|Massive Cuil Search Engine Launched|
"World's Largest Search Engine" is the claim
|SAN FRANCISCO — In her two years at Google, Anna Patterson helped design and build some of the pillars of the company’s search engine, including its large index of Web pages and some of the formulas it uses for ranking search results. |
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The makers of the Cuil search engine say it should provide better results and show them in a more attractive manner.
Now, along with her husband, Tom Costello, and a few other Google alumni, she is trying to upstage her former employer.
On Monday, their company, Cuil, is unveiling a search engine that they promise will be more comprehensive than Google’s and that they hope will give its users more relevant results.
|...and even a Time article on how Cuil poses no threat to G. |
No! You (they) don't say! ;)
Like I mentioned before, this is just like all the other hyped Google killers and iPhone killers.
The service or product that will unseat these two from their perches will not come around with a bullhorn. It will have to happen quietly, and take (most) everyone by surprise.
|I am seeing quite a bit of negative press |
I'm seeing the same. If they crash & burn -- and it admittedly doesn't look good right now -- then they have no one to blame but themselves. If they had to PAY for the publicity they generated, the $33 mil would have been used up in one day. Every company wants to "hit the ground running"; no one wants to hit the ground and run into a tarpit.
Don't try to search anything that has a single quote in it
My Widget's guide
My Widgets guide
1000s of results
Obviously still lots of bugs to work out. Maybe they should have considered bringing a couple Google testers over as well.
[edited by: Demaestro at 6:03 pm (utc) on July 29, 2008]
How about you just throw some AdSense on there. Add a Submit URI function. Oh, and be sure to add a bunch of "What's This" icons over each result. That should get visitors to click.
Give it another day or so and it will be business as usual.
This topic "was" viral. Its slowly slipping down the Front Page and as soon as it hits Page 2 on WebmasterWorld, that will be the end of Cuil. :)
My apologies Cuil. I sent a few clients out to your search engine and they came back as raving lunatics! I told them to just stay away and don't bother me with it.
I'd put a robots.txt entry for the Twiceler Bot but it doesn't obey it anyway so what's the use?
Poor investors ... "cuil" will very soon be "cruel" for their bank accounts.
Screw them - feel sorry for the webmasters whose images are promoting their competition.
And for Jonathan Grattage (if you don't know who he is then check The Register).
Hmmm. So the media have been told this site is the next Google. Oops!
Seems to be all hype.
The results in my diverse sectors are pretty bad, almost random. The layout is totally counter-intuitive, lists exist for a reason!
I'll have another look in a few months
Ouch! I kinda feel bad for those guys. I've had quite a few launches myself, none that high-profile, but large enough to get fired over if they crashed.
I agree, the results page is horrible. I'm not a fan of this column layout for search results. A vertical list makes more sense.
--- It will have to happen quietly, and take (most) everyone by surprise. ---
Forget about time it takes to load for a moment.
I don't know about the number of pages they have indexed, but in order for any new engine to get quality data they will have to index quality sites first. Once any site becomes popular in a specific niche, webmasters start paying more attention to what/who has access to their content. And from what I was able to find (http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum11/2919.htm from 2005) Twiceler was on our !@#$ list for quiet a long time.
I am pretty sure there are only about 20 to 25 sites in our niche that get re-ranked on G, Y and M depending on the keywords selected. The rest are just fly-by sites, MFAs and directories that contain links to our sites. That is what I see on QUIL at this point.
I've spoken with several site owners in our niche and almost of all them block ranges DA Twiceler came from for a long-long time. The same will happen to the new start ups that will try to get that data. So in reality we all scream we need new engine but at the same time we can’t cook a really good soup without a really good ingredients(data).
Just my 27 cents to blend the negative comments.
|That is what I see on QUIL at this point. |
Hehehe, branding at its best. And that Q is not even close to the C. :)
--- not even close to the C. --
were we blocking someone else by default again? :)
Search phrase: password protect
It says there are 1,747,379 results.
You can get to page 23, and ... no more results. 23*10 = 230
I'm on the front page for a pretty good term. They've sent me some referrals from it to, though less than a dozen (I'd likely get thousands a day from that ranking on Google).
I still think they should have launched with advertising enabled. Everyone advertising from the press from their launch, they probably could have gotten back their 33million launch during their first week or two - even if it does fail after that.
I'm surprised to see that the garbage that Twiceler picked up from my site's spam trap script has now appeared in their search results! I'd say their quality control has some way to go..
I work for a college and in OUR listing they show the image of another college.
The name alone ensures they will fail. But the results are annoying to look at to me, why are there random images from other sites next to my site's description? These images aren't even on my site anywhere.
And the font is annoying. Oh and I hate when the search form won't save the input (auto-complete on forms). Yahoo does that too, really annoying.
I am not so sure that the name will doom them, it is only four letters and a large portion of searching is done from search bars and home pages. If name mattered wouldn't search.com be king?
Having said this, what will doom them is the cruddy results and the image from my site and others being used next to other peoples web sites. I should mention by image I mean my COPYRIGHTED photograph. Meanwhile, when you find my site on page two, bottom left(#1 on G) the image next to my listing is a banner ad I removed from my server in May....
Shoddy piece of workmanship, from the name onwards.
Maybe it was launched at this time, w fanfare, due to pressure from investors - wondering what would happen after all the hoopla, the pompous powerpoint performances (doubtless identifying google's weak points - black text on a white background; I mean, who does that these days?!)
Tho investors batty too; should have had a look, had their kids n friends take a peek.
I only hazily recall search in the days BG - but as I recall, excite n co did a reasonable job; but google outperformed them from the first time I visited.
Google started with an idea (links as votes; obvious in hindsight).
Cuil started with just bombast n hot air?
Still no Cuilguy, or should that be Cuilgai or somesuch.
Bet if you could find anyone who admits to working at cuil, and can talk, you'd find things there not too happy - surely doubts re name, and surely various people keenly aware re massive quality issues.
Just like any beta engine the results need tweaking. But isn't this case with all engines, even the ones we use daily?
The image part is a nice touch, but they should axe it for now if it is not correct. Perhaps a good way to do that is to offer "Cuil Webmaster Tools" which then allow the owner to verify their site and upload an approved image.
Advertising would be a good idea for them.
Who's to say this can't take over at least spot 2?
|Advertising would be a good idea for them. |
At their current pace, their advertising is "self sufficient". They can live off the negative press alone. What a total failure. And, I mean that from the heart, I really do. You don't come into the market place bragging and on top of that using false advertising...
|Welcome to Cuil - the world's biggest search engine. The Internet has grown. We think it's time search did too. |
The world's biggest search engine? Who exactly told you that? Two people in marketing looking for a slogan that was catchy? Bad move!
The Internet has grown. It sure has. And the life expectancy of a search engine like Cuil is about that of a fly. You've been lucky, the right someone hasn't swatted you yet.
We think its time search did too. And where did that one come from? Was that an executive reply to the Marketing Director's "The world's biggest search engine?" What a failure on many levels.
I'd really like to see someone come into this market place and balance things out. It wasn't you. In fact, I'd be more apt to use Dogpile or one of the other second and third tier providers. At least they show up in the metrics and provide some quality traffic most of the time.
If I have one more client call me and ask why the pictures don't match the results, I'm going to do "The Cuil Exposé".
Hey, Cuil executives and investors! Have you seen the buzz everywhere? You're an absolute failure from all fronts. How could that have happened? Poor planning? What exactly happened? It makes you not want to be seen in public, huh? Don't worry, we know how you feel. We've all made mistakes.
I still think you'd be better off throwing some AdSense on there and a Submit URI function. You could probably make a bit if you blended your ad units just right. Just put them anywhere around a search result. You know, one of those things with incorrectly associated images attached to it. I'd fire the person who is responsible for that. In fact...
I highly doubt Google would approve of a Cuil Adsense account, haha.
|Cuil is the biggest search engine on the planet. In our quest to let users search as much of the Internet as possible, Cuil has indexed more than 120 billion pages so far. |
Hmmm, did I really need to see all that mumbo jumbo at the top of the page? 120 billion pages? Didn't Google just announce 1 trillion pages? Where the hell have ya been dude? That ain't cuil.
Okay, so how do I go about removing quite a few sites from your indices? I've already got me savvy clients asking where the URI Removal Tool is, I couldn't find it.
Also, I don't want to have to submit an email to you for removal. I have a long list of properties that need to be removed from your indices as soon as possible. Please do keep us posted on your progress in this area. I have one client who is about ready to go off the deep end. If you saw the image you are associating with the search result, woo-hoo.
AND NO, I don't want to have to create an account, provide business details, login and then make edits. I didn't give that information to you to begin with. Your bot disobeyed robots.txt during its initial crawling of the Internet. The name Twiceler became a household name in the Bot Blocking Communities. And now "I" know why. It was nothing but a scraper. In fact, I've seen scrapers take content and do a lot better than cuil is right now. I'm serious...
P.S. Okay, I'm done feeding your negative press campaign. We'll see ya on the next release.
P.S.S. What's the saying? "That's like bringing a knife to a gunfight" or something like that? You brought a pocket laser to Star Wars. What were you thinking?
boo.com comes to mind
|It should be easily determined which sites are the most relevant. |
Too many popular search terms are dominated by outdated and irrelevant trash at Google, MSN live and Yahoo.
For my keywords, I see that the results show 3-4 sites and those sites are repeating itself in atleast the first 3 result pages and those too with wrong images.
|But the results are annoying to look at to me, why are there random images from other sites next to my site's description? These images aren't even on my site anywhere. |
That has already been mentioned several times. What you are seeing is bad enough but it's much worse when your website is not listed and your copyrighted images are used to illustrate someone elses site.
How can any serious business make such a stupid error? With management like that I think they'll be gone by the weekend.
I don't think Cuil is as bad as some make out, but they've clearly shot themselves squarely in the foot with the worst error-checking I've ever seen on a newly-launched site. Returning "we didn't find any results..." instead of "our server is overloaded" has likely put many searchers off permanently.
Similarly, some off-topic results and broken images for high-profile test searches won't have won them any friends. Overall, the results are not that bad though. Not good enough, but not terrible.
Incidentally, the size claim might not be all that clever, but Google's (well-timed) announcement about "a trillion URLs" [webmasterworld.com] should not be misconstrued as a trillion URLs indexed. While that's the impression they likely wanted to give, it isn't the case. Cuil may well have a bigger index, for what it's worth.
[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 8:39 am (utc) on July 30, 2008]
"The layout is totally counter-intuitive, lists exist for a reason!"
This is the eternal issue we have over educating users to adopt something different and which actually in HCI testing works better than existing formats. The list of results is a rather prehistoric approach to displaying results and something else is needed as technology in SE's starts using more and more A.I and so forth, meaning that ranking as we know it can't really work that way anymore as they become more intuitive, asking the user for feedback and making those results more flexible, giving more space for accurate results to suface for you.
It's fair enough if you prefer the lists but there are a lot of different ways that results can be displayed and it's worth keeping an open mind. I mean if cuil worked better than Google, I would bet that the layout wouldn't matter so much anymore.
The columnar listing may not be as daft as we think. They could be trying to create more than one "top" position.
Regarding the display of wrong images, here's what they think they are doing ...
|We know from our research that people can make better and quicker decisions about relevance and quality when they can see an image from the website. We do our best to take images from Web pages that accurately reflect the content of the website. Many websites are full of images, so we use advanced algorithms to determine the best image to show the user. |
Apparently they have been accidentally inserting adult images into search results
[edited by: engine at 10:11 am (utc) on July 30, 2008]
[edit reason] link to adult images removed [/edit]
Quick recap of 10 pages so far:
1. The results suck
2. The domain name sucks
3. The image thing sucks (and is a lawsuit waiting to happen)
For me, I'm struck by the reaction to the layout. Some strong opinions against and yet others in favour. I really think they are on to something. Leaving aside the issue of the quality of the result, the way that users experience this tool is very different to the Google experience. It reminds me of the way men and women go shopping:
Man knows what he wants before entering store; looks through aisles; if not in first aisle, try second; not in second, try third, etc. Keep moving. Do not ask for help or directions. Get product, get through till, get the hell out.
A woman might even stand still in a store. She knows vaguely what she wants, but not exactly. (eg. Something to wear at the weekend, but will it be a dress, a trouser suit, blouse/skirt, jeans/t-shirt?). A woman takes suggestions from the merchandising layout, the mannequin examples, she browses the rails, she might even ask the shop assistant for help. It's still goal-orientated, but not as a man might understand it.
Searching on Google, you try the first phrase. If results don't fit, add another keyword. Still don't fit, add another word or change one. Remember, Google has said that over 50% of all searches are completely unique. One interpretation of this is that users try several increasingly specific phrases before finding the results they want.
Cuil begins with the premise that the first phrase a user enters will not be the one that returns their desired result. The drop-down menu immediately suggests alternative, more refined phrases. The results are not ordered hierachically, they allow the user to browse more freely; the Explore By Category feature offers still further suggestions. Its a winnowing process that is very different to the get-in-get-out Google experience. Looking at Google's 'searches related to ...' feature at the foot of the SERPs, compared to the Cuil experience, it almost seems like an afterthought.
Two other thoughts about the Cuil results layout - it messes up all those SEO reports that require a hirarchical list; and it works well on modern higher resolution screens (more results above the fold).
If only Cuil could get the results right, the difference could well provide a viable alternative.