Cuil trips over its Web index in early going

Cuil, a Menlo Park-based search startup, has launched with an interesting hook: It has indexed 120 billion Web pages. It claims that tally is three times larger than any search engine, but the first impression didn't go over too well.

Cuil, a Menlo Park-based search startup, has launched with an interesting hook: It has indexed 120 billion Web pages. It claims that tally is three times larger than any search engine, but the first impression didn't go over too well.

Why? I can't find my archived posts in 5 seconds. You can index 120 (actually 121 billion as I'm writing this), but if you don't have what I'm looking for what's the point? Selfish? You bet. But the initial test of Cuil makes me wonder what the big deal is about (Techmeme).

I gave Cuil a quick whirl and got the following by searching on "amd dignan second quarter":

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Here's what I got on Google:

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But that's probably some SEO mumbo jumbo thing right?

Then I search on the FCC hearing document outlining what will happen Aug. 1 and I got another error message.

cuil3.jpg

The Google results on the same search weren't so hot either, but at least I got something back. Now I'm thinking that perhaps Cuil isn't so cool. Perhaps Cuil is down. So I search on something way simple: Dogs. Bingo!

cuil4.png

The problem: I love dogs I just don't want to do a search on them. I'll do a proper review later, but first impression of Cuil is why bother. If you're going to convince people to try something other than Google you need to wow them. The lesson. Before anyone touts a startup search engine that has the following...

  • Blog buzz out the wazoo;
  • A strong tech pedigree--Tom Costello and Anna Patterson run Cuil and hail from IBM and Google, respectively;
  • A nice search results layout;
  • And a snazzy new search method.

It may make sense to actually try it first.

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