If you don’t already know, Cuil (pronounced like “cool”) is a new search engine that was developed by some former Google employees. They claim to have indexed over 121 billion (with a B) web pages, which is 3 times as many as Google and 10 times as many as MSN.
With much fanfare, Cuil launched earlier this week and, with more fanfare, subsequently crashed. For the most part, on launch day, users were unable to access the search engine. And those who were able to access it were getting confusing results for their queries, especially with regards the thumbnails that sometimes appear next to Cuil’s results.
The typical thing to do, for those of us in the technology field, is to search for one’s name and see what comes back. Given that I have something like a bagillion web sites, it’s usually not hard to find my name. So, here are some of the quick stat comparisons between a Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Cuil search for me: Fred Telegdy.
Google finds 6,430 results for my name. The #1 result is my personal web site, SmoothySmooth. That’s followed by my Mozilla profile, Amazon profile, LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile, a post at CvilleNews about the Mas Tapas Bar fiasco, and my Creative Cow profile.
All in all, pretty good results.
Yahoo finds 2,510 results for my name. Again, the #1 result is SmoothySmooth. That’s followed by my Amazon profile, LinkedIn profile, Amazon again, Mozilla profile, Kafenatid.net (one of my other sites), the CvilleNews article, an archive of a post from an old blog of mine, and the direct link to the Mas Tapas Bar fiasco.
Not quite as impressive as Google, but the results all seem appropriate.
MSN finds just 226 results for my name. In a slight change, their #1 result is my LinkedIn profile. That’s followed by SmoothySmooth, my Amazon profile, the archived blog post, Amazon again, Creative Cow profile, and my Mozilla profile.
Definitely not as impressive as Google or Yahoo, but the results are still appropriate.
Cuil finds 274 results for my name. And that’s about the only thing their search engine has in common with the rest. The results, in order, are:
- A Freakonomics Blog post where I received a “hat tip.”
- Another Freakonomics Blog post where I received a “hat tip.”
- Yet another Freakonomics Blog post where I received a “hat tip.”
- A listing for me at Zoominfo, which provides no substantially relavent information about me.
- The Mas Tapas Bar fiasco.
- A StaticBlog page that doesn’t even contain my name. At all. Not even “Fred.” If I really look, it appears that there is a post from 2007 that talks about several people, including “Brittany Robertson (‘Freddie’)” and “Paul Telegdy.”
- Still another Freakonomics Blog post where I received a “hat tip.” (yes, it’s the same as #3)
- A Darden page about Tsunami Relief (I was helping to collect donations) that no longer exists.
- The Billy Bush page at Spout.com that references Paul Telegdy, with no mention of “Fred.”
- SmoothySmooth finally makes an appearance.
- One last Freakonomics Blog post where I received a “hat tip.” (yes, it’s the same as #7)
Page 2 gets only SLIGHTLY better in that it at least has more results from SmoothySmooth, but it still contains random results, like this one.
Overall, Cuil is a mess. An utter and complete mess.
The worst part is that since it’s a web-based search engine, they could have launched without all the fanfare, got some buzz through viral marketing, all the while fixing the obvious issues in their results, and they would have been much better off.
Instead, they launched with a bang and quickly found themselves hurtling back towards Earth.
While there will certainly be people who use Cuil now and in the future, it’s going to take quite a change for me to ever use them as anything more than a quick humor break.