cuil – the new search engine bigger than Google

Cuil (pronounced Cool ) has launched their new search engine – and it is making ripples across the net because of its claims to have an index of over 120 billion web pages bigger than Google’s. Google doesn’t actually talk about how many web pages are in their index but it is thought to be a trillion web pages which obviously would make Cuil’s claim invalid. I cannot see Google releasing the info to prove them wrong and so nonetheless this has allowed them to make a splash.

The real test of how good the search technology is – ie how relevant the results are – seems to indicate that they are not there yet. For example searching for Switzerland on Google places the official site at number 2 (ignoring the paid link above the list). Cuil does not even mention it. A search for the Olympics gave the official website at number 1 for both (thoguh Google’s was below their news results) BUT amazingly with the Beijing Olympics just around the corner, Cuil did not even have the official site on their front page (they did have the 2012 Olympics in the UK though!). Google’s search had it in second place.

Interestingly doing some “ego” searching (where you search for your own name) came back with nothing the first 3 or 4 attempts as I tried different ways of searching under my name even though searching for “razorshine” came back with results which have my name on it. After about 20 minutes the original searches started to come back with results.

I do like the layout of the searches, the quirky results means that I am not switching now, but with it having some ex Senior Googlers on board it is worth keeping an eye on it.

By the way – there is no advertising on the site currently – a plus for some I am sure – though surely that can’t last forever 😉

Update: It was just pointed out to me that the first result under “riaz kanani” (for has an image with “my success in scientology” on it. Very strange as I have no connection to scientology. It will be interesting to hear the response from Cuil on it.