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Ex Google Workers Unveil New Search Method

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#1 swainzy


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:37 AM

Saw this article in the news this morning.

Mountain View, CA (AHN) - A group of former Google engineers Monday unveiled a new search engine they hope will challenge the Internet giant's supremacy. Cuil, (pronounced "cool"), takes a different tack than previous threats to Google.

Instead of concentrating on links to Web pages, Cuil focuses on a Web page's actual content. The venture-financed search engine also presents the data in a different manner - a horizontal layout that includes images rather than Google's low-key plain text displayed vertical.

Wonder how this will go over. What will they do that G is not doing. Here's one difference:

Privacy is another area the four founding engineers hope will differentiate Cuil. The search engine won't hold onto search histories, unlike Google.

#2 saschaeh


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:43 AM

"Cuil searches more pages on the Web than anyone else—three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft." - http://www.cuil.com/info/

Pretty bold statment there.

#3 bobbb


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:49 AM

The search engine won't hold onto search histories, unlike Google

This is very nice but something tells me that will be amongst the first ideals to go. I remember Google's Do no evil. We now see instances where is not complete true but on their behalf they could be much worse given their position.

#4 saschaeh


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:49 AM

3 times more then google eh? Well i cant seem to find my site even when i do domain search...

Edited by saschaeh, 28 July 2008 - 10:50 AM.




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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:52 AM

Their website is S...L....O....W.

Their search results were not very good in my opinion for the topics that I checked.

Including images is a mistake because the images that they pick are usually less relevant than the pages that they present.

I like seeing new entires into search and I hope that they improve a lot and are very successful. I am glad that more smart people are getting into search and are going to develop new approaches. That will keep companies like google working hard to stay #1.

#6 iamlost


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:04 AM

Danny Sullivan does his usual good overview at Cuil Launches -- Can This Search Start-Up Really Best Google?

So call me jaded. Everyone's always saying they've got the best, fastest and least expensive way of doing stuff. If they do, proving it has been difficult, nor has it seemed to make much different in market share.

I'll leave with a few stats, however. Right now Cuil runs off of two data centers, using a combined 1,000 machines each running 8 CPUs. Another 280 machines split between data centers are used to serve results, rather, rather than index the web.


Is Cuil open to being purchased, as what happened to search start-up Powerset earlier this month. Powerset was seen by many as a Google-killer (though not by me and several others). In the end, despite the hype that Powerset itself helped fuel (Cuil's been careful to avoid this), it got gobbled up. What if Microsoft's Steve Ballmer came knocking?

#7 yannis


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:28 PM

The amazing thing is that a Company that wants to compete with google cannot manage a two page website. Their 'about' gave me a Page Not Found!


#8 iamlost


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:36 PM

Ditto their 'privacy' link.
Ooops :D especially as not retaining personal info has been touted as a unique selling point.

#9 eKstreme


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:38 PM

Actually, I beg to differ.

Let's go back a few years and think about what Google had in terms of infrastructure: not much unique and a set up similar to a lot of other companies. They knew that's not a good thing and they fixed it. The built Big Table, they built Protocol Buffers, created their own implementation of MapReduce and much more.


Because it gave them a competitive edge. And they got a significant edge, they did!

And layer on top of that super duper algos. One of the best aquisitions on Google that's hidden behind the scenes is that of Kaltix in 2003. Kaltix was formed by the Stanford PageRank team because they found a way to calculate PR 100x faster (give or take...) than what was possible back then. This tweak enables personalized search, the CSE options, and other things.

So, IMHO, the most significant point coming out of the Cuil hype that everyone is ignoring is that Cuil is willing to compete with Google on infrastructure. That's the bold statement, not the fact they have 120b odd pages in their index. It's not the new (and very cool) interface.

No. They're using Google winning strategy coupled with some interesting differentiating innovations.

#10 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:43 PM

The images aspect is quite strange - I found results for "accessible web design" which included a picture of me attached to an article I didn't write on a website I've never heard of. (Which looked like a scraper site; and possibly did include a picture of me at some time in the past, scraped from some other site...)

All things considered, it's not a bad search engine - but I wouldn't gamble on it being competitive.

#11 EGOL



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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:53 PM

Their site is getting hit heavily today. A couple of hours ago I looked at google trends and searches for their domain, misspellings of their domain and cuil ciul and cool were jammed into the top fifty. I think that some of the slowness and "page not found" might be from inadequate servers that are unable to stand up to the load.

Edited by EGOL, 28 July 2008 - 12:54 PM.

#12 saschaeh


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:08 PM

searching for “airlines” brought me competitors’ planes image next to American and Delta Airlines results.


But you know every great thing starts with one step and I imagine the Cuil guys are gone be having couple all nighters this week!

(You think they gona put some adsense to monetize the searches :pieinface: )

Edited by saschaeh, 28 July 2008 - 01:09 PM.

#13 saschaeh


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:28 PM

when I search my full name in inverted comers i get really old results as if i was googling about 1-2 years back.

None of my new profiles are coming up.

#14 glyn


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 02:25 PM

Read the biogs, these guys aren't beginners. A few teething problems at the start and getting hit to death are probably the reasons why things aren't working at the moment. Fundamentally SE tech at the moment is flawed, a look at the results shows you how a) they can be manipulated and B) how much they are in fact manipulated, with little way for current SE algorthythms to circumvent the methods.

Results diversity is poor.


#15 DonnaFontenot


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 02:40 PM

spam, spam, and more spam in the results. i mean...LOTS of spam in the queries I ran. the obvious kind that is auto-created by a bot that just throws a whole bunch of words together that have no meaning. useless. next...

#16 mregan


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 07:39 PM

I just tried the new CUIL search engine - I am less than happy with the results.

I first searched for our business "TIMR". Lots of results for postings by TimR in various forums, but nothing to our website.

Next I entered the full company name "TIMR Web Services". This was the first listing:

Seattle Web Services, Web Services, Web Services ...

TIMR Web Services In another instant he returned. Benfield's bull dog bounds in front, in place to anchor anywhere in any hurry, said Willoughby; his hairs are gray, and there cannot be disgraced without some variety, amounting in value founded? Tell me, sir, I am also to timr web services with the utmost care...

I know it looks 'spammy' but I thought I would check it out.

BANG - I was hit by an attempt to download a virus through FireFox. Fortunately, I run Linux. The browser gave a hicup and asked what it should do with the .exe file.

At least the other major engines are making some attempts to filter these sites - to get it in the first position for my company name really ticked me off

Edited by mregan, 28 July 2008 - 07:39 PM.

#17 SEOigloo


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Posted 29 July 2008 - 12:39 AM

Attention Cre8asite Folks:


Is it just me, or is our forum being represented by Search Engine Roundtable's logo? :huh:

Other fun results -

My birding blog is being represented by a photo of Jack London.

My site about traditional folk clothing is being represented by an image of some strange woman in a pants suit.

Our text snippet for our company's website is our menu with a bunch of & in between the words...we've never looked quite so spammy.

One of our clients' websites is being represented by what appears to be a paper bag...I have no idea why.

Not too cuil, huh?

#18 saschaeh


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Posted 29 July 2008 - 01:53 AM

They should have a developers Blog or Forum so everyone can see what the Cuil guys are aware of and what they working on. Would be interesting.

#19 Jem


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Posted 29 July 2008 - 04:46 AM

I didn't expect the release of Cuil to go particularly smoothly. However, I hope Cuil can ride out these teething problems and get itself back on track so we can see what it really has to offer.

Edited by Jem, 29 July 2008 - 04:51 AM.

#20 yannis


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Posted 29 July 2008 - 07:17 AM

Text-analysis is a hard problem and just using a few clustering algorithms is not enough. It is a premature release, although I believe it got potential. NO MACHINE can currently extract meaning from content, not even from a limited corpus like Powerset with Wikipedia. Search engines still need human help (Google gets it by people votes through links).

To be honest I liked the design, the two/three column layout and the fact that they have used mootools for the javascript accordions!

Egol was right (as always) and the page not found messages were due to heavy traffic. In this respect I respectfully eat my previous comments! :duh:


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