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"...they have come under heavy fire for indexing methods..." - Is there any source for this statement? I have not found anything that suggests this to be true.

This "carbon free stuff" is just their attempt to market themselves better - for a seach engine it is *absolutely* irrelevant.

The environmental policy is an important issue for many of Picsearch users, and it is important for Picsearch as well as many other companies who take social responsibility seriously.--Carl Sarnstrand 10:16, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Competitors and alternatives to Picsearch are displayed under image search.--Carl Sarnstrand 10:16, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

In my opinion, this page is POV and Advertisement. User:Carl Sarnstrand, who disagrees, works for Picsearch. Could some other people please look at this and help say what's what?--Ceas webmaster 14:34, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I have written one paragraph about Picsearch environmental policy in this article. I have provided links to sources in International Herald Tribune, The Times and AltSearchEngine. I can not see how this looks like advertisement. Please have a look at the Google article where they include corporate slogans like "Don't be evil" and "Work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun" in the first paragraph. Picsearch official information can be found on .--Carl Sarnstrand 09:56, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with what you have added about the environmental issues, so please don't misunderstand. What I am concerned with is all these other parts that I will now list:

"Picsearch is one of the world’s three biggest providers of search services for images"
  • unsourced, uncited, and pretty much goes contrary to what I've heard which is that MSN live search is #3, see Search_engines#Top_Providers.

"The image search services developed and provided by Picsearch power several leading internet properties, such as MSN Search, Ask and Lycos amongst others."
  • While true, this needs citing.

"Picsearch now provides searching more than 1,700,000,000 pictures on the web and through their syndication partners their technology reaches millions of users all over the world."
  • Citation needed

"Specialized search engines, like in the fields of image search, are among the fastest growing search services on the internet. In 2005 alone the number of image searches increased by 91% (Nielsen/NetRatings 2006-03-31)."
  • This has nothing to do with picsearch specifically. By being on this page, it's misleadingly associated with picsearch. How much did Picsearch's images searches increase in 2005? Why don't you have numbers for 2006/2007?
  • Also, "(Nielsen/NetRatings 2006-03-31)" is not a citation. I have no way to verify this. I cannot access the ratings without going out of my way. How am I supposed to know they're right? Wikipedia collects information in an easy to understand way, not make me run around to see if it's true or not.

"The company was founded in 2000, and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. The first public version of the image search engine was launched in the summer of 2001, and soon grew popular among internet users."
  • Soon grew popular? How popular? How does its popularity compare with the rest of the market? Internet users? Are there other users besides people on the internet?

"However Picsearch supports searches of all languages that uses all the largest written languages,"
  • what does this even mean? All langues that uses all the largest written languages? I think it means, "all the most common languages that use popular alphabets"?

"Alternatives and competitors
There are three major providers of image search services on the Internet (Picsearch, Google and Yahoo) who license their service to thousands of global, regional and local search engines around the world."
  • While this isn't really wrong (or is it??? citation needed), it belongs on a page about image searches. It doesn't show relevance or noteworthiness.

The burden of neutrality is yours. It's not my job to tell you how to write your article, and, basically, I don't really care enough to think about it that hard. I could go over it word for word and say exactly why it sounds like an advert, but the thing is it's a more general feeling I get rather than a specific "it's because of this one sentence here" type of thing. --Ceas webmaster 16:52, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I have started to make some minor edits adding sources. It will take some time. I will try to be as adequate and neutral as possible. --Carl Sarnstrand 09:47, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Now I have done a first revision of the text and added references to every statement in the text. --Carl Sarnstrand 14:57, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

nice edits, Mr. Sarnstrand[edit]

You've taken care pretty much of all of my concerns, but it still looks like an advertisement to me. Also, the fact that most the links to the article are from Picsearch's own website make it heavily POV. I'm going to bing a few other places and try to get some other people to look at this, and if they think it's fine, I'll think it's fine too. --Ceas webmaster 16:36, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Links in the article that point to Picsearch's own site are not only not NPOV, they are not citing reliable sources. Picsearch's site is a self-published source, which is generally recognized as an unacceptable source. Statements that cannot be verified by a reliable third-party source should be considered unverifiable and should be removed from the article. -- Schapel 01:18, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you that Picsearch can not claim to be better than any competitor and then refer to our own web site. But this is not the case. All links that goes to Picsearch own site is only describing a business relationship between Picsearch and its partners (and why our partners has choosed to work with Picsearch). There is no more trustworthy source of information of a business relationship than the participating parties.--Carl Sarnstrand 06:56, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
That may be the case, but according to Wikipedia official policy, Wikipedia articles should rely on reliable, published secondary sources. Please change the article to conform to Wikipedia official policy. This is not the place to debate the validity of such policies. -- Schapel 11:41, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I have added four new external sources. --Carl Sarnstrand 23:13, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

My two cents[edit]

Ceas webmaster asked me to join the discussion here. First, let me applaud Ceas webmaster for polite and judicious handling of this. So often people rant about this kind of thing. (Of course, Carl Sarnstrand is to be applauded also for cooperating.)

I personally think it is good for both Wikipedia and companies when companies write articles on themselves so long as the proper style is maintained. This kind of article supplies information to the users, which is a major purpose of Wikipedia. However, advertisements in any encyclopedia destroys its trustworthiness in the eyes of its users and definitely to be avoided.

I do think there are some problems here, but most of the content can be saved if we rearrange it. Here are my observations:

  1. In general, it seems to me that Wikipedia articles tend to give their subject the benefit of the doubt, so I'm not necessarily against the positive light this article throws on Picsearch.
  2. The flavor of the style is very much like advertising and not very much like an encyclopedia of the stature that Wikipedia aspires to. The style is actually the largest problem, and it can be rectified by removing content which is largely irrelevant to the company's significance, as well as a great deal of rewording. Advertising sparkle (e.g. "leading regional brands" in introduction) should be changed to a phrasing that sounds less canned ("major companies")
  3. I'm not sure why the article emphasizes that it is the first carbon-neutral search engine. Being carbon-neutral has little significance to a search engine as such; it would be better to title this section as follows: "Environmental efforts"
  4. A huge number of the citations are from Picsearch's website. This is a lot like calling a witness to the stand to testify in his own interest--it can be helpful, but if the witness has a personal interest and is basically the only witness called, this is not a lot of help. I would recommend simply removing a lot of the citations. Try to find news articles to cite. No more than one-fifth of the citations should be from Picsearch-sponsored material, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong--this article should have citations, and this is a step in the right direction.
  5. Regarding the page on Google, it contains substantial negative material about Google, including rebukes for the use of "slogans" such as "Don't be Evil." And, if I recall correctly, Google has been tagged off-and-on for Point of View in the past, so we shouldn't necessarily rely on it as the standard of a good article. Not that I'm asking an employee to complain about his own company (I know that is very dangerous and uncomfortable). It would be good for NPOV if some negative material were included, but by no means is this necessary.
  6. Ceas webmaster's comment regarding MSN doesn't apply because this ranking has to do with overall search, not image search.
  7. Finally, there are several spelling and grammar problems, most of which are easily rectifiable.

--Whiteknox 18:36, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree with these points. Perhaps more citations from non-Picsearch websites could be found. Fmccown 16:22, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Additional changes made[edit]

I like the idea of being thorough and just. Even though it took me quite a while to assemble all the references I think that Ceas webmaster had some good points. The old article wasn't really good. I have now rewritten it completely and it looks much better.

The language now sounds more like an encyclopedia and not so much as a advertisement:

  • Subheader: The world's first carbon neutral search engine -> Environmental policy
  • Phrase: Picsearch power several leading internet properties -> Picsearch power several major internet companies
  • Phrase: the leading regional brands -> the largest regional search portals

It is true that a lot of references goes to Picsearch own website. There are two reasons:

  • There are few articles written about Picsearch in English because we are not an English or American company. The company is primarily a technology provider to other companies, which makes it less interesting for consumer oriented press to write about Picsearch. I could make references to articles in other languages, but it wouldn't make it easier for readers with English mother tongue to understand them.
  • The articles written about search engines are few in general and many news articles contain less information than the Picsearch press releases. I think it would be a big mistake to delete the links to the relevant press releases. I would favor complementing them with news articles as well (if they are available).

It is true that the article contains few critical issues about Picsearch.
Picsearch is not a highly controversial company. Picsearch is advanced technology developer and provider, whose partners are more interesting. I would like to point out one semi-controversial facts:

  • Picsearch has the hardest family friendly filters in the world, which allows our partners to limit the access to only include family friendly content. But Picsearch is also the first search service in the world to work together with International and National Criminal Police to limit the search ability for commercial child pornography. Maybe I can write a sentence about that when it becomes public tomorrow.

--Carl Sarnstrand 20:32, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Mugunths ideas[edit]

I'm commenting on this article as Ceas webmaster asked me to do so...

Though the article looks like an advert, I will not mark it for speedy deletion or something like that.
Yes, the article is not written from a neutral point of view. It praises the company like, "one of the world’s three biggest providers"

But following some simple guidelines could change this article to a well written one... I'm throwing my two cents on those here...

Firstly, merging the history section with the introduction could give this article a better encyclopedic tone.
Secondly, this site is not like any other site that uses keywords for indexing images. It uses some sophisticated content based algorithms for searching. There could be a "PicSearch compared to conventional image search engines", (see

with some light thrown on this area. Addition of technical information (not intellectual property related... every info should be attributed. WP:ATT) may be a good choice for making this article more encyclopedic. This addition should be similar to the PageRank content of Google Search page.


Club together coverage and relevancy. Club together, family friendliness and environment friendliness into one section. and

Finally, a "See also" section linking to the research papers on PicSearch available on the Internet.

I'll try may be today or tomorrow to do some of these... Meanwhile, be bold and do them.

Mugunth 04:27, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I like your ideas Mugunth.
  • I have changed the salesy sentence to a more neutral one.
  • I have moved the history part upwards and included it in the first part.
  • Yes, Picsearch algorithms for calculating relevancy and family-friendliness are different from our competitors. Yes, we also use the content within the image. But the Helsinki research project PicSearch you are referring to is not a description of the last seven years of research at Picsearch. Our research is not publicly available.
  • As Ceas webmaster pointed out: There is a difference between search quality related features (like coverage, relevance and family-friendliness) and corporate responsibility (like environmental policy or work against child pornography). Family friendliness is not referring to corporate responsibility, but to a fundamental quality definitions from Picsearch (making Picsearch popular among schools and other places in society where pornography isn't allowed).
--Carl Sarnstrand 06:47, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Edited out some ad-type copy[edit]

I've edited some of the copy to tone it more to encyclopaedia style. But I think part of the problem is that a lot of the content probably is in too great a depth for wikipedia. Some of this could be compressed into s section called product information perhaps? Saganaki- 06:57, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Ad like article converted...[edit]

To Caes webmaster: I've made some changes to the article... I feel we can remove the {{advert}} tag from the article.. Anyway, as you added that tag, please verify the article and remove it if you feel so... Regarding accuracy of the article, I'm not very sure... I just copy edited... Have to browse thru and find relevant citations. Meanwhile, wherever you feel the article is not accurate, go ahead and add citation required {{fact}} tags.

To Carl: I feel the image of the "planet earth" search results are pretty irrelevant. May be search for something like *pornography* and take a snapshot, to illustrate the "family friendliness" of the search or remove the image completely.

Mugunth 08:36, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Good idea. I have changed the images. --Carl Sarnstrand 16:31, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Removing banner tags and replacing it with {{COI}}...[edit]

I think of removing both the tags {{advert}} and factual accuracy, and replace it with {{COI}} tag. (Conflicts of Interest). I think, none of the editors, know about this company except Carl, who is working for the same company. May be when the article matures, and more people start contributing, we shall remove the {{COI}} tag. What say??? Mugunth 08:55, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

While technically Carl is WP:COI, personally I think he has shown that he understands POV and is making a huge effort to comply to Wikipedia standards. I know it's not really my place to judge, so if someone else thinks we should change the tag to COI, please let's talk about it first. Here's the way I see it:
  • First, the page was waaay POV
  • Carl came and started making some slightly-pov edits
  • I told Carl his edits were pov, and he showed initiative and dedication in learning, understanding, and working with our standards
  • No edits carl has made, as far as I remember, make me think "COI!!!".
  • WITH THAT SAID, as far as I can see, as long as edits aren't POV then there's no coi. If they become so, then we would have a problem
  • ON THE OTHER HAND, carl is directly related to marketing Picsearch, and therefor has a vested interest in making this page an advertisement for his company.
  • HOWEVER, I say, as long as his edits aren't pov, then we don't need a COI tag.
---Ceas webmaster 18:23, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I have tried to change the article accoridng to your ideas and according to comments from soum in my talk. I am aware of the risk of COI and have therefor added a critical paragraph about about censoring that other users might add to. --Carl Sarnstrand 23:19, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I have always been against invoking {{COI}} when the edits adhere to all other content guidelines. Carl Sarnstrand (talk · contribs) might be the webmaster there, but when writing here is trying to follow the policies here, and that gives me the confidence in him. But others may disagree. And as long as the article itself is not promotional, theres no harm in conflict of interest. Links in wikipedia do not affect an articles PageRank.
As for the article, it definitely looks a lot better. But, IMO, someone familiar with the intricacies of wikisyntax and MOS should do a copy-editing. Its very close to the promotional tag being taken off. I am not so sure of the pov tag, as things still seem a bit biased. Let it get copyedited, I will take a look then. --soum talk 10:32, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Oops, I reduced the image thumbnail sizes but forgot to mention why I did it. When it is allowed to render as a thumbnail with default size (no hardcoded sizes specified), the user can choose the thumbail size in his/her preferences, and can thus control speed of loading. --soum talk 14:21, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

I think all banner tags can be dropped. The article is well documented and doesn't read like an advertisement anymore. Fmccown 13:37, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

The advertisement tag can be removed now, it does not read like an ad anymore. But for neutrality, I would say let it mature a bit more. The article is still too reliant on primary sources. The article says Picsearch has this and does that, but does not mention how the market reacts to it. For example, "The Picsearch service is slightly more expensive than Google and Yahoo, but according to many of its licensing partners, provides a higher relevance and better family friendliness." paints only one side of the picture (how companies which have licensed the search service thinks). To complete the picture, we need how *the people who actually use the service* perceive it. Otherwise it doesnt sound neutral. And that can come from independent reliable reviews. I havent checked all the references for the sentence (but did quite a few), and all of them quotes either someone from Picsearch or their partner or both. So, it still counts as first party source. Just because the company representatives claim the searches are relevant does not make them relevant, *people who use the service has to perceive the relevance*.
First party sources are highly discouraged to reference any sort of comparison. Of course, first party references are best for statistics like "only 10% people reword their search keywords to search for the same thing" (numbers made up just for illustration) but not for "90% people find what they are looking for the first time". Lets check other instances. "Family-friendliness implies that all sexual nudity, pornography and violence is removed by an automatic filter", so what? Every other image search service has this. So why should this stand out? Unless "the filter works as expected 99% of the time", reffed to a third party source. Same for localiation and language support. Nothing is there to stand out as a separate section. These informations should be stated as without any undue stress. Creating different sections does just the opposite, which adds to a colored presentation in the article. A lot of refactoring needs to go into the article to drop its non-neutral tone.
Btw, I am removing the advert tag. And since factual accuracy is not under question, that too. --soum talk 13:58, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Some Notes[edit]

I dropped wiki comments (denoted by <!-- --> in the wiki markup) in some places, as well as fixing grammar and tweaking some word choice.

  1. Changed "family friendly" (without hyphen) to "family-friendly"
    • If Sarnstrand has a problem with this, feel free to change it back. (e.g. if the official name omits the hyphen)
  2. Under Picsearch#Environmental Policy: Changed the list of bullets to a numbered list.
    • If this is not proper wiki style, feel free to change it back.
  3. Wikified some dates and things.

That's all for now; I might work on it some more over the next week. --Whiteknox 17:22, 20 July 2007 (UTC)


He typed in scared chicken and regretted it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elinbrodrick (talkcontribs) 12:26, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Situation as of 7/20/2007[edit]

I personally think the neutrality tag can be taken off now. I don't think this is currently biased or that it even sounds biased. In my opinion, there is no need to mention any more negative press in this article. Moreover, I'm not sure if the article needs any more expansion; I think it is pretty much done. Great job with the citations, Carl (we still might need to remove a few of the Picsearch references, however). --Whiteknox 17:44, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Can we remove the neutrality tag now? -- 12:38, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, specifically two of my objections still remain: over-reliance on first-party sources and one-liner sections which shout for attention. But, if anyone wants to remove, I wont object strongly. --soum talk 13:00, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I also won't strongly object.... but it still feels pov to me --Ceas webmaster 13:19, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

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