Thursday, 31 July 2008

Too cuil for school?

I suppose it would only be fitting to briefly add my own comments/opinions to the new search engine that has been making the news earlier this week.

Cuil (pronounced "cool" if you were unaware) was set up by a husband and wife team (rarely a good idea! - not really since Mr and Mrs Curie, and look what happened to them!) with a bunch of former Google employees. They launched the site this week claiming that the engine has indexed 3 times as many web-pages as Google, produces more relevant search results than Google, is more user friendly than Google, maintains 100% privacy of the user and will be the best thing since...well...Google!

Very bold claims.

However, I can't help but ask the question that if these people were former Google employees then were they not good enough to continue working for Google? Or are they really smart and under-appreciated there, so decided to go it alone? Discuss.

Now, these guys must obviously be smart, but couldn't they have picked a somewhat better name? At least Google comes from Googol, which is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros (i.e. 10100. I shall avoid the temptation to be cheesy and write the actual full number. I'll save that for the tabloids.). It is a very simple name and just represents something big. With Cuil you have to explain the Irish origin meaning knowledge, and then follow this by fighting off the Irish people claiming that the word Cuil means "nook" or "rear"!

To recall my comments on the work blog (sorry guys), but I just can't see that name taking off at all. A huge success from Google was the ability for the name to be used as a verb. It put their name into everyday usage.

This t-shirt design just wouldn't work with the verb "to cuil". In fact, from a distance "I cuiled your mom" would look like somebody culled my mum last night, and that just isn't as funny.

On a more serious note though, I do find the "magazine" style lay-out to be very user friendly and could potentially allow for innovative advertising amongst the results. It is just a shame that I have not seen any evidence so far that it produces good search results. A search for even the most basic of things doesn't bring up any links to websites that I would consider to house the info I was after. Also, some commonly used pages that I visit on a regular basis are not even contained in it's results (as far as I can tell).

Although the tabloids do enjoy promoting these type of things and stating the press release details as facts, it has been quite obvious in blogs and forums thus far that the majority of people are unimpressed.

Still, it is very early days and if the results become credible in the near future then they may yet surprise me.

# On a side note, when looking up the above t-shirt, I came across this great one. I may just buy it:


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