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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Google Search is Cool and not Cuil

Like most people, when I want to search something, I use Google. I've tried other search engines and they don't have the same appeal, either their interface is unattractive or the search results are just poor. A couple days ago, Cuil (pronounced cool) came along, a new search engine created by two former Google employees. Claims were made that they have 3x as many webpages indexed as Google and they protect a persons private information (i.e., no weblogs), some were seeing this as a definite Google killer. I tried it out, and my experience was not cool. For the first three hours I couldn't type anything into the search box, apparently they had a server failure, results are given in columns so its hard to tell which hit is the most relevant, and I couldn't figure out how to do an image search. Two aspects that I did like was the Explore by Category Box and the tabbed bar at the top which gives relevant searches, click on this link to see the result of typing Google in the Cuil search engine. I think that Google Search offers so much more, such as specifically searching books, journal articles, news, images, blogs, maps..etc, basically more options are available for the searcher. Also, people turn to Google for so much more than search, I use Docs for Office-like applications but online, Google Earth to explore the world, Gmail for email, Calendar to organize my life, and the lists goes on.
Cuil is not Cool or Kool
In response (I think so anyways) today Google announced some new search features (will start appearing in the next few days) to allow searchers how their results are customized and these will appear as messages in the upper right corner of the search results page. When "more details" is clicked on, information on location (based on computer's IP address and can be specified by the user), recent searches (kept for a limited time and deleted when browser is closed), and web history (which can be signed out of). As Google admitted when Cuil was released, competition is good for business. This new ability to view some of those search secrets is a huge step forward for the internet searcher.