ve considered what they’re doing and it’s obviously part of their “point of difference” which is great – and not just the standard thumbnail. They do, however, have to get into their database and reindex those images so they know where they came from and only get shown for sites that have a right to use them.

7. You have images beside your results. How do you pick which pictures to use?

We know from our research that people can make better and quicker decisions about relevance and quality when they can see an image from the website. We do our best to take images from Web pages that accurately reflect the content of the website. Many websites are full of images, so we use advanced algorithms to determine the best image to show the user.

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