So for those that aren’t familiar Cuil (pronounced Cool) is a start up search engine founded by some former google employees. With a pocket full of venture capital funds they set out to compete with the big G. My initial response to this was, “Great, finally some really competition to google”. Sadly the opposite has been true since Cuil has hit the map. July 2008 I gave Cuil an honest rundown and was simplynot impressed with the results. Most notably is Cuil’s attempt to provide images next to search results. What I found amazing about this is they simply would show images that not only didn’t reside on the site the link pointed to, they didn’t have anything to do with the result at all. This fact alone is a mammoth failure. Even today (nearly 6 months later) nearly every page has an image that really shouldn’t be there.
Getting past the borked image feature I took note of what results the engine actually returned. Some keywords return relevant results, but it appears the fundamental way Cuil works is inferior to the likes of Google and Yahoo. For instance, a simple search on Widgets google typically leads to a diversified listing of sites all focused around the Widgets you search for. However, Cuil seems to feed multiple deep links to the same website, much more so than Google. Cuil also returns the same results on multiple pages. This appears to be widespread with all of my searches.
There is also the issue of hacked, faked, and general clutter sites listed on Cuil. www.xuxkdmf.com/skdflwldkf/akdjf-widget showing up in the first page results for widget search makes me sick. Mal ware spread would be unstoppable if google didn’t keep up with these listings. With the all to often issues such as MS08-078 it is even more important to keep these scum sites from being found.
Cuil could have been a real contender to Google, who knows they still may be down the road. My advice to Cuil, ditch the image feature because it doesn’t work and do like MS and Yahoo (copy off of Google). Filter results down to be more unique, less of the same sites.