Every year there are handfuls of new search engines that pop-up trying to compete with the big boys like Google and Yahoo. And every year those same search engine companies realize just how difficult it is to take on such a task. One of those new search engines to debut is called Cuil which is actually pronounced “cool.” Their team consists of ex-Google engineers as well as former AltaVista founder (Louis Monier), and they recently launched. Could Cuil be the underdog search engine that comes out on top to beat out Google like Google did at one point to Yahoo?

Here are some claims that Cuil has made about their Search Engine:

  • They have better search results than Google
  • They understand how words are related so that results are more relevant
  • They have a huge web index
  • They care about your privacy
  • They display unique results
  • They do not record user IP addresses to their servers

If size were to determine a search engine winner, Cuil could possibly be it with 120 billion pages indexed. Size helps, but it’s not everything, so just because they have a lot of pages indexed doesn’t instantly make them the best. In order to take on Google, they are going to have to prove that they have better results than Google because that’s what people are going to care about.

cuil - Cuil.png

When you first visit www.cuil.com, one of the first things you’ll notice is that there’s a lot of black. Once you perform a search, you’ll notice the three column interface.

We tried performing a few searches and were not left impressed. Results we’d expect to appear at the top didn’t even show-up on the first page of results. One such example is when we performed a search for “cybernetnews” and CyberNet News did not appear in the results on the first page. Another such example is when we decided to perform a search for “cuil” and it didn’t even display a result for their own homepage! When performing several of the searches, we’d get an error page back saying that it couldn’t find any results, but performing the search again would provide you with results.

A lot of people say they won’t switch from Google because they like quality results, and that’s often cited as a reason they won’t use Live Search or Yahoo Search. If you don’t spell a word correctly, it won’t offer you a suggested spelling either. Using Cuil, the results are even worse than any of the other major search engines, so they have a lot of work ahead of them before they can claim they provide better results than Google.

Thanks for the tip Omar!

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There Are 15 Comments

  1. I did a few searches with it myself and it just didn’t give me the results I was looking for, I don’t know if they can fix that over time or if I’m missing something here but I’m not impressed either. I’m pretty tired of all of these new search engines and what they’re doing to try and differentiate themselves from Google, I don’t want a “new way to look at search results,” I don’t need them to be displayed to me in coverflow, and I don’t need it in weird columns. I want them in a list and I want them to be more relevant than Google’s results, that is the only way to beat Google.

  2. cuil is not cool, maybe if they took cuil’s data warehoue and wrapped google’s functuality and front end around it. It seems like Cuil has a lot of data but they don’t do very much to make it accesible.

  3. I too did a few searches and walked away with not intention of using it at all. They tooted their horn and it squeaked!

  4. Yeah, it’s unfortunate that so many search engines pop-up yet not one of them can come up with better results than what Google or Yahoo can offer. Every time we see one of these search engines, we get our hopes up thinking it will be good but more often than not, we are left disappointed.

  5. There is a major problem with the name “cuil”. It comes very close to the French word “cul” which is a vulgar French term for the buttocks. In fact they are pronouncing “cuil” as “cool” which is exactly how the French vulgarity is pronounced.

  6. One thing, the site is slow. I’m sure partly because of traffic to the site due to the attention they are getting. Did you try searching for cyber net news or cybernet news? It does not pull up the site directly in the first few pages. I gave up. It pulled up some sites that link to articles from your site. You are the first link when you search with Google or Yahoo. This search engine does not look very promising.

  7. Ok. I am an idiot. I got stopped while reading the article and missed the one important part that I commented on. Sorry

  8. Very odd they opened this to the public. The quality of the results is dramatic. I was searching for my own name and it couldn’t find the majority of pages that Google does have indexed. Besides it was showing an image next to the result of one of the pages, but that image does not appear on the whole site! 8O

    Furthermore I don’t understand the column view. Are we supposed to read left-to-right (which doesn’t make sense when it’s not aligned in that direction) or top-to-bottom (which doesn’t make sense because we’d have to scroll down, then back up to start at the top of the next column)?

    Very bad first start, not good for their name..

  9. This site is just an embarrassment.

    They have a lot of spam pages indexed too getting top results.

  10. I’m all confused with Cuil’s search results. How do I know which are the top relevant results if I have three columns of information?

    I searched for “electric cars” and couldn’t find any articles written by bloggers. With Google I have that information as part of their results. Nothing on Wikipedia either.

    No results for images or videos. At this moment, I’m not impressed.

  11. I tried it out but wasn’t to impressed by the results. But I do like the column view and I think it’s done better than what A9 tried to do or even Ask for that matter.

  12. From the news I read yesterday on CNET, it sounds like the creators are rather cocky, even though the thing doesn’t even work right. Seems like the creators are bitter with Google if nothing else.

    Like everyone else, I had a bad experience with Cuil.

  13. Sleepy wrote:
    One thing, the site is slow. I’m sure partly because of traffic to the site due to the attention they are getting. Did you try searching for cyber net news or cybernet news? It does not pull up the site directly in the first few pages. I gave up. It pulled up some sites that link to articles from your site. You are the first link when you search with Google or Yahoo. This search engine does not look very promising.

    We tried a variety of variations like “cybernetnews” or “CyberNet News” and didn’t get any results. It was the same when searching for other sites and services as well, including their very own “Cuil.”

    Omar Upegui wrote:
    I’m all confused with Cuil’s search results. How do I know which are the top relevant results if I have three columns of information?

    I searched for “electric cars” and couldn’t find any articles written by bloggers. With Google I have that information as part of their results. Nothing on Wikipedia either.

    No results for images or videos. At this moment, I’m not impressed.

    You raise a good point, I believe you start in the left column and work your way down, and then go to the next, although I don’t know for sure how it’s supposed to work.

  14. Omar Upegui wrote:
    I searched for “electric cars” and couldn’t find any articles written by bloggers. With Google I have that information as part of their results. Nothing on Wikipedia either.

    You made a good point there. I just tried doing a search for “microsoft wikipedia” to see if it would pull up the Microsoft page on Wikipedia as one of the results. As it turns out it pulls up the Wikipedia pages for all of Microsoft’s products (Office, etc…), but never lists the main Wikipedia page for Microsoft.

  15. Pierre wrote:
    There is a major problem with the name “cuil”. It comes very close to the French word “cul” which is a vulgar French term for the buttocks. In fact they are pronouncing “cuil” as “cool” which is exactly how the French vulgarity is pronounced.

    Cool! A “Buttocks” search engine! :mrgreen:

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