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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.
New search engine takes aim at Google [news.cnet.com]
The most important difference between Cuil and Google is its ranking system. Rather than assigning priority to pages based on inbound links as Google does ("Pagerank"), Cuil analyzes the content of Web pages to divine their relevance to a search query. Costello bristled when I asked if this was a semantic search engine like PowerSet (recently sold to Microsoft). Costello said Cuil's search is "contextual," and that, "we're trying to understand the real world, not the Web."
I'm trying to figure out how images are being associated with the destination URIs. When I enter a company name, I want to see a company brand associated with the domain and not an affiliate logo that was in the banner zone somewhere. What's up with that? Not Cuil!
Nice search interface. Big plus there.
I put a search using some text from a site of mine, and yep, it found the page OK. The small para of text displayed in the result was relevant to the search - but was actually taken from something else, another site, and is nowhere to be found on my page.
Anyone else found this? Is it a feature or a glitch?
Congrats for taking up the fight with the Do-no-evil-hah-thats-just-marketing-folks.
And now, dear webmasters, let's promote this baby and show Google their limits! :-)
Anyone else outside Germany with the same message?
Yes. They are having challenges right now. It has been like this since earlier this morning and my guess is it will be similar throughout the day as more people come online. That's a bummer when you can't keep up with demand. It might have been me trying to get to that one billionth result, I'm not sure. I was still looking for the second "l". ;)
Still early days though, and I could have just been unlucky - it would be nice if this works out to be a viable competitor. I have my doubts, but I'm prepared to eat my words!
Cuil. How do you pronounce that?
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.
Obviously there something in the big world of web business I don't understand.
Phrase Based Multiple Indexing and Keyword Co-Occurrence [webmasterworld.com]
How does that all relate to what Cuil.com is doing now, with the search results that will be presented when they officially launch tomorrow?
Take a look at the papers referenced in that thread (and other academic papers you can find) on Word Sense Disambiguation and keyword co-occurence, and see how Cuil.com is using those concepts with the tabbed topical choices they're offering to their users in their search results.
My personal all time favorite, that I've used in a few posts here over the years (even though we don't generally do specific search terms here at WebmasterWorld) has been the word "bows" because it can mean hair bows, violin bows, bow as in bow down and/or curtsey, or bow and arrow, etc. Try that search at Cuil.com and see what they offer in the tabs - and what they don't.
and then who buys them
When Brett makes a dedicated forum for them, I would like to be the mod.
Unfortunately, the technology behind their search is a completely different issue from the site design and interface, and they've got a way to go with usability issues and branding.
However the results are less relevant than google or yahoo.
[edited by: whatson at 11:30 am (utc) on July 28, 2008]
aka: Mr. Altavista. I always wonder where Louis ended up at.
There's now a media fuss being raised about this launch, but the marketing factors and the search technology issues are different matters. There are obviously some heavy-weights involved from an IR standpoint, but unfortunately the big spin will probably be the VC possibilities.
Search 1: The top 8 results were all from the same site. #9 was a scraper site. #10 was the best result.
Search 2: No authority sites found anywhere in the top ten. The "Explore by Category" seems to be confused as to what I'm looking for.
Search 3: No results found
Search 4: 4 of top 5 results were the same article just different domain.
Not to impressed yet. But I guess we can give them a few years to catch up and see then. Back to Google I go.
Verdict: One of my websites is over-rated by cuil, another one grossly under-rated, the pictures displayed with the results are 70% misleading, it is very slow (demand problems that will change soon, I guess), I dislike the colour scheme, like the "topic" arrangement table a lot (very useful for my niche! and it seems to work pretty well, too).
All in all, the most interesting of the dozens of "next google" search engines that are launched every year. Back to google I go...
That said, aside from the temporary traffic the press releases will provide, wonder what their plans are to generate traffic? Unless this is marketed and marketed well, I don't think this will go anywhere. After all you're asking people to switch from Google to something brand new. Why would they?
I also see problems with the image use within the serps. Inaccurate for one. If they are going to stick with this, they should allow webmaster's to metatag what image is to be used.
And lastly, when I search for a single phrase (a big one in Google and other engines), they don't have any results.
Good luck with the engine, it's great to see people haven't given up in the face of Google. :-)