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Massive Cuil Search Engine Launched

"World's Largest Search Engine" is the claim

     
4:43 am on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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.

[nytimes.com...]

5:37 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Do you think they will then?

My crystal ball is no better than yours.

But if they do, I will allow them to crawl and send me traffic. The real acid test is not us, but users. Who cares what we think. Certainly not an SE. Cuil are currently laughing at our comments. They believe they have what it takes and I wish them the best of luck.

5:48 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



But if they do, I will allow them to crawl and send me traffic.

I don't think we have much choice in the matter. ;)

The real acid test is not us, but users.

You know, I tend to think otherwise in this particular instance. I believe our group are some of the louder voices in the mix. The media "lives off" WebmasterWorld. A Front Page topic here could probably make or break someone or something. Or, at least start the ball rolling.

Who cares what we think.

I sure hope they don't take that stance. That would only exasperate the issue.

Cuil are currently laughing at our comments.

So are we. They are the "laughing stock" of the industry right now.

They believe they have what it takes and I wish them the best of luck.

They believed...

I wish them the best of luck too.

I still think you should put some Google AdSense on there and a Submit URI function and just be done with it. ;)

5:54 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Cuil are currently laughing at our comments.

I don’t think there’s a single sole at Cruil laughing; this thing could not have gone any worse; there is financial pressure on these people along with a healthy dose of pride being bloodied.

The crazy thing is IMHO, is that 2nd place in the pure search market is obtainable, and that could be very lucrative both from a pure revenue stream or through being acquired. I don’t think Google can be caught in the foreseeable future, but with something really good, fresh and different you don’t have to grab that much from each of the three to get up there; grab enough from yahoo to bring them down and even an 18% share, might do it. That occurrence alone would be a huge shift in the sand lot we all play in.

6:06 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if alot of this negativity would abate if the SEOs were seeing better results for their sites? ;-)
6:31 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Lack of site: command annoyed me.
7:04 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



wonder if alot of this negativity would abate if the SEOs were seeing better results for their sites?

Hey! I was going to leave this alone and then the above. I'll bite...

Oh, I'm not totally unhappy with the results in that area, not at all. What I am unhappy with is seeing the picture of the President associated with a particular site due to a President's Day sale or something. I'm unhappy with a search for someone's name only to find a girl "barely" clad in a bikini. I'm unhappy because I sent out links to all my clients with lots of fanfare the night it was launched and I've been dealing with the fallout ever since. Ya, we have top positions but the freakin' images don't compute! That one failure alone is what will crush being Cuil. That is so un-Cuil.

Okay, I'm going to back to what I was doing. Please, no more hooks like that. I will come and bite them along with line and sinker too! :)

7:32 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Cuil are currently laughing at our comments.

If they do, they have understood nothing. Nothing at all.

Given the attention they received they had a realistic chance to make a difference. They blew it. As pageoneresults points out, THEY are the laughing stock in the industry right now.

8:06 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I believe our group are some of the louder voices in the mix.

Nope - we are not the addressable market.

2nd place in the pure search market is obtainable

Agreed. Unlikely to happen overnight though.

Lack of site: command annoyed me.

:)

9:09 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



So Cuil is this month's "Google Killer".

Well I'd like to hire whoever does their PR, that's for damn sure.

As for the engine itself, I don't care for the results. So far, neither does anyone I work with (non-techie non-SEOs). Everyone who has brought it up to me so far has said the same thing: "The results aren't relevant".

9:14 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



the good thing about their layout is they've taken the onus off of being number one in the results. where do you reckon number one is? in the middle of the top row?

if they give you the facility to pick your own image then you could get people's eyes to your listing first even by being in position five or six.
the image is going to outweigh the title tag everytime.

9:42 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



the good thing about their layout is they've taken the onus off of being number one in the results. where do you reckon number one is? in the middle of the top row?

That's a good observation, they surely have. But, it depends on how you "look" at it, pun intended of course. All those eye tracking studies might provide a hint but I'd be more apt to say it is user and device specific.

If they give you the facility to pick your own image then you could get people's eyes to your listing first even by being in position five or six. The image is going to outweigh the title tag everytime.

Heh, don't go there! I'll agree though, having the correct image associated with the listing would be the way to go. Why didn't they just show a screenshot of the website's home page like most others do? That is instant recognition for many. The Russian Roulette with the images is pain-staking to say the least. It makes you wonder how much potential litigation is there. < Oh wait, that's the second part of this campaign! Damn! I didn't even think about that, wave two is the legal wrangling at which time press coverage will increase exponentially. Smart thinking, I'm starting to doubt my original perception that someone wasn't on the ball over there. ;)

10:11 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Cuil are currently laughing at our comments.

This could explain it then.

(Sound of maniacal laughter fades away and disappears) ;)

12:02 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If they give you the facility to pick your own image then you could get people's eyes to your listing first even by being in position five or six. The image is going to outweigh the title tag everytime.

And all they need is to offer to read a new meta tag ...

... and even Google would follow in seconds.

[edited by: Quadrille at 12:03 am (utc) on July 31, 2008]

12:25 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



If they give you the facility to pick your own image then you could get people's eyes to your listing first even by being in position five or six. The image is going to outweigh the title tag everytime

Oh yeah, wait for the small sites to have fun with that and throw up adult images.

The only way Cuil can fix this mess is to do what George did in Seinfeld; do the opposite of everything he normally would do.

12:28 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Good thought ... but as I recall, that gave George some early successes and ultimate disaster.

I suspect 'quill' are looking for ultimate success to follow early disasters :)

1:21 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>>I still think you should put some Google AdSense on there...

That's funny; the first time I saw the interface the first 'word' to pop into my head was "AdSense". Especially, when I saw that it was broken. Top of Drudge, FOX news, can't get beyond the first SERP--AdSenseNow!

>>Submit URI function
I would have gone with "Submit your site for a dollar" right above the page 2 pagination. Missed opportunities 3D...

1:31 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Has anyone noticed the "organize by topic" that comes up on selected searches?

I did a search for a popular online industry and it gave me topics based on international film (which could not possibly be more unrelated to my search). Note that the search phrase left no room for grey area. The thing I can't for the life of my figure out is how they managed to get it that wrong, much like the "logo" images.

Then I clicked over for another look at their hype and, though this has probably been mentioned, I can't resist:

Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance.

You mean like every other major search engine?

When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency.

You mean like every other major search engine?

Except that unlike Cuil the other search engines don't outright lie by implying that they do this in real time: we "stay" on the page. This is of course impossible with current hardware and bandwidth considerations. Instead predigested data from previous crawls is analyzed.

They go on to talk about how "popularity" is no longer the best way to go. Well duh, that's why the other search engines started moving away from it long ago... a year? two years?

This kind of propaganda is going to make sense to the average user but for those of us that have some understanding of modern search it's shamelessly claiming old ideas as innovative.

Cuil is an old Irish word for knowledge. For knowledge, ask Cuil.

For knowledge, ask knowledge. A slogan for the ages :-)

Speaking of which, I came across an interesting article:

I am unaware myself of the meaning 'knowledge' being with the word 'cuil' in Irish," said Stiofán Ó Deoráin, an official on Foras na Gaeilge's terminology committee (the group that is essentially the official keeper of the Irish language)

Members of an online Irish language forum have been discussing the word and the company's claims of its definition. They say the word is most often translated to mean "corner" or "nook," but has sometimes been used for "hazel," as in the nut.

An online Irish language dictionary defines cúil as "rear." Another uses cuil to describe various kinds of flies.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/149167/2008/07/.html?tk=rss_news [pcworld.com]

Also, chuckle, from the above article:

Maybe Cuil's founders tried to find an Irish dictionary using their site and couldn't. Searching on Cuil.com for "Irish English dictionary" fails to turn up a link to such a dictionary in at least the first six pages of results.
1:39 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



An online Irish language dictionary defines cúil as "rear."

Looking up the word 'rear' in an English language thesaurus we find that rear can also mean...

1:51 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



^ Ouch! Another marketing whatchamacallit?

Do a search for your name. Be sure to "exact phrase" it. What kind of images come up and who is who?

By the way, just love your cuil pic Ian. :)

The Wiki has totally distorted cuil results for my name. :(

Arrrggghhh! Scroll down for my name and look at that mugshot! Someone is messing with me now. That's not cuil!

2:50 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



What an enormous waste of money... people can't seem to understand the fact that they can NOT cash in on billions by trying to be the next great search engine. It's obvious to me that cuil looks like a VC funded search engine, and not a "provide more value to the user" focused search engine. Yes, I know about altavista, excite and the collapse of lycos, AND yes, more competition is always healthy in this almost monopolistic market... but only if it comes from the right mindset of focusing on the user as opposed to focusing on monetization or potential wall-street wealth.

Also, right now Google is considered a verb in the english language (check Merriam Webster)... and that is very likely to never go away. And, they have an almost 10 year headstart in testing, tweaking and improving search with the brightest minds in the world obssessively focused on user experience.

3:14 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



There's an interesting story on The Register about strawberries and muffins, and where that $33 million went...
6:53 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Interesting , we had 136 referrals from Cuil yesterday.

What fascinates me about the internet is how quickly word gets around, positive and negative. Just look at the size and speed of this thread and the reactions.

8:43 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



--I am unaware myself of the meaning 'knowledge' being with the word 'cuil' in Irish," said Stiofán Ó Deoráin, an official on Foras na Gaeilge's terminology committee (the group that is essentially the official keeper of the Irish language) --

So they gave their search engine a difficult-to-remember name which means "corner", "hazelnut" or "rear"?

Pure genius.

9:32 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I have found yet another approach to determine the "quality" of cuil's search results: Comparing the number of pageviews of the visitors cuil has sent to my website compared to those from google.

Hypothesis: The better the search result (ie the more it provides users with what they have searched for), the more pages per visit should be the average.

Looking into my website for the past 3 days reaveals the following:
Cuil: 3.82
Google: 3.54
Yahoo: 3.61
MSN: 2.89
Live: 4.32

The all time winner: ASK with 7.0 pageviews per visitor

Criticism: Cuil attracts (by now) a more technophilic crowd which is probably more intelligent and more willing to read more thoroughly. This could be an alternative explaination.

9:38 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



This image thing is worse than expected. Found a set of my photos (unique, copyright registered) next to relevant search results, unfortunately not promoting my site, but competing sites! These fools!

A DMCA letter goes out this afternoon.

Though I am not quite certain whether Cuil is protected by the DMCA? I was under the impression that a protection by the DMCA was only possible when user content is involved. Here, the search engine itself is stealing the images, hosting them on their servers, and using them to illustrate their search results (not leading to my sites). They are in deep s**t.

(Oh, and go read the muffins piece mentioned above. Eye opening.)

1:18 pm on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yeah, they're using my original images to promote three or four of my competitor sites as well.

we use advanced algorithms to determine the best image to show the user.

Oh really? Here's an "advanced" algorithim for you:

If Image does not come from Site A, do not display it next to Site A listing.

Amateurs.

2:12 pm on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Did anyone notice Cuil has 11 search results to each page, that's 1 louder than Google's standard 10. ;) How can they fail.
2:17 pm on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Cuil is using my logo next to my competitors sites too.

Searching for 'widget foods' my site is not listed but my logo is being shown next to competitor sites. One of the sites is a major one and this surely can't be right?

Another site is a full to the brim of spam blog with a good half a dozen pages showing my site logo next to this.

It looks as if Cuil has chosen about x images for a particular topic and is using those x images to display next to sites.

Should I be flattered that Cuil has used my logo as a sort of authorative symbol? Or should I be worried that potential customers would be associating my logo with not only major sites but that of spammers?

[edited by: Frank_Rizzo at 2:21 pm (utc) on July 31, 2008]

2:25 pm on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Should I be flattered that Cuil has used my logo as a sort of authorative symbol? Or should I be worried that potential customers would be associating my logo with not only major sites but that of spammers?

I'm assuming that was a rhetorical question.

2:38 pm on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



No rhetoric implied. I am wondering what the effect of using my logo (which has the site name in it) will have on potential visitors to my site.

In the case of the logo being shown next to one of the major players would visitors click that link, see that the site has nothing to do with the 'widget foods' site and then make a negative impression of widget foods.

In the case of the logo being shown against half a dozen spam sites would potential visitors associate the 'widget foods' logo with spam?

[edited by: Frank_Rizzo at 2:38 pm (utc) on July 31, 2008]

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