Cuil your jets

Aug 2, 2008, 7:05 pm by Paul Stiverson

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past weeks you will have heard about the new search engine on the block, Cuil. Now, being a narcissist, the first time I used it I searched for the very site you are reading—it wasn’t found—I almost instantly wrote it off as a piece of garbage. However the buzz about the search engine kept bringing me back, and I eventually found a way to submit pages to be parsed (I’ve sent in the request, but as of yet it hasn’t been added to their index).

It is true that the search results are garbage (so far), but the engine is promising when you look at its fabric. For starters, I like the interface, the three column business is pretty nice, and overall it feels really clean. There is a cool tab breakdown that lets you immediately refine your searches that is quite promising. The next good thing is the lack of page ranking, sometimes you aren’t looking for the most popular search result, but the most pertinent result. They don’t index Wikipedia, if you’re like me then you are sick of seeing Wikipedia as the first three Google results—when I want Wikipedia’s input on an issue I’ll ring their fucking bell myself. The last—and most compelling—reason I like Cuil is their privacy policy. It is really simple, they don’t collect any user data. When compared to Google’s labyrinthian privacy policy it is a breath of fresh air.

The folks at Cuil have some challenges ahead of them if they are to gain a toehold in the internet search business. First, they need to seriously improve their search results. They need to index probably twice the number of sites they have currently indexed (which is a ton more than Google already has). Then they need to get some name recognition—people need to start saying “Cuil it”, not “Google it”. They need to keep their nose where it belongs, don’t start making maps, don’t start hosting email, just index the web.

What really confuses me about Cuil is their business model. They don’t have any advertisements, they don’t charge you to search, and they don’t make you pay to be indexed, so how do they make their money? I think it will be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out.

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1 Comment

lew Says:

Aug 4, 2008

It seems like they aren't trying to make money, rather just take money away from google. I have a hard time calling them "cool" and not "quill."

prediction: m$ fails again trying to takeover yahoo! then buys cuil.

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