Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dubious results from Cuil .. and the Majors

I searched for 'evolution recombination mutation' on

The first 2 times, I got a no results page. After a few variations and an hour or so, I tried again and got a nice result set. One really jumped out at me: 'What's Driving Evolution; Mutations or Genetic Recombination'. The problem is that it links to an intelligent design group disputing Evolution in general.

After trying the same search on Google, Yahoo,, Ask and Hakia.. that same page shows up in the top ten.

Really? This is authoritative and the best that modern world-class search can do? I was hoping from some kind of page summarizing epic battles between Ernst Mayr and Motoo Kimura.

While this is likely caused by both keyword matches via good SEO and the fact that this page is probably highly linked to... this is a semantic failure! Imagine if a query to the Holocaust had anti-Holocaust propaganda links appearing above genuine factual information!

At least Hakia and Yahoo put up a page refuting the author of the above link in the top 10 results. Google and the rest fail to do so.

Admittedly, not everyone believes in evolution.. and that is fine with me.. but I'm not sure that fact refutes the semantic/authoritative failure of the engines.

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