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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Cuil.com, new google competitor doesn't work well

Cuil.com, new google competitor doesn't work well
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macintologist
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Jul 28, 2008, 01:09 PM
 
I saw it on CNN today: ex-Google engineers started a new search engine http://www.cuil.com that they say is better than Google and indexed more pages. So I tried a test. I'm sure a lot of people who own iPhones want to unlock them, so they will hit the web and search for how to do it. They will specifically want to unlock their iPhone with the new 2.0 software.

Compare these two search results

http://www.cuil.com/search?q=unlock%...%202.0&sl=long

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c....0&btnG=Search

Me thinks I will stay with Google for the foreseeable future
     
AKcrab
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Jul 28, 2008, 01:46 PM
 
Indeed. I did a bit of testing last night, and Cuil failed miserably on searches that google had no trouble with.
     
MacosNerd
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Jul 28, 2008, 02:08 PM
 
So how do you pronounce cuil?

its not a name that lends itself to brand recognition.
     
Eug
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Jul 28, 2008, 02:17 PM
 
     
Atheist
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Jul 28, 2008, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacosNerd View Post
So how do you pronounce cuil?

its not a name that lends itself to brand recognition.
Marketing 101: Pick a name nobody can pronounce. (Vaio anyone?)
     
Full-Auto
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Jul 28, 2008, 02:21 PM
 
Yeah, Cuil isn't ready for prime time. It's a joke really that it even launched with all of the glaring bugs. What a total marketing screw-up.
     
torsoboy
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Jul 28, 2008, 02:21 PM
 
Yeah, I just tried it out this morning also using the name of my company, and the only thing it came up with a was a bunch of OLD stuff... like 4 years old. Not impressed yet, but maybe after a year or so they can get all the kinks worked out.

I read in an article it was pronounced "cool". The dumb thing with their name is that you can't say to someone "hey, try the new search engine at cool.com", you have to say "try the new search engine C U I L .com."
     
Chuckit
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Jul 28, 2008, 02:34 PM
 
Man, this site is awful. The old WebCrawler or whatever the big search engine was called back in 1994 worked better than this. At best it turns up tangentially related crap, and at worst it turns up absolutely nothing for searches that have more than a million results on Google.
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Jul 28, 2008, 02:39 PM
 
I'm not fond of the presentation.
     
Cold Warrior
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Jul 28, 2008, 02:58 PM
 
It's unavailable for me. Maybe all the traffic crashed it?
     
Chuckit
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Jul 28, 2008, 03:03 PM
 
Maybe somebody at Cuil HQ tried to search for "Cuil" and got zero results and decided to take the site down before more people see it.
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nonhuman
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Jul 28, 2008, 03:07 PM
 
They've got a message up now:

We’ll be back soon...

Due to overwhelming interest, our Cuil servers are running a bit hot right now. The search engine is momentarily unavailable as we add more capacity.

Thanks for your patience.
That's a good sign...
     
moep
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Jul 28, 2008, 03:10 PM
 
I really got a kick out of Merlin Mann’s twitter comment on cuil:

Launching a search engine today must feel like a bit challenging Radiohead to a battle of the bands with homemade guitars.
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Jul 28, 2008, 03:11 PM
 
Cuil sucks. This thread should die

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MacosNerd
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Jul 28, 2008, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
Marketing 101: Pick a name nobody can pronounce. (Vaio anyone?)
So it seems those folks took the same marketing class
     
imitchellg5
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Jul 28, 2008, 04:30 PM
 
Lousy interface even if it finds results. It's much to cluttered to quickly find the results you want.
     
Chuckit
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Jul 28, 2008, 05:12 PM
 
It's pretty obvious their design goal was "Be different from Google" rather than "Don't suck."
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Jul 28, 2008, 05:19 PM
 
And I thought the iPhone 3G launch was disastrous...

This thing is horrible. I'm sticking with Google, and I have a feeling that 99.99% of others out there will as well.
     
richwig83
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Jul 28, 2008, 05:25 PM
 
Not a fan of it TBH! Where's image search etc etc... also the way it shows results is way too faffy for my liking.

The reason why google works and 'everyone' uses it is that it displays results clearly!!
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Jul 28, 2008, 05:42 PM
 
Even if it did work, how much thunder could it steal from Google these days anyway? I mean like it or not, Google is synonymous with Internet search.

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Chuckit
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Jul 28, 2008, 06:56 PM
 
It's back up. It now appears to find results for everything, but the results are still bad.

For example, searching for Joss Whedon's new Web show, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, turns up the official site, a fan site and a trailer as the first three results on Google for "Dr Horrible". That's pretty good. Cuil turns up none of these on the first page of results. It turns up an irrelevant Wikipedia entry, an old blog post, some article on Canada.com that mentions Dr. Horrible in passing and another old article on ShowHype.com for its top four results.
( Last edited by Chuckit; Jul 28, 2008 at 07:02 PM. )
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Randman
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Jul 28, 2008, 07:08 PM
 
I guess none of the 4 worked in QC for Google.

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villalobos
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Jul 28, 2008, 08:08 PM
 
It seems actually better now. I kinda like the preview of the results. We'll see how it evolves. Competition is ALWAYS good anyways, even to good companies like Google.
     
BasketofPuppies
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Jul 28, 2008, 08:14 PM
 
Given that Microsoft is having trouble competing against Google and that Yahoo! has half given up the fight, how does a start-up expect to get anywhere?

Google's dominance of Internet search (and, by extension, syndicated Internet advertising) will not last forever, but unless you have lots and lots of money that you can lose for years and years (you know, like Microsoft), going after Google while it's in its prime is a lost cause.
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Chuckit
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Jul 28, 2008, 08:18 PM
 
When Google started, I know a lot of people who thought it was silly to compete with Yahoo. Sometimes David can take down Goliath.
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BasketofPuppies
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Jul 28, 2008, 08:36 PM
 
But Yahoo! never dominated the Internet the way that Google does now.

Besides, Google got big when seemingly every Internet company was in decline. Cuil is attempting to go directly against Google in Google's prime.
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MacosNerd
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Jul 28, 2008, 08:37 PM
 
Too little too late, the market has solidified with the current mix. If that wasn't bad enough, having incomplete or incorrect results returned is during your launch is disastrous. How can anyone take them serious when the wrong results are produced.
     
zro
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Jul 28, 2008, 09:05 PM
 
Given time I'm sure their PageRank (or whatever they're using) will get better.

I don't like how they drop in images into the results.

The name looks like "sweel" or "swill" to me.

Which reminds me of: http://www.grupthink.com/topic/22
     
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Jul 28, 2008, 09:14 PM
 
These search results are nothing less than bog swill.

When I search for "weather in edinburgh, scotland", the first result is a spam site called "pharmdata.co.uk" The site conveys such useless text as:

More functionalists are roman catholic, but weather edinburgh scotland of episode s buried in panama nutritionally there are terms of histamine for prices of messy religious persuasion.
Another top result tells me:
Canadian online stores dies and an raspy switzerland map sucked the life from weather edinburgh scotland
There is also a link to a sketchy site where I can download some old Pixies songs, and a few other useless websites.

The category tool to the right tells me that my search query is in the category, "Founders of English Schools And". Not very helpful.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find a single weather-related website.
     
Arkham_c
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Jul 28, 2008, 09:20 PM
 
Yeah... I tried to search for "gwt ext ux" which is a programming library I've been looking at lately -- none of the three matches are even relevant.
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Jul 29, 2008, 09:36 AM
 
I'm ambivalent at the moment. It seems to work ok as a basic search engine, but nowhere as good as Google at the moment. Given time and experience, who knows? Perhaps they'll make something of it.

Certainly this is the most promising effort for quite some time.
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Maflynn
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Jul 29, 2008, 09:59 AM
 
bad name, ugly site and poor results return = failure
     
blackstar
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Jul 29, 2008, 10:18 AM
 
I noticed that it got more search results later in the day. i.e. in the morning i cuiled my name and it didn't get any results. Later in the day it got most of the usual pages that should pop.

On the other hand I don't think a search engine can go online and be perfect. It takes time for them to optimize the whole process. I already like the design much better than googles. WIth frames its really easy to reach page 2 etc...

We'll see.
     
MacosNerd
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Jul 29, 2008, 10:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by blackstar View Post
On the other hand I don't think a search engine can go online and be perfect. It takes time for them to optimize the whole process.
Why couldn't they run their search engine for a couple of weeks to optimize it before unveiling it. Besides, these are ex-google employees they should know a thing or two about search engines.
     
Thorzdad
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Jul 29, 2008, 10:35 AM
 
Tried running it on an older version of Safari. No scrollbar for results that ran off the bottom of the page. Arrow-down worked to see the rest. Arrow-up, though, didn't work. Clicking to see page two (of 12) of the results gave me a "Your search did not return any results" error. Huh??? It said there were 12 pages of results.

Google works on darn near any browser made in the past umpteen years. That's a big win over this Web-Two-Point-Oh! bit of preciousness. If your intended product is information delivery, you do not let the interface and design get in the way of bringing that information to the largest number of people possible.
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RAzaRazor
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Jul 30, 2008, 03:37 AM
 
When I search for my company name, the image that is included next to us in the results is A ****ING SWASTIKA! What the frack? We are a music company, not some neo-nazi organization. Results for other pages bring up more nazi images. Thanks for everything Cuil, we'll stick with google ad-words!
     
RAzaRazor
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Jul 30, 2008, 03:41 AM
 
OMFG! I just searched for nazi music trying to figure out the connection, and they have my company logo on one of the results talking about white power! WTF Cuil? What a complete piece of garbage!
     
AKcrab
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Jul 30, 2008, 04:09 AM
 
RACISZT!!!!11

Cuil sucks right now. I would rather Ask Jeeves.
     
Mastrap
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Jul 30, 2008, 07:15 AM
 
I've googled my name and the results are actually quite impressive. One weird thing I encountered was that clicking on the second page of results gave a 'no results' error. Clicking on page 5 worked fine, then clicking back to page 2 also worked.

Definitely not ready for public use. I think they made a mistake by going public so soon, most people will just come to the conclusion that cuil.com doesn't work.
     
moep
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Jul 30, 2008, 07:19 AM
 
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS!

http://www.cuil.com/search?q=Eric%20Schmidt&sl=long
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zro
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Jul 30, 2008, 10:42 AM
 
See, this is what I was talking about. Them pics gotta go. As do the spam results.
     
slpdLoad
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Jul 30, 2008, 10:49 AM
 
Useless search engine, and yet they managed to rake in $33 million just because they are "ex-Google employees." What a crock. Give $33 million to a real startup company and see what happens.

Do a search for "cuil". It can't even find itself.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Jul 30, 2008, 10:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by moep View Post
DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS!

http://www.cuil.com/search?q=Eric%20Schmidt&sl=long
LOL, I like how the pictures that Cuil pulls up are all completely nonsensical and unrelated to the page they're supposedly associated with.

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andi*pandi
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Jul 30, 2008, 11:29 AM
 
if they were completely nonsensical, that'd be one thing... but to be misrepresentational is another.

Searching for my companies' websites brings up old images THAT DON'T EXIST on our servers anymore. Hello, screenshot of homepage from 1998!
     
Chuckit
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Jul 30, 2008, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by slpdLoad View Post
Useless search engine, and yet they managed to rake in $33 million just because they are "ex-Google employees." What a crock. Give $33 million to a real startup company and see what happens.

Do a search for "cuil". It can't even find itself.
But it does find itself if you search for "Cuill", which was apparently its development name. So I guess it's official: Cuil is hopelessly behind the times.
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