Cuil – pronounced ‘cool’

Every so often, a new search engine appears on the scene claiming to be bigger and better than the mighty Google, the latest being Cuil.

Cuil’s founders include former Google staff members Anna Patterson, Russell Power and Louis Monier and they claim that Cuil indexes more webpages (120 billion) than Google. Difficult to tell on that score because Google no longer report such information.

Cuil apparently does not just look at the number and quality of links to and from a webpage, as Google’s technology does, but tries to understand more about the information on a particular webpage page and the terms people use to search. Unlike with other search engines, the results are displayed in three-column newspaper/magazine-style format and each entry has an image.

Many have tried, and failed, to make a dent into Google’s domination of the search engine market, including Microsoft and Yahoo, so is this challenger any different, or better? And do they have a chance?

The layout of results is certainly different with the three-column newspaper/magazine style and takes a few minutes to get used to, but it’s not bad.

It is relatively fast, although I found that many searches produced rather surprising, and often totally irrelevant, results. Some specific queries I tried, which with Google would give you a list where at least some of the results were perfectly relevant, produced nothing more than page after page of apartments for sale or rent. A couple of ‘next’s’ and it was time to move on.

There is obviously a long way to go and much refining to be done before Cuil is in any shape to even attempt to take on Google. Can’t see it happening, though, not even in the long term.

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