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Business - Written by on Monday, July 28, 2008 23:36 - 5 Comments

Google Gets Icy Cuil Reception From New Browser

If you’ve been able to get through the high traffic loads on cuil.com (pronounced “cool”, meaning “knowledge” in Gaelic) today, you’ve been one of the first to use the world’s newest search engine that is (in its own words) poised to dethrone the undisputed king of search.

Self-proclaimed to have indexed three times more pages than Google and 10 times more pages than Microsoft, Cuil is the brainchild of Tom Costello, Anna Patterson and Russell Power, formerly of IBM and Google.  With some pretty direct attacks on other unnamed search engines that “rely on superficial popularity metrics,” Cuil’s philosophy is “to solve the two great problems of search: how to index the whole Internet—not just part of it—and how to analyze and sort out its pages so you get relevant results.

While I was unable to complete many searches effectively today due to overwhelming traffic to the site, Cuil appears to have great potential and I am intrigued by the service’s promise to “guide [me] towards answers to the questions [I'm] not even sure how to ask.”

Another advertised feature that is sure to attract attention is cuil’s privacy policy that can be summed up in short by their tagline “your search history is your business, not ours.” (It should be interesting to see how long this lasts.)

What do you think?  Are the other player(s) in for some trouble? 

Certain pundits think not, and a few have been quick to point out such potential shortcomings as having a name that noone knows how to pronounce as being an important marketing flaw.  (Nomenclature troubles didn’t seem to hurt Google much.)  Others, including $30+ milllion in VC funding seem to think Cuil is on to something hot.


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Ben Letalik
Jul 29, 2008 10:03

Cuil find Ian!

I really like the layout of the search results. It seems to give smarter results, because when I searched “wikinomics”, my report card on GM came up second :)

I will try to use Cuil all day long instead of Google for my searching needs.

However, I’ll still need to use Google finance all day. Google’s diversification into these other areas may end up saving its core searching business.

Lawrence Chen
Jul 29, 2008 10:42

I gave Cuil a try and I like the layout of the search results. I have to agree with Ben though. Cuil may give better search results, however Google is much more versatile with their other integrated features such as Gmail, maps, finance, calendar, etc.

As well as Cuil may perform as a search engine, I have a hard time imagining that they’d ever put Google in danger.

Albert Ross
Jul 29, 2008 10:50

>>As well as Cuil may perform as a search engine, I have a hard time imagining that they’d ever put Google in danger.

Lawrence: that’s what the fellows at Alta Vista used to say…

Jul 29, 2008 11:50

What really irks me about this Cuil engine is that its description text is often way out of context. I looked up one of my niks I use on some forums and noticed that some pretty terrible things were being said that I would never write. It turned out to be the person who wrote right before me on that thread. But according to Cuil, I am guilty by association.

Lawrence Chen
Jul 29, 2008 16:54

Albert, Alta Vista is nowhere near the powerhouse that Google is today.

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