Cuil trying to beat Google?

The not so cuil (cool) Cuil
The not so cuil (cool) Cuil

If you browse the web these few days, you may have heard of Cuil search engine from the tech blogs and news. I myself knew about it yesterday when I was reading Cebu Entrepreneur’s blog.

Cuil is a new search engine that claims to be bigger and better than Google.

It was designed by a former Google search architect Anna Patterson and Professor Tom Costello.

So is Cuil really better than Google?

The answer is… no, at the moment. I’ll write about that part later on this post.

Cuil has a simple front page like Google so you don’t have to wait for hours just to do a simple search. After you type in your keywords to search, the results page will be displayed in a different way than Google.

The result page will be displayed in column modes (in which you can change at the bottom of the results page) and will have pictures associated with each result. It’s a fresh change from the boring look by Google Search Results page.

Something different, indeed
Something different, indeed (click to enlarge)

Since Cuil is not part of Google, it won’t be using the PageRank algorithm to measure the importance of a page. Instead, Cuil’s search is contextual (giving relevant results based on the content and context of the topic). For a more detailed technical explanation, you can read further on CNet news page as I’m more interested in sharing to you guys on the user point of view. Check out my experiments below:

1) Cuil contextual search based on content and relevancy? Sounds great, isn’t it? So let’s try searching for “How to make money online” on Cuil :)

Seems that Cuil is interested in making food more than money
Seems that Cuil is interested in making food more than money (click to enlarge)

2) From Cuil’s Philosophy page:
“Existing technology can’t keep up with the increasing volume of Web pages. If a search engine is incapable of indexing the Internet properly how can it hope to provide accurate search results?”
Result: I tried to search for a review on my handphone. Different results came up on different time of the day:

They need to learn how to keep up with technology
I guess even cuil can't keep up with existing technology and its web pages? (click to enlarge)
An excuse for not finding results?
An excuse for not finding results? (click to enlarge)

The funny bit about that “No results because of high load” is that if you search “htc p3600i review”, you’ll always get that message. Remove the “i” so that the keywords become “htc p3600 review” and results will come up. Put back the “i” and the “high load” message will come up again. High load? Really?

As you can see above, Cuil is inconsistent with its error message. When I tried to search for the Kaspersky antivirus yesterday, it gave me this error:

I would've thought searching "Harry Potter" produces more results
I would've thought searching "Harry Potter" produces more results (click to enlarge)

Today, however, it works fine.


I don’t normally like to bash people’s invention or software, but this time it’s kinda different. Cuil is still not ready yet for the release. I have no problem with that, but I dislike sentences (on Cuil’s website) like these:

  • Welcome to Cuil – the world’s biggest search engine
  • Cuil searches more pages on the Web than anyone else—three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft.

Cuil has potentials but there are still problems lingering around their application, servers, and algorithms. Again, I don’t mind that at all and I do appreciate their research and hard work, but claiming to be the best in search engines, even more than Google, I do not agree at this stage.

No Beta tag? Please think again
No Beta tag? Please think again (click to enlarge)

What do you think of Cuil, guys?

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