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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...]

12:38 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The Internet has grown exponentially in the last fifteen years but search engines have not kept up—until now. Cuil searches more pages on the Web than anyone else—three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft.
Yet, my sites aren't indexed... what a paradox.

DITTO

12:45 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have a feeling their "index" size is misleading... Just a hunch... but I wonder how a site that goes down the day of its launch with limited traffic from a few news sites is able to somehow crawl and index more than Google?
12:54 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I see that clicking beyond the first page of results (for a common phrase spelled correctly) leads to this error:

"We didn’t find any results for “example”
Some reasons might be...

A typo. Please check your spelling.
your search includes a term that is very rare. Try to find a more common substitute...

[edited by: crobb305 at 12:57 pm (utc) on July 28, 2008]

12:54 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Man, I wish I would get this much free press when I launch a site.

There are definately bugs this morning. For a major keyword ... no results.

For one of my sites, and unknown graphic beside the result.

I would think they are rather busy today with the avalanche of traffic and numerous bugs.

Hope they get it all worked out, we need another major search engine.

1:02 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It's like eBay's Kijiji. All this effort into launching new enterprises and yet people choose domains that are so easily misspelled or mispronounced.

Give's us with good search / find domains a chance to sell to them ;)

Good luck i say... results were pretty accurate for a few UK searches (although those were only broad health / finance / seo type searches....) until I got kicked off as their servers melted!

That will be resolved soon enough though.

1:05 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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agreed with most here, great to see some competition, however the results are a bit iffy, half my well ranked sites in google have no mentions whatsoever, and others are coming up with deep pages instead of the home page for a generic search.

still, early days, good luck cuil

1:12 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My site is listed and the results varied... generally speaking, the results are very poor across my sector/niche.

I wish them luck however. The world needs more search competition for sure. Google is a superb search engine but they have the power to break people, even if they don't mean to.

1:25 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I dislike the dark homepage of cuil...the white background of Google is so much more inviting. It's like entering a small cave and doing searches at night, hidden from the world.

Not to mention Google can offer multiple applications off their homepage, including the fancy iGoogle. Cuil can only offer an average search that won't even load for me right now.

Good luck cuil...I...I don't even know how to pronounce your name. :(

1:25 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This is a great misuse of momentum...

Case 1: some years ago i would search using Altavista, one day I stumbled upon a new search engine called Google. The results were imediate, they were better, therefore i started using Google.

Case 2: today I use Google, then I stumbled upon a new search engine called Cuil. The results were imediate, they were worse, therefore i will never use Cuil again.

1:30 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The pronunciation is "cool" according to one article out there; but as much as I admire and appreciate the effort at technological innovation, the black background is WAY too 1998 - and that, combined with text without enough contrast, presents some major usability issues.
1:31 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Their performance problems seem to be still going on. Well, well, goes to show that even ex-Googlers (i.e. rich and bright guys) are not protected from failures.

How sad. They got the promotion. They got the traffic. They failed.

1:32 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Results seem more like MSN than Google right now. My main site has only one page indexed and doesn't rank for my company name, my blog doesn't rank at all. Yet searching on 'widgets' brings up one of my sites in a very enviable position - except that site is the one where I do all my garbage experimentation - google (correctly) pretty much ignores that site.
1:35 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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On a test search my site came up #2 and #3. #2 had my logo, #3 had someone else's logo (which still linked to my site). Number 1 was only loosely connected to the search query.

On a more specific search, my site came up at #1 but the photo that came up with the result was from some other source, yet it linked to my site.

Are these images results some kind of image search result that is somehow independent of the text search result?

1:36 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hey, it's not over 'til the fat lady sings, as they say.

In spite of the big hullabaloo, I think maybe we need to look at this as not even the "beta" version, but as the yet untested "alpha" version, and maybe - just possibly - give productive input on assessment and improvement of relevancy factors.

The IR foundation is sound, it's probably the practical implementation that needs empirical statistical input to maximize the potential of their technology.

1:42 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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On their news press page they tell us how to pronouce it.

Cuil (pronounced COOL)

1:44 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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.

The results display really needs to be rethough. Going from the more than a decade long standard 1 column to 3 columns with no numbers indicating relevance ranking is putting too much processing on the user. If you are going to go against the conventions that people are used to, you'd better be doing a better job, and I don't think they are. It seems like change just to be different rather than to convey information in a more efficient and effective manner.

1:46 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Top story on cnn.com but they didn't even put a link to cuil in the article, nor do they tell how to get to it. Aside from us, a lot of people reading the article won't even know. Not off to a good start if trying to make it a household name. Certainly not an easy-to-remember/spell word.

[edited by: crobb305 at 1:55 pm (utc) on July 28, 2008]

1:48 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Mmmmn yes the results are rubbish for my sites. One site I have has a unique word for its brand, not used by anything else, and the results are shocking. Irrelevent subpages instead of the homepage, and only two (from the same domain), and not good rankings.

Other results are directory entries or scraper sites.

And the pictures are all wrong. How are they collecting them?!

1:48 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I thought that Google would have wrapped these people with a longer non-compete clause in their employment requirements. Guess they figured no one was going to leave and be able to start their own search engine.
1:53 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The should have been better prepared for the launch, that's for sure...
However, look at it from this angle...

'Google it'
'Cool it'

... it might just work.

1:53 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Nah, don't like it much. Makes search results look like a female oriented magazine.
1:54 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I can't get it to work - it's hung up. I guess they didn't plan for the initial rush of traffic.
1:58 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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'Google it'
'Cool it'

... it might just work.

Except when I try to cool it, I go to cool.com, which sadly is not a search engine. Frustrated, I go to google.com and never consider to 'cool it' again.

Having a domain that's spelled differently is ok if what you offer is so amazing that people stop for a minute to study your name and make sure they can type it into a browser. Cuil fails in that depatment.

1:58 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Good luck to them. It's not 1999, however. The marketplace is more set. People's habits are hard to change.

My typical test of US locations (City, State & City, state postal code) came up with unimpressive results. Lots of spam on middle market cities, where most of the population lives. They launched too early in my opinion.

2:01 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Give them a chance - it is Work in Progress and they've only been online less than 24 hours.

Everyone thought Google was a pretty stupid name too, once.

Nice start - let's see what happens.

2:04 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Interesting - I neve rthought Cuill would actually launch - seemed to be something "experimental" for so long and those twiceler bots were so ruthlessly hammering my site that I ended up banning them. Time to remove the ban I guess and see what happens.
2:06 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Match counts do not seem to support the assertion that they have full-text indexed 120 bln indexed pages.

It is possible to detect duplicate content and then apply this pattern to yet uncrawled urls , this way you can "search" those duplicate "pages" without even crawling them.

But more competition is always good - so long as claims (like 120 bln pages) are backed by reality as otherwise it may have the opposite effect - negatively affect startups who won't be able to raise money since Cuil is so damn good.

2:07 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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give them a chance

Definitely, The feedback they'll be getting over the next few weeks will be invaluable to them in improving what's there already.

2:08 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Looks like "kweel" to me, or maybe "choyl" ...

Old Irish word for knowledge, eh? (says about us page, which first gave me error [had I typed in link correctly?])

Yes, dodgy results, not inspiring return visits.
Layout makes it look tough to get load of results (100 on page - not an option in preferences) and scan down thro them.

Tried one place I've done site on, and didn't find my site, but various photos of mine scattered around other sites (one used as logo on a site; others just on homepages)

For a bigger place, the list of "cities in ..." was woeful; hard to know how it was arrived at.

Will a Kuleguy appear here, seek ideas, n lead to rapid changes? Doubt it; the bluster suggests the ancient Irish knowledge folks were happy with Cuil thus far.

2:08 pm on July 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There are slow, and are missing most of my site.
This 491 message thread spans 17 pages: 491