Cuil wants to be a Google-killer

Cuil (pronounced “cool”) is a brand new search engine that claims to have indexed over 121 billion Web pages, and also claims that that’s 3 times as much as any other search engine including Google. Interestingly, just a few days ago, Google laid claim to crawling (although not necessarily indexing) 1 trillion Web pages.

So will Cuil succeed in beating Google at their own game? Well, for starters their executive/technical staff are a bunch of Google expats, so it’s quite possible, but on the other hand, Google has quite an impressive foothold now in the search arena, including mindshare with the public. After all, “google” is now a commonly-used verb. I can’t recall other search engines ever having that claim to fame, even within the geek community. Read on for a mini review.

Mini-review: I tested out Cuil for a bit, and here’s what I found. First of all, their search results were laid out in columns and it’s not as clear with listed results which ones are more important; i.e. do you read across or down? Their site is currently slow as sin. I can understand waiting to pull up some little site, but not waiting for search engine results. If they don’t fix this quickly, this will kill them before they even have a chance to prove they’re better than Google.

I’m not sold on the search results. My tests comparing their results to Google’s didn’t favor them at all. I felt that Google pulled up more pertinent results. Of course, your opinion and results may differ. Last major point of note for me was the lack of a cached version of the search result page. I love to use this Google feature (also Yahoo now too) to speed up how quickly I can zoom in on the info I’m looking for without having to wait for a site to come up with all of its images, CSS, Javascript, etc.

Well, I’m not even a little tempted to use Cuil any more. Perhaps when they iron out some of these details, I’ll give them a shot again.

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