Cuil Not So Cool

Date:   Thursday , September 04, 2008

The startup Cuil is facing angry backlash, as its founders could not deliver on their claims. They claimed that their search engine offers largest search index size of about 120 billion web pages, larger than Google that is three times larger than that of any other search engine.

On the contrary, the Internet researchers and many reviews state that Cuil has only one hundredth of the market share in the U.S. And the way they will be compared is by index size and more importantly, relevance and ranking of results.

The search queries on Cuil did not appear to have the depth of results comparable to that of Google. However as a startup, Cuil is performing well. While a search for Bangalore returned 21,011,535 results on Cuil, Google returned 35,100,000 results. Google returned Wikipedia as the first result, then, while Cuil returned and Wikipedia was not listed on the first page of results.

It seems pretty clear that Google’s index of web pages is significantly larger than Cuil’s, unless we’re randomly choosing the wrong queries. Based on the queries above, Google is averaging nearly 10 times the number of results of Cuil.

Still, Cuil does not have to give up hope and it can compete with its contenders as the founders have immense knowledge on search engine. Cuil was founded by a group of search pioneers, including Tom Costello who built a prototype of Web Fountain, IBM’s Web search analytics tool, and his wife, Anna Patterson, the architect of Google’s massive TeraGoogle index of Web pages. Patterson also designed the search system for global corporate document storage company Recall, a unit of Australia’s Brambles.

The two are joined by two former Google colleagues - Russell Power and Louis Monier. Previously, Monier led the redesign of e-commerce leader eBay’s search engine and was the founding chief technology officer of two 1990’s Web milestones, AltaVista and BabelFish, the first language translation site.