July 29, 2008
Twitterati Pan Launch of "Google-buster" Search Engine Cuil
Cuil may be the latest in a long list of failed challenges to Google's search engine if you agree with what is being Twittered about it. The new search engine (LLB post) claims to be the largest search engine on the Web with 120 billion pages indexed and, unlike Google, uses content analysis to rank search results relevance instead of popularity.
Initial attempts at using Cuil has produced less than stellar reviews. The Twitterati aren't the only people not impressed. See, for example, PC Magazine's Hands On with the New 'Cuil' Search Engine, PC World's Cuil Stumbles out of the Gate, ReadWriteWeb's Cuil: Good but not great and Mashable's Cuil - The Dark, Mysterious Version of Google.
Test Searches. Search stories by Jacqui Cheng, law prof Alan Childress (Tulane) and law librarian Mark Giangrande (DePaul) highlight some of the problems:
- Ex-Googlers launch Cuil, world's "biggest search engine" by Ars Technica's Jacqui Cheng.
- New Search Engine "Cuil" Promises Lots More Pages and Logic Than Google, But Fails My Tests by Legal Profession Blog's Alan Childress.
- New Search Engine Cuil by Tech Law Prof Blog's Mark Giangrande.
Librarians Crowdsourcing Cuil. What do you think about Cuil? Try a few test searches and publish your thoughts as comments to this post. [JH]
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When I was at BPP studying my famous law professors the, vast, majority of my class at Holborn had TCs. I can't speak for Waterloo though, didn't know anyone over there but did here that the situation was almost the opposite. Really strange.
Posted by: lawschoolexperience | Apr 25, 2011 8:36:41 PM
I wrote up my brief and puzzling initial experience at http://digitaleccentric.blogspot.com/2008/07/cuil_29.html.
Posted by: Leslie Johnston | Jul 30, 2008 11:14:20 AM
I ran three searches on Cuil - one on my name, one for a company I have been researching, and one for a medical condition. I have a couple of issues with Cuil's search results. First, most of the images that came up with both my name search and the company search were not related to me or the company. Next, using quotation marks to specify a phrase didn't seem to work, and I couldn't find information easily on their site to see how best to search for phrases. Last, one search said "38 results" but only 9 showed up and I couldn't figure out how to see them, or if they were duplicates.
I'll try it again because I do like the layout but I'm not giving up my other search tools yet. Perhaps time will improve Cuil...
Davis Wright Tremaine
Posted by: Sue Mecklem | Jul 29, 2008 1:38:54 PM
A post on Cuil from LifeHacker can be found here, with too many good quotes to summarize, so here's the link
Posted by: Anton | Jul 29, 2008 1:35:12 PM
I tried exactly three searches, which isn't enough to get a particularly accurate picture, but my initial thoughts aren't overly positive. All three searches were variations of my name, which I used because I pretty much know what is out there. The results were okay, though Google finds some additional references that are more obscure (an organization I chaired 10 years ago, syllabi from classes that assign my articles as reading). Interestingly, Cuil picked up an embarrassing spam posting to a listserv that "I" (really some guy in Russia who hijacked my email account)sent.
My real concern though is with their use of copyrighted/trademarked images. I initially liked their use of images as a visual way to identify the result. Until I looked closer. Two of the results that really were me (and not the much more famous volleyball player from Ohio) had two different images--one the logo from a law school I have never even heard of and the other the logo from my law school. I suspect both logos are trademarked. I am not an intellectual property expert and I am curious about whether their use constitutes infringement. At the very least, I now think the images are misleading and compromise the accuracy of the search results.
Stacey L. Gordon
Associate Law Librarian and Associate Prof.
The University of Montana School of Law
Posted by: Stacey Gordon | Jul 29, 2008 9:38:08 AM
Looks like Cuil has a long way to go. I tried 3 searches and it was no contest - Google won each time. First search: mississippi banking department. The first result on Google is the department's webpage, which was my goal. Cuil didn't return the department's webpage at all. Second search was looking for info on a recent Federal decision, terms used: north carolina epa 07/11/2008 d.c. court. Again, Google's first hit was a news story on point. Cuil found zero hits. Third search was for the rules that the Justice Courts in Maricopa County Arizona follow, terms used: justice court rules arizona maricopa. Google's first hit was the webpage for the Justice Courts, and one additional click on "civil suits" told me what rules the Justice Courts follow. Cuil had one hit, and it was not relevant. Keep trying challengers, someone will knock Google off eventually.
Posted by: Jeff McGuire | Jul 29, 2008 9:16:59 AM