Cuil search engine fails to find itself

Cuil search (pronounced “Cool” if rumors are right) is out today, boasting the largest search index on the web with 120,000,000,000 pages indexed.  Unfortunately Cuil seems to struggle with the following search, which you’d think they’d…ummm….get right:

Searching   Cuil Search Engine leads to this incomprehensible listing: – Sligo

The Ordnance Survey letters of 1836 state that “cart loads of shells were found underground in many places within the town where houses now stand”. At that time shells were constantly being dug up during the construction of foundations for buildings. This whole area, from the river estuary at Sligo, around the coast to the river at Ballysadare Bay, was…

Google, I think you can relax.

7 thoughts on “Cuil search engine fails to find itself

  1. That’s funny. When I entered cuil search engine, it was the first one to come up on the google list. And I loved the layout when I entered a search that I tried to do yesterday with google. I wouldn’t count them out yet.

    But I’m only a non techie!

  2. I did several searches using three words that returned zero results even though there are webpages where all three words are present. In one case, all the words were in the headline of the page. Not so good, I think.

  3. I am also among the unimpressed. I maintain and monitor an open-source project called JBurg; Google’s results have become slowly less relevant over the years. Cuil results looked like they might have had fairly good relevance… except that 9 of 10 results are useless to me b/c JBurg is in and in a Wikipedia article, and those entries get replicated all over the Intarweb as SEO spider bait. Nothing like Google’s -foo boolean filters, even. Meh.

    And I did just look at a Google “related pages” link for the first time in a while and got impressive results.

  4. Cuil is a very good example of why Google should feel threatened. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. One huge advantage for Cuil is the hardware required to accomplish their indexing is much less than Google.

    At some point your hardware requirements make change very difficult – there is a very real like wall that you hit when you need to make changes.

    I wonder what would happen is Yahoo! or Microsoft were able to successfully cut a deal with Cuil.

  5. Glenn a very good point that a game changer may wind up being a search that is about as good as Google but uses hardware/power/resources more effectively. But I’m not betting on Cuil to deliver on that promise. In fact I’m growing increasingly suspicious that the game in search engines is not so much to create good ones, rather it is to hype yourself and then scare or entice the big players into buying you out. Powerset appeared to do that with the aquistion by Microsoft despite a very lackluster search routine that never even made it to prime time.

    Based on my first look Cuil does not show much promise as a search engine, but I think their goal is to get bought out quickly at a huge premium – probably by Microsoft as a legal way for MS to get at some Googley search algorithmics.

  6. Pingback: Another Reason to Prefer Google… | Jeff's Idiosyncratic Musings

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