First impressions of Cuil

By | July 31, 2008

A new search engine on the Web, called Cuil just launched recently amidst a lot of hype generated by thousands of blogs picking up on the story. The huge traffic flocking to try out the new search engine eventually led to a meltdown of the site’s servers. Even when I tried to use it a few days ago to search for a few terms, it crashed instead.

Now that things have cooled down a little, I just took a second look at Cuil, and found it lacking in many areas. The irrelevancy of the search results is the main gripe, when you consider that Cuil claims to index even more pages than Google as a new search engine. More than 120 billion web pages indexed is a lot of results indeed, but their main problem is relevancy.

Although created by ex Google engineers, Cuil is not prepared to handle the spam problem. If Google is already having enough problems with spam in its index, can a new start up search engine overcome this issue?

Many people are complaining that the images they place next to the results are not related to the site at all. I found it somewhat amusing to see pages from free webhosting sites comprising nothing more than a keyword spammed multiple times showing up on the front page.

Cuil claims that site content is the number one factor for its algorithm, but this leaves it vulnerable to keyword spamming. Also, by not placing filters for “Bad Neighborhoods” like Google, almost any kind of garbage site/page can end up on the front page.

OK, Cuil is a new start up, and shouldn’t be expected to be even close to any of the Big Three (Google, Yahoo, MSN) for now. I somewhat like the layout of Cuil though. But hey, have you even checked out Google’s AJAX powered SearchMash? That’s the Google engine, albeit with a different look and layout 🙂

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