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Cuil – A Google competitor?

Posted by Rahul Narula on July 28, 2008

wow, I had to gather a lot of courage before choosing the subject of the post. But Cuil, a new search engine, created by a startup founded by ex-Google engineers, promises to do that. Cuil (still trying to figure out the logic behind naming it “Cuil”), claims to deliver better results than other major search engines by searching across more Web pages and studying them more accurately. To put it in perspective their About Us page quotes “Cuil searches more pages on the Web than anyone else—three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft.” It is also one of the very few new web 2.0 applications that came straight out without a Beta release.

Cuil Search

Cuil Search

The various features that I noticed about it are

Look & feel : The site’s results page, which resembles an online magazine, is a lot different that what Google offers and to me the idea seems pretty cool and fresh.

Search Results: I tried a few very basic searches and saw the results varied quite a bit once inside 3, 4 page deep in the search results. Another thing I noticed was the results yielded a lot of results which were not linked correctly. The search results also the comments posted by me in various blog and forums which I never found in Google results.

Tabbed Results: Another nice feature is tabbed results where in search results are grouped in various tabs and results are filtered accordingly. e.g searching for India gave me 3 extra tabs for “Times of India”, “India News” and “Air India”. I have no idea as to how only these tabs appeared. Dont really think TOI or Air India might have paid them for that.

Search Category: This one is another very neat grouping and is soemthing similar to related searches offered by other popular search engines. again taking India as my search query the categories offered to me where “States And Territories Of India”, “Indian Hill Stations”, “Prime Ministers Of India” among others. I also noticed that the search categories changed when I search for the exact same search string “India” again.

Search Results

Search Results

Navigation suggestion: When you type a query, sometimes you’ll see a search suggestion with an icon representing a website. Click on this link and you will go directly to that website. It lets you look before you leap, a direct rival to Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky feature.

All in all I feel Cuil is a promising tool but IMO it still has a lot to do before it can be termed anywhere close to Google.

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