Monday, July 28, 2008

Cuil Rhymes With "Fool", But Means "Epic Fail!"

Saw a link off Drudge and then this story about the latest "Google killer" called Cuil.

The end result is Cuil, pronounced "cool." Backed by $33 million in venture capital, the search engine plans to begin processing requests for the first time Monday.

Cuil had kept a low profile while Patterson, her husband, Tom Costello, and two other former Google engineers _ Russell Power and Louis Monier _ searched for better ways to search.

Now, it's boasting time.

For starters, Cuil's search index spans 120 billion Web pages.

Patterson believes that's at least three times the size of Google's index, although there is no way to know for certain. Google stopped publicly quantifying its index's breadth nearly three years ago when the catalog spanned 8.2 billion Web pages.

Cuil won't divulge the formula it has developed to cover a wider swath of the Web with far fewer computers than Google. And Google isn't ceding the point: Spokeswoman Katie Watson said her company still believes its index is the largest.
Sounds awesome? It isn't.

First, the name is the worst since Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez flop "Gigli", which looked like it should be pronounced "giggly", but was actually "ghee-lee". "Coo-ill"? "Coo-isle"? How the heck do you pronounce it?!? FAIL!!!

Secondly, I did the first most-obvious thing you can do with a search engine - search yourself - and with Cuil, here's what I got:
Sorry, an error occurred.

Please try your search again. If the problem persists, please be assured that our team is working quickly to resolve the issue.
Uh-oh. o_O

Running the same searches on Google for both my name and that of my good twin brought up 19,400 and 169,000 hits, respectively. Granted, not all of those results are specifically me (my good twin has a very prominent namesake, it seems), but there's a big difference between some and none. Earlier today, the good twin search at Cuil got me scolded to check the spelling.

With a killer tag team of a stupid, unpronounceable name and crappy results, I hereby declare Cuil a fuilish failure. Nuff said!

UPDATE: A day later, legendary tech curmudgeon John C. Dvorak concurs, saying, "The New Cuil Search Engine Sucks!" The punchline?
This over-hyped product is just another dead-end as far as I can tell. Oh, and the name is stupid too.
As I was saying.

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