So there’s yet one more new search engine on the horizon. Its Cuil (pronounced Cool, don’t know how that works). Anyway. Cuil makes certain tall claims. Its got a new way of ranking pages that takes the content of pages into consideration rather than other aspects that were or are used by other search engines. It also claims that it has the highest number of pages in its index, even more than Google and Yahoo!. I remember about 4 years back Yahoo! having released the number of pages in its index. Ever since there haven’t been any reports of such numbers from any of the leading search engines.

Nevertheless, it was worth a try since it comes from people who have very impressive credentials. The leading team consists of Ph.D.-s who have worked for such technology giants like Google and IBM. So their product is definitely going to be interesting.

The first impressions were not so bad. The search engine is fast and it has a very interesting way of showing the search results. Here’s a screen shot:

Pretty cool or cuil, eh!!! Gives you a feel of browsing through a catalog – quite refreshing after the boring result pages of Google. My interest grew and so I thought of taking it for a test ride.

After having used it for sometime my reactions are mixed. Like I mentioned before, the presentation of the results is really a refreshing change. But the site leaves a lot to be desired. For one, it does not seem to be stable. Maybe its going through the initial jitters. I wanted to search for JBoss Seam integration in the NetBeans IDE. Well here are the results:

Wow! No results! Disappointing. Wait there’s more. I did a few more searches and then thought of searching for this one once more. And here’s what I get:

What’s going on? Clearly it shows that the search engine is far from stable. Well if its not stable, then it should have at least the tag ‘Beta’ somewhere on it. The home page of Cuil does not have the word ‘Beta’ anywhere. So a person would expect this to be a fully baked, production version of the product. Unfortunately it does not seem to be so. Also, Google provides a nifty feature where it tries to guess the correct spelling for a potentially misspelled word – something missing in Cuil.

The relevance of the search results is also quite questionable. I searched for the phrase ‘jboss seam projects on netbeans ide’ on both Cuil and Google. Clearly, Google showed up the more relevant hits. Here are the screen shots:

On Cuil:

Now on Google:

Even though Cuil has still a long way to go if it intends to pose a serious challenge to Google, I still liked their approach. The software’s got potential and quite a few things going in favor of it. What it needs is to tighten its algorithm to get more relevant results and beef up its infrastructure to have more stability.

Keep an eye out for this one. Amongst all the previous Google killers that came up, this one shows the most promise.
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