be cuil, man, just be cuil

July 28, 2008 under Cuil, Google, search engine

How many times have we seen this? Company A becomes awesome. Some of Company A’s employees hate the management or think they can do things better so they leave Company A to launch Company B. Company B winds up being pretty good, but you still like Company A’s stuff better. (the Gaelic spelling of the word “cool”) is a new search engine created by former Google employees and claims to index 120 billion Web pages. Now, I don’t want to give the impression that once people leave the Googleplex, they suddenly become incapable of creating useful new products (handy-dandy FriendFeed comes to mind). Cuil looks really nice and has some useful features that I’ve only previously seen in specialty search engines like Krugle (think tabs). But if Cuil’s primary feature is to be its search functionality, then I wonder if some tweaking is required.

Lots of new search engines have been trying to steal the crown from Google, many of them even promising “deep Web” results. I test these new engines with a simple narcissistic query…on my name 🙂 Let’s see some queries from Cuil and “the big 3 search engines”:

Looking at each engines’ first page of results, Cuil’s are not at all close to what Google returns. Actually, Google and Yahoo are the only engines that return this very site of mine – you know, the one with the most content about me with my name all over it – as the top result. Cuil, along with Microsoft and Yahoo! seem to verge upon meta search, placing emphasis on my profile pages from social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Digg. So while Cuil claims to index 120,000,000,000 pages, Google seems grab everything from my decade-old Usenet posts to my friends’ websites.

That’s not to say there isn’t anything about Cuil that I like – nothing wrong with these snazzy features. So while it’s still early in the game and Cuil is in its infancy, I think its best feature right now is the fact that it’s yet another reason for Google to continue to improve its search product.

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