Cuil search engine: Reinventing the wheel

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There’s a whole lot of buzz online today over the new search engine Cuil.com (pronounced “cool”). There’s two reasons for this. The first, most accessible reason is that Cuil.com claims to index more Web sites (120 million) than Google does. Theoretically, when you search for something on Cuil, you’re drawing from a larger pool of data. The second reason is that the people responsible for Cuil are all ex-Google folk with a lot of venture capital propping them up. That may interest Silicon Valley folks, but we couldn’t give a damn who’s funding whom via-à-vis new Web sites.

Cuil is anything but; it’s a search engine, a utility. (It’s also one that you need to be careful spelling, as culi.com is an Italian porn site. Good job, Cuil.) The site claims to index more sites than Google, but TechCrunch’s numbers don’t show that. The little pictures that show up — what’s the point? When searching for text (“history of baseball,” or some other time-wasting-while-at-work phrase) the look and feel of a Web site is borderline useless.

Finally, the name. Look, Google wasn’t a word that already existed in the American English lexicon, googol notwithstanding. (Hence, “lexicon.” The average dude didn’t/doesn’t know what a googol is.) Cuil isn’t a word, but “cool” certainly is. Can you imagine saying “I’m going to Cuil for some info”” You’re going to “cool” for something? That’s silly. Also, don’t mistype cuil – culi.com is a bit NSFW.

All that said, Cuil is only a few hours old, so all this hype, as these words to describe it are a little premature. Let it develop Give it some time.

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