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July 29, 2008

How cool is Cuil?

Posted: 09:54 AM ET

There's a new challenger to Google, the 800-pound gorilla of Internet search engines:, which looks French but was developed by American ex-Google engineers backed by $33 million in venture capital. Pronounced "cool," the site began processing search requests Monday.

Cuil (apparently also a Gaelic word for knowledge) promises to search 121 billion Web pages - three times more than Google, it claims - and to deliver more relevant and helpful results. According to Cuil's site, its technology burrows into the content of each page to place results in better context than search engines that rank quantity of links to Web sites. Unlike Google, Cuil also promises not to collect data about its users' search histories.

Like a lot of curious folks Monday, I did a few random Cuil searches and compared the results to Google. If sheer numbers mean anything, my highly unscientific test revealed that Cuil has some catching up to do. A search for "Beijing Olympics" produced 20 million pages on Google, 1.1 million on Cuil. "Barack Obama" got 58 million Google hits; on Cuil, less than 6.5 million. Google also led its Obama results with recent news headlines about the presidential candidate, while Cuil's first page of Obama hits contained only biographical information from Wikipedia and his official Senate/campaign sites.

In fairness, though, we should probably give Cuil a few days to rev its engine up to full speed. A Cuil search Monday morning for "Siamese cats" pulled up nothing; you had to type in "Siamese cat" to get any results. By Monday afternoon that glitch was fixed, and "Siamese cats" produced 43,000 hits. Cuil also appeared to be overwhelmed by traffic from curious users, because another search Monday afternoon produced a near-blank page with the message, "Due to excessive load, our servers didn't return results."

I like Cuil's reader-friendly format, which arrays results in a magazine-like layout complete with thumbnail images and a few sentences of text instead of Google's bare-bones, pancake stack of links. I don't think "Cuiling" will replace "Googling" in the popular lexicon anytime soon, but it seems like a promising alternative. What do you think?

- Brandon Griggs, Tech Section Producer,

Filed under: Internet

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Chip Welch   July 29th, 2008 10:31 am ET

I prefer the Google display format since you can get more results on a page than using the magazine format. It would be nice if the Cuil search engine would let you choose how to display the results.

Barb Heath   July 29th, 2008 10:38 am ET

Not as good as Google. I search some song lyrics on Google this am. and it found the song instantly. No results with Cuil.

Teresa   July 29th, 2008 10:49 am ET

Cuil still has bugs. They claim, in their FAQ, to pick an image from the website to go with the search results which most seems to fit the search.
I typed in search words designed to pick up my own website, and while it did, down on page 3, the image linked to it was not even from my website!

Dunno what is with that., but it might get them in big trouble with people if you have a kid-friendly site, and some porn star photo is put with it on the sheer basis of coincident image name.

Franko   July 29th, 2008 10:49 am ET

Googling is very good. Advertising, personal profiling, a form of spying ?
Everyone, accurate prediction of personal tastes and predilictions
Even thoughts, you newer had, predicted, weeks ahead.

ken   July 29th, 2008 10:54 am ET

Seems like they have a huge amount of work to do. Hopefully just first day issues with overload and bugs. But, as of yesterday, cuil searching was useless.

Walter   July 29th, 2008 11:04 am ET

The number of results is not as inportant as their relevance. The search results from Cuil were less than usefull.

josef   July 29th, 2008 11:11 am ET

Cuil is like using a search engine from ten years ago. Me thinks they let the media in on it about two years too soon.

Peter   July 29th, 2008 11:15 am ET

I enjoyed seeing the nicely displayed search results with helpful images to preview the various sites. Unfortunately, as an example, some 65,000+ hits were reported for a specific search but ONLY (1) page of results was displayed.

It was also frustrating to not be able to open a found site in a separate window and then have to backup (perhaps multiple steps) in order to retrieve the original search results again.

I've never understood the hype and popularity of the Google search engine and the debut of Cuil looks (at least at first) inferior.

In my book the user-friendly aspects of WebFerret take first prize. I've found so many more useful results via WebFerret than I ever have with the powerhouse Google...

Just my 2¢

Rich   July 29th, 2008 11:15 am ET

As one of the curious, I performed a Cuil search yesterday. I was interested to see the various thumbnail photos, NONE of which had any relation whatsoever to the subject matter. What's up with THAT?

KM   July 29th, 2008 11:24 am ET

I tried cuil but it is not even close to google search yet. Relevant pages also doesnt show up

Justin   July 29th, 2008 11:35 am ET

I thought Cuil was awful. I tried it out several times on Monday and did not get any useful information when compared to the Google results. I work in the technology field and depend on getting relevant results when I search not a pretty user interface – I searched on an error message and got 000 relevant results – same error message on google gave me the answer on the first try. Cuil has a significant amount of work to do before they can even be considered a quality search engine – it's not the size of the index it's how you display the results. And I was always taught that those who try and build themselves up by knocking the competition generally have something to hide

Peter P.   July 29th, 2008 11:35 am ET

One never gets a second chance to make a good first impression. Cuil's first impression was less than favorable.

I am unlikely to ever check it again even if the media does come up with another round of "Cuil is the Google Killer" hype.

George Koprowicz   July 29th, 2008 11:37 am ET

I happened to be one of the fortunate few able to access Cuil yesterday (July 28). While I still have problems with the name, I did try just one search and got immediate (and accurate) results without the use of the "I feel lucky" button. I much prefer the magazine page-like layout results compared to Google list results. As something of a test, I searched Cuil on Google and got 1,330,000 hits and searched Google on Cuil and got 516,386,388 hits. These results are laughable, of course. Of course you're going to get more hits if you "Cuil" Google. So, in a way, the numbers are meaningless. For me, the apparent accuracy will prompt me to search on Cuil again and again. I'll be doing more "accuracy tests" on both Cuil and Google as time permits. Thank You.

sanjayk   July 29th, 2008 11:39 am ET

It had a good UI, but the content was questionable. A blogger actually made a full review of the system and their potential business models.
Here is the link: . They might be able to corner a niche market in the search engine business by indexing blogs and social networks.

chris   July 29th, 2008 11:43 am ET

Just tried it. Google has nothing to fear. The search results on Cuil are weak and irrelevant- and the layout is awful.

Harald Jezek   July 29th, 2008 11:44 am ET

I just checked out Cuil. I like the layout with blocks of information, but that's already it.
1) comparing search results between Google and Cuil, Cuil returns much fewer results on virtually any topic than Google.
2) In many cases, the photos that show with the search result have nothing to do with the web site and/or repeat themselves in completely different search results.
I believe if Cuil ever wants to get even close to the major search engines, they still have to go a very long way.

Harald Jezek

Gary   July 29th, 2008 11:49 am ET

Doesn't work for me searches bring up unrelated sites and sites with little to no information on the topic I search for and the layout is horrible. They need to do some tweaks before they pull me away from Google.

Steven   July 29th, 2008 12:07 pm ET

Like nearly everyone else, I was not too impressed with my Cuil searches. I tried "Titanic" and what I got back wasn't too relevant or useful. I tried later and it was a bit better. I tried "Titanic wiki" and got back zero matches. I'll reserve judgement for a while, but so far...ehhh.

Mike   July 29th, 2008 12:10 pm ET

Why so much media attention on cuil? It’s just one of many search engines out there. Try – now that’s an interesting project.

David Scrimpshire   July 29th, 2008 12:21 pm ET

In looking at the total number of results displayed, DO remember that Cuil promises "more relevant" results, and to me that means fewer. Just playing Devil's Advocate 🙂

Mike   July 29th, 2008 12:22 pm ET

I tried it using my own website. Although it's small, Google finds it and lists it at the top. Yahoo is a bit further down. Cuil doesn't even list it. So, from the looks of it, it needs a lot of work, and a lot more indexing.

Morka   July 29th, 2008 12:23 pm ET

I tried to do search for my name. In google it works fine, it goes to my personal webpage, in cuil it shows some not very revelant websites and images are completely off: it shows an abstract from the conference that I went and the picture is of the shirt (like in the online clothing store)??????

Bryan   July 29th, 2008 12:29 pm ET

I didn't like the magazine style layout. It's just more efficient to work your way down a list from top to bottom instead of having to go across and down. And the results were disappointing compared with Google or Yahoo.

MW   July 29th, 2008 12:29 pm ET

"Cuiled" my own name and got nothing. Google gives me dozens of relevant results right off the bat. Google FTW (because I am a self-absorbed SOB).

smh   July 29th, 2008 12:32 pm ET

I tried to look up some hobby information. Trying a search on Miley Cyrus or Madonna isn't much of a test, but not many of us are looking up small scale rubber power model airplanes.

My Google search turned up 45,000 results. All my old faithful sites were there.

Cuil: 9 results, but only 5 displayed. One link to an interesting site had access forbidden. The other 4 were domain names for sale posing as a real site.

5 minutes later, the same search actually started to show results. OK...some new stuff here. The search engine may need to cache some results before it can show us what they got – I'm giving it a couple weeks....

JJS   July 29th, 2008 12:33 pm ET

I had the same impression as Rich (above) did. The photo that appears with the result appears to be just any photo from the searched site. In searching a name, "Jane Jones", for example, I received many results, but those results showed photos of someone other than Jane Jones – sometimes a woman's photo who definitely was not Jane Jones. So, I am back w/ Google. JJS

Rachael   July 29th, 2008 12:36 pm ET

I agree with Brandon. There is some catching up to do.

While CUILs search capacity may eventually give Google a run for it's money, I believe that if CUIL is going to be a truly worthy opponent they'll have to also rival Google with the extras. I practically use Goggle as a dictionary while doing my job as a Medical Transcriptionist; cursory comparison searches of the word "technecium", (sic) for instance, is accompanied by the trusty "Did you mean" (technetium) feature in Google, and this has proved very helpful when figuring out how to spell a word. I acknowledge, of course, that a search engine is not supposed to be a dictionary. But that feature makes me go to and keep going to Google.

I also enjoy the Google feature that allows me to type, for another instance, "The Dark Knight 94533" and immediately get all the nearby theaters and showtimes–with links to Fandango– right then and there. An indispensable tool!

Google is a search engine first, yes. But the company's attempts to entertain any ADDITIONAL needs or desires of all those millions upon millions upon millions of captive users will keep them WAY ahead of the game unless challenged, in my book. So you serve tasty burgers. Good for you. Now what else you got that's going to keep luring me away from the other joint?

Phil   July 29th, 2008 12:44 pm ET

Very disappointed, I was expecting a "wow" from somone who helped in developing the Google engine. First, a name no one can pronounce (think global). I would rather they name it "Cool". Secondly, no relevancy which is rather important. Who cares about the display format. Google, you can sleep tonight.

Bob   July 29th, 2008 12:45 pm ET

I love competition, it brings the latest and greatest to fruition for all to benefit. But I do think that the one thing the founders didn't learn while working at Google is Google's media savvy. They announced and launched their product well before its time. To expect to compete against a giant like Google you cant come out of the gate with such missteps. The road is hard and long to start with, why get in your own way?! "Patience" is the word of the day for Cuil.

Patrick   July 29th, 2008 12:47 pm ET

I just ran several searches on Cuil that I frequently run on Google. The first page of Cuil results were completely irrelevant in every case. I also couldn't find my own website with Cuil, even when I typed in the URL. They have a lot of work to do.

Matt from NY   July 29th, 2008 1:07 pm ET

I took my last 10 queries from my Google toolbar and entered them into Cuil and guess what happened. Cuil found nothing useful for me.

Also, I clicked their "About" and "Privacy" links on Monday which brought up errors.

Looks like a $33M failure to me. To bad they didn't finish their testing before the article came out.

heresathought   July 29th, 2008 1:31 pm ET

Although I'll concede the fact that Google is MUCH superior to Cuil at this juncture, I disagree with the idea that they came out too early. Me thinks they are using the curios natue of 'US ALL', to work out the kinks and bugs!! As an IT professional, I think that is pretty darn savvy!!!!!!

Zalad   July 29th, 2008 1:34 pm ET

It isn't enough for a search engine to return billions of pages. It must return the CORRECT set of pages. Google used to do this until just before they went public and ad revenue became more important than accuracy. Cuil is all ove the board and, therefore, not very useful. Hopefully they will imporove.

Herman   July 29th, 2008 1:45 pm ET

Disappointing results. Did not find relevant results to anyone one of the 15 queries I entered. Links that are #1 on google and altavista could not be found after searching through 10 pages on cuil. Also, difficult to read because of the layout. First impression – google can sleep soundly tonight.

Ray.   July 29th, 2008 1:46 pm ET

Most of the search results that Cuil provides are irrelevant. Who cares about too many results if they are junk and time wasting. Google you can sleep comfortably.

steve   July 29th, 2008 2:16 pm ET

Over hyped, Over funded, and under executed. If your business plan's goal is to be the next then you will fail; I can't believe they found people that dumb with 30 M dollars.

T. Bower   July 29th, 2008 2:28 pm ET

I've been using Scroggle Scraper for several years because of Goggle's privacy policies. I was exited to hear about Cuil not keeping track of user's searches, and I'm giving it a try. Clearly, Cuil has a way to go, but I sincerely hope they, at some point, can indeed "kill" Goggle.

Josh   July 29th, 2008 2:31 pm ET

Do a cuil search for "battleground states." Most of the first links are for the 2004 election.

JUNK   July 29th, 2008 3:07 pm ET

I love the competition as do others, but I tried the search engine as well, and it produced below average results. I wrote to the feedback address listed, and haven't heard back.


Why it got so much media attention beats me!

Marlboro   July 29th, 2008 3:08 pm ET

Cuil sucked. Ok, granted its still in its infancy – but looking for my business with city and state in the search terms never even linked to my business, but did show my competitors. WOW.

I even tried putting in the URL, and guess what – no results. We're a web design company, and the results that came back from various searches were WAAAAY off in many instances. Just downright sad.

Being limited to only 12 to 15 results at a time per page is a BIG pain in my butt. I want to see as many listings as possible without clicking next. I have google set to show 100 listings per page. The cuil layout is not really conducive to being user friendly when reviewing large amounts of info.

The relevancy is even worse than the interface. A search for web deisgn in my area brings dentists, yellow pages, and apartments up as results. None of which do web design.

I'll stay with Google. Thank you

Jeff   July 29th, 2008 3:11 pm ET

I tried a few searches and was not at all impressed. The relevance of what was returned didn't seem nearly as good as Google. If they are indexing more pages, that just means that they don't have a good ranking algorithm, which is what Google is all about. Also, as others have noted, the thumbnails were completely irrelevant. How cuil is that?

With all that VC money, one would think that SOMEBODY along the way would have realized that you only get one chance to make a first impression. They should have delayed the launch. I am highly unlikely to ever return to the site.

bob   July 29th, 2008 3:21 pm ET

cuil sucks.
I typed in the names of well-known sites or organizations, and obscure ones. Google took me right to them. Cuil didn't even have a single hit on some of them.

Still googlin' till something better comes along.

Dave   July 29th, 2008 3:28 pm ET

Right now it is terrible. I don't like the layout as it simply does not show enough results at one time. It had slow load times which I guess is to be expected off the bat. It also did not turn up results for several items that google has no problems with. I hate google so I hope someone comes up with something to knock it down soon. Firstly these companies need to think of a name that rolls off the tongue, cuil????? What the hell is cuil? I suppose it's better than microsofts "Live" did they ever think people would say "live it" when telling someone to search for something? "Cuil it" sucks too.

Carter   July 29th, 2008 3:34 pm ET

I just did a search for myself and for my son. On Google we both come up many times between work (photography) and play (running). On Cuil there are only a few citations for either of us.

Steven   July 29th, 2008 3:54 pm ET

Google already conquered the simplistic UI that tends to be so popular with everyone. Cuil is obviously trying to do the same. The all black background replaces the all white background as if the Cuil developers are hyping themselves as the anti-Google. People who hype themselves always get immediate attention, but it is doubtful that it will last. The funding won't be so readily available if the searches continue to lack the results and efficiency of Google. Also, I am no fan of the magazine layout. Pages scroll vertically and it is easier in list form to read. Scrolling vertically and reading different site possibilities horizontally is not the strongest UI move.

Ramon   July 29th, 2008 4:19 pm ET

I checked it out. I was annoyed that I couldn't return my search results based on the date of the web page. Some of the search results were over 4 years old.

Mark Orsted   July 29th, 2008 4:36 pm ET

I think that when I type in a search term and it returns ONE result, but in the upper right says it found 93k results, that there is something wrong.

akass   July 29th, 2008 4:38 pm ET

Although they list less resources per key word, it probably doesn't include all pages it indexes in the aggregate number.

Cuil is an unknown quantity and almost impossible to pronounce without guidance. Google is a verb used by everyone on the Internet.

By this time next year, Google will have the same if not more market share. It currently has almost 65%.

GoogleAndroid with $14B or Cuil with $33MM and like 20 folks. The next five years belong to Google.

Sriram   July 29th, 2008 5:10 pm ET

I typed 'Hotels around Niagara Falls, NY' in Cuil and yielded zero results. I have my typing suggestions ON. The same search in Google hit 2,030,000 web pages. I think I will stick with google for now!

Knormb   July 29th, 2008 5:11 pm ET

It found a photo of me that I thought was removed from the Internet in 2001. So, its second day might be better than the first...

Uncle Al   July 29th, 2008 5:31 pm ET

Cuil runs like a Microsoft product – fat, sloppy, inefficient. Flashy pablum for scatterbrains. Survival is an ice pick not a cotton puff.

Bill   July 29th, 2008 5:33 pm ET

Clearly a bad debut for Cuil.

However, I'll give them a chance because of their privacy policy. It actually gives the user privacy. Imagine that?

Katherine   July 29th, 2008 5:40 pm ET

It seems the primary reason this got media attention is that some of the principals once worked at Google. I found the UI clunky; particularly because many of the images on display had nothing to do with the search terms. Frankly, the UI looks a lot like the Google News page, except that Google News is easier to navigate because the categories make sense. And finally, with all due respect to the Gaelic speakers, I find the name "cuil" too "cuite" and without much appeal across a variety of languages. "Google" is just fun to say, no matter what your language. "Cuil" is just odd.

Beach   July 29th, 2008 5:54 pm ET

Cuil suffers from the same bravado of other search sites. It just doesn't work any better than any other search engine exposed to the public. Most search engines are poor with the navigation through untold vast amounts of web "stuff" as George Carlin put it.

Northern Light in Cambridge MA is still the only search engine capable of finding a needle in a haystack. The good news is if you are a corporation you can buy it for use with your information. The bad news is that they were too early in the generic marketplace and went by the boards and were transformed into a software company. The NL search engine technology still, and to this day, is far more accurate for finding that needle.

Andacar   July 29th, 2008 6:04 pm ET

It looks like it has promise. There are a lot of things about it that seem novel. The layout and magazine format are interesting. But I ran a lot of random searches on it and most of the results were uninformative or irrelevant. Cuil strikes me as having a lot of potential but not being quite ready for prime time. For now I'll stick with, my current search engine of choice.

Franko   July 29th, 2008 6:12 pm ET

Cannot afford Yahoo, maybe Microsoft will buy it up.
But what people prefer Black ? Your information sucked into a black hole ?
Perhaps, different skins, home theater size screen.

Professional promoters, below amateur coders.

Usher   July 29th, 2008 6:56 pm ET

Cuil can find Google, but it can't find itself. Even when I entered "cuil search", it didn't find itself.

Jimmy G   July 29th, 2008 6:59 pm ET

I have a website and I searched data directly out of the pages on my website and didn't return anything.

I've been reading about them too, last week, so when I was finally able to search on their site, I was a little excited. When nothing returned and I searched for an exact string from one of my pages, my excitement turned to the same apathy I get from all other search engines that have tried to beat Google.

It's just a tall order.

Ben   July 29th, 2008 7:19 pm ET

I think we are too used to the way Google works to like the almost 'alien' Cuil at the moment.

Perhaps give it some time for Cuil to dig its heels in and iron out some bugs and it may become a welcome alternative to Google.

Anna   July 29th, 2008 7:42 pm ET

How about a niche? Cuil is cool but I don't see how they can compete with the master (Google). If they found a niche (other than giving search results based on relevancy) like other unique search engines out there eg. I think they would have a competitive edge. We shall see.

Scott   July 29th, 2008 7:57 pm ET

I'm a CISO/CISSP etc for a DoD organization and am probably going to have to block Cuil until it matures a bit. Phishing and associated social engineering tactics always threaten networks. Just a quick search of some financial institutions revealed fake (phishing) and porn sites in the 1st 2 or 3 hits. For example, search off NFCU and you get some .ru/nfcu_logon type of sites. I actually watched one attempt to scan by test machine and look for exploitable MS vulnerabilities. Again, this was on the first page of results. I normally would not spend this amount of time investigating a search engine, but with the hype and news, my users will be curious and potentially caught off guard. In short, CUIL in its current maturity level represents a unacceptable level of risk to my corporate assets.

John Razzouk   July 29th, 2008 9:14 pm ET

Here is the most simple way to compare Google to Cuil: Type "Cuil" into Cuil and see the results. The top results on Cuil are related to villages in Ireland and Scotland. In Google, the top results lead to the Cuil site. This led to my Cuil search on "shooting yourself in the foot" which led to some helpful tips on wedding photography...

charles h.   July 29th, 2008 9:49 pm ET

Cuil is not cool. It's lame. It's stupid. It's the worst ever.

Where can I get 33 million to produce total junk.

Kyle   July 29th, 2008 9:57 pm ET

I think it has potential, but it's not there yet. I submitted my websites to be indexed, which if I search for them right now, are there but not at the top. I dont like that I had to send an email, I think there should be a form to submit a site to be indexed. I'll see if it improves, if I search and there is a and it's indexed, i think it should be the top result. I'll probably keep checking it out, I like that they are not going to keep track of users searches, that's huge to me.

I've always been one to go against the grain, so if it gets better, I'd switch.

gladdoggett   July 29th, 2008 10:32 pm ET

I liked the layout, too. But at first glance, I wasn't impressed. I'm giving them a break, though, and will revisit in a few days.

Jim   July 29th, 2008 11:07 pm ET

Google did not become a verb in one day!

dave   July 29th, 2008 11:38 pm ET

I tried it yesterday, searching on: improve gas mileage. Cuil returned a LOT of dead links compared to Google. I'll stick with Google.

Franko   July 30th, 2008 12:09 am ET

The privacy issue,
Google and Yahoo will be remembered for turning over dissidents in China.

Get arrested, because predictive profiling flagged you. as serial killer, to become.
Sharperening my lawn mower blade, behind closed curtains
Also, I am staying away from serial killer how to sites, just in case !

Listen to Security Now; everyone wants your profile.
To become a mandatory part of Income Tax ?

Bob   July 30th, 2008 1:12 am ET

Is getting 2M responses better than getting 40K hits? Anybody want to check out all 2M? Even 40K? Clearly not. The ultimate goal should be receiving the few "perfectly relevant" responses. How about less than 10?

Bruce   July 30th, 2008 1:19 am ET

Google has a wonderful way of placing the most relevant hits in the first few lines. Cuil doesn't seem to have any relevancy sorting at all. Also, I did one search which just presented the same hit over and over for pages on end. Finally, the magazine format is the pits – you keep having to move your eyes from bottom to top, and the thumbnails are distracting. I'd rather make just one scan down the page without the eye candy. I think Cuil will just be one more search engine, perhaps liked by a few, but never making a dent in Google's dominance.

Bob   July 30th, 2008 1:39 am ET

Relevancy is the key. It doesn't matter how many results are returned, as I seldom look past the second page. For me, school is still out on Cuil. I'll try again in a few weeks.

@Peter: Webferret isn't a search engine. It's an app the searches multiple engines like Yahoo and Google and returns the results.

Frank   July 30th, 2008 1:56 am ET

Not impressed. A search for my own business (a veterinary practice) turned up pictures of two COMPETITORS, the logo for Marriott hotels, and a nice picture of a green hill with a dirt road. Come again??

Peter Twiss   July 30th, 2008 3:22 am ET

Give them a full year to make any final decision. Designing software to search ~121 billion web pages in < 1 sec is not an easy task. A lot of it has to do with hardware resources, which will take a truckload of $ to scale to the size of Google. Even then, I highly doubt they can compete with Google. The talent Google has on its team is beyond Cuil. EVERYTHING that Cuil thinks of was most likely brought up at google meeting years ago. =P

H.E. Sir Victor JW Pekarcik III   July 30th, 2008 4:10 am ET

Here is the thing. Its really easy for the average arm chair quarterback to make comments on an inventor who stands in the fog of the universe trying to make sense of why we are here and who stares at a blank piece of paper wanting to come up with the next greatest thing. All they know is they pick up the phone and there is a dial tone. This can be said of every pioneer in every industry from Ford to Edison to Einstein to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to Warren Buffet, and every person who improves the human condition. Creating something from nothing is daunting at best, then to realize every mistake you make and lesson learned will be played on the global stage, it soon comes into perspective why the true spirit of invention is achieved thru mistakes and the darkest of hours. The continued drive that despite everyone in the world laughing at your attempts you still power on and never give up establishes your character, when you look into the blackness and say "do your worst". So play it easy and be the harsh critic of the inventor and follow the herds but be thankful that there are people who love the impossible challenge and when the chips are down and all who supported them leave they still continue thru the darkest of times and eventually into the light. Remember the day when people like Steve Jobs were asked to leave Apple, the people who stood up to say something were few and far between, now years later millions of people could not imaging their lives without their Apple technology gadgets. Every successful individual has a similar story, in every industry, of pushing forward when all the odds were against them. So I say applaud their efforts and all those like them, and ask yourself what can I do to change the world, or my little corner for every person can and will make a difference, how much is up to them. I say Cuil will grow and make many more improvements which will push their competitors to become better and the end result will be everyone will benefit.

Techhairball   July 30th, 2008 7:00 am ET

I think Cuil is an alternate and might become a threat to Google only when the following happens.

1. Cuil comes up with something like Adsense and Adwords.
2. Improve upon the search little more, if I search "TechHairBall " on Google I get tons of link with as the first site but it seems Cuil has missed out on indexing TechHairBall and similar sites.
3. Give some tools for the webmasters
4. Images and Video search, without that I think I will still use Google.

And yes change that black background. That really threw me off first.

Kat Watanabe   July 30th, 2008 7:58 am ET

I gave this a spin yesterday. I looked up two friends and got some pretty decent results. Then I looked up a keyword I use very frequently at work – "vb .net" – and got no results. Just tried it again - still no hits. I seriously doubt that this search engine is getting plastered at 7:52 am EST. In my eyes, Cuil shot itself in the foot without doing intensive testing before unveiling itself to the general public – a half working search engine, even with a larger page index than Google, is pretty useless to the typical end user.

Jacy   July 30th, 2008 8:07 am ET

I checked it out some and was a little unsure. I am going to give it a few days. I also recieved the Server Load error. A search for my business only displayed if i put " " around it. Even then it came up around page 3.

Erik   July 30th, 2008 8:46 am ET

Not a big fan of the display format, Does it rank then from left to right first or up to down. Many of the sites were dead ends and didn't lead anywhere, I'm willing to try it down the road, they just need to work out the bugs.

charles   July 30th, 2008 9:00 am ET

cuil is lame! i'll probably check back on it in a month. and the overload on its servers was probably CAUSED by the hype generated from its CNN article. if not for that, we wouldn't even know about it.

Tom   July 30th, 2008 9:01 am ET

Gave it a try, will be sticking with Google. For all its massive database, Cuil is terrible at finding the obscure goodies Google always unearths.

Dean Wendell   July 30th, 2008 9:07 am ET

I spent some time with Cuil yesterday, hoping for a solid alternative to Google and their intrusive privacy policies. While I do like the concept that Cuil has, I was underwhelmed by the usability.

The good:
– Privacy Policy
-Sheer number of sites indexed
-Alternative to Google
-Simple interface
-No ads

The bad:
– The results window is difficult to navigate and does not clearly return the results in a format which allows quick, easy browsing and selection of the relevant link. The "drill down" option I found less useful than just short summaries, and it didn't give me what I was looking for sometimes. For example, when I did a search for "Black Labrador" I got lots of results, but nothing which gave me good information on Black Labradors. Just a selection of odd pages that I was forced to go to and read to see if they were on topic.

– No "Image" search. This is a huge shortcoming.

– Minimal information in the FAQ. It appears the FAQ was more focused on generating interest from potential employees and venture capitalists then explaining how to focus and refine results.

In short...its a start but it has a long way to go.

Jared   July 30th, 2008 9:08 am ET

This is a product that corporate America cannot use. The magazine layout with thumbnails can and will produce inappropriate images. At least with google you have the choice to follow the link before getting content that can get you fired. Also, the results don't appear to be all that accurate. If you are going to tout that a product is going to take over the market, you need to have the product ready. I'll stick with Google.

Eric   July 30th, 2008 9:19 am ET

If they can work out the kinks and become at least equally successful as google, we can now tell everyone around us to go "cuil it".

dutchbound   July 30th, 2008 9:20 am ET

Ex-Google pretty much wraps this one up.

It’s a Cuil, Cuil Summer » The Buzz Bin   July 30th, 2008 9:34 am ET

[...] impressions count a lot, and Cuil has banged the drum loudly, it's just a matter of time to see whether or not the drumbeat will keep on going. by Larissa Fair | Branding, [...]

Jim Tonney   July 30th, 2008 9:51 am ET

I looked up one of my sites and saw a reference to a version that has not been in operation for nearly five years. This gives rise in my mind as to how these sites made it to Cuil. Surely not necessarily a recent "capture"! And some of the content seems to be a mixture of different sites. That in addition to the previously-mentioned unrelated graphics. I have my doubts about it now as well as in the future.

Richard Zimmerman   July 30th, 2008 11:03 am ET

Sucks. I tried searching for 'orangutan' and my own organization [Orangutan Outreach–] didn't even show up... Talked to my SEO people and they laughed at it. Cuil should be called Fuil. I just hope it doesn't get hyped into something legitimate. Google gets the job done. Period. It's sorta like trying to replace the iPod. I mean, why bother?

MilkAndChase   July 30th, 2008 3:13 pm ET

I think we are all suffering from having learned how Google works. We've learned what to type in order to have certain results appear.

Cuil is searching for the word(s) in the search field in context. This is going to be challenging in that much different results will apear. I've Googled and Cuiled several different cameras and other products. Google tends to present the manufacturer or seller, while Cuil provides a lot of reviews.

Google will remain the search engine for information on things, places, and services, but Cuil may start to lead in a search for information regarding knowledge.

Dan   July 30th, 2008 4:56 pm ET

Worthless in its present form.

Simon   July 30th, 2008 8:13 pm ET

Cuil is not usable as is – i search for my band on google and we're the first 2.5 pages. on cuil they've never heard of us. webferret will never be a major player because its 1) software not webware and 2) only for windows. nice try lads but those days are LONG over.

i agree with mr wendell that the lack of image search is a mistake. We don't need another yahoo/msn search/altavista pos search engine. Google made the internet usable. deal with it.

Franko   July 31st, 2008 1:28 am ET

The spooks, advertisers, identity thieves, everyone wants to track and profile you.
Use https TCP port 443, and only search with all traffic encription secured.

Have all information spread, in numerous places. Different countries, perhaps religious organizations. A treasure map in a hundred places.. Vatican, Buddhist monastery, Muslim shrines, even Zoroastrians. One collaborative effort to save humanity from the . .. Catherine Austin Fitts

If Cuil cannot do it, then who will save us from the Profiling Doom ?   August 6th, 2008 4:56 pm ET

I've tried Cuil and I'm somewhat not impressed with it. Perhaps we are just used to Google / Yahoo & MSN. However, I think it is time for other search engines to take some of the pie away from Google and create some competition.

Cheap iPhones & iPods at

Lo que queda de Cuil, el anti-Google (os acordais?)… | Googlytics   April 8th, 2010 5:32 am ET

[...] Lanzado el 28 de Julio de 2008, mi querida abuela, Cuil habia prometido de convertirse en el lider de los buscadores, diciendo de ser el mayor search engine del mundo, con una capacidad de indexación mucho mayor que la de Google con más de 120 mil millones de paginas indexadas y una inversión inicial de unos 33 millones de dolares. Bueno, casi dos años después, parece que la verdad es otra y el buscador está prácticamente a punto de morir. [...]

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