“How Cuil Are You?”

July 28, 2008

A start-up led by former star Google engineers unveiled a new Web search service called Cuil Inc (pronounced “cool”) this weekend.

The new “cooler” David has stepped into the circle of death to face-off against the giant “Googliath.” And, there are few key differences that make battling the giant a little easier:

The company claims the new search engine can index, faster and more cheaply, a far larger portion of the Web than Google.

  • Its service goes beyond prevailing search techniques that focus on Web links and audience traffic patterns and instead analyzes the context of each page and the concepts behind each user search request.
  • Cuil clusters the results of each Web search performed on the service into groups of related Web pages. It sorts these by categories and offers various organizing features to help identify topics and allow the user to quickly refine searches.
  • Because the service focuses on the content of the pages rather than click history, the company has no need to store users’ personal information or their search histories.

Danny Sullivan, a Web search analyst and editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land, said Cuil can try to exploit complaints consumers may have with Google — namely, that it tries to do too much, that its results favor already popular sites, and that it leans heavily on certain authoritative sites such as Wikipedia.

What does this mean for the future of web optimization? Will the increasingly popular strategy take a back seat to this seemingly more organic and informative approach to searching the internet?

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2 Responses to ““How Cuil Are You?””

  1. Mike Says:

    Apparently, I’m not very cool at all, I “cuiled” my name and got no results.

    Looks like the site has a few glitches yet to work out as I also got no result for the search “Phoenix Suns” and I know for a fact they are very cool, so it should of returned something.

    But I think they are taking an interesting approach and definitely a clever site name into battle against the giant. I hope they can pull it off, its about time we have a new king of the search engines.

  2. David Landis Says:

    To all:

    As I recall, one of the more prominent Silicon Valley blogs took Cuil to task, claiming that their PR folks misled the media and the public – and that in fact Cuil does not do what it claims to do. More research is, in fact, a good idea. Cheers, David

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