I hope Cuil isn’t an “epic fail”

by Mathew on July 28, 2008 · 5 comments

If you’re a Web geek, the biggest news today is the launch of Cuil.com, a new search engine with a strange Irish name (which is pronounced “cool”) and what it claims is a really big, er… index. The topic has been dominating Techmeme for the better part of the day, with the official Cuil launch post only recently taking over the top spot from Mike Arrington’s TechCrunch post about it. Everyone has an opinion about the company, from the size of their index to their (allegedly) dumb name, or the earth-shattering revelation that they are going to have a tough time competing with a little outfit called Google (gee — ya think?)

On Twitter, the Web 2.0 water-cooler, most of the discussion has revolved around the ways in which the new search service sucks — or rather, is an “epic fail,” as the kids like to say. Searching for the company’s own name doesn’t turn up the search engine’s website (Doh!), and searching for other common terms or names either doesn’t turn up anything, or a small number of inadequate and/or stupid results. The site is down. The whole Irish legend about Finn and the salmon of knowledge is weird. There’s no way it can compete against Google — and so on.

At the risk of being seen as not critical enough, I’m going to throw a vote out there for Cuil. I think the service sounds like an interesting alternative to Google, or Yahoo or MSN for that matter — not that I ever use those services, of course. I don’t particularly care about the size of Cuil’s index (insert double entendre here). But I am interested in having alternatives for search. For me, it’s about finding what I want quickly, and the reality is that Google continues to be littered with poor quality results. If Cuil can solve that problem, then I hope they stick around.

  • http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ Matt Cutts

    Hey Mathew, I'd be interested to hear more about some of the Google searches that returned poor quality results, if you wanted to give some examples.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Thanks, Matt. I can't think of any off the top of my head right now — I'm sure that they were searches for relatively generic and/or spammy type terms — but when I come across some I will be sure to let you know :-)

  • http://www.wholemap.com/blog seemsArtless

    The importance of alternatives rings true with me. We talk so much about innovation, but then everyone jumps on a single bandwagon and there are only a few 'lost' souls to support the competitors.

    I was reminded of this when looking for a pair of portable stereo Bluetooth speakers — take them to the dock, out in the back yard, no wires! But the latest and greatest iPhone / iPod can't support stereo Bluetooth out, so there is no market, so there are very few options.

    I'll give Cuil a try for a while, especially when I'm searching for a wide ranging topic. The 'Explore by category' looks like it could be really useful.

  • Maggy Young

    Gave Cuil a brief try, it isn't there yet, but it's good to see something different.
    Mostly Google is great, but sometimes it can be awful, it has its faults & I think that's what you meant. And it has become more spammy of recent. So why is there no (real) competition ? Is it so much that Google is fallible, everything is, but we've gone stale on seeing the same old search engine ?

  • Maggy Young

    Gave Cuil a brief try, it isn't there yet, but it's good to see something different.
    Mostly Google is great, but sometimes it can be awful, it has its faults & I think that's what you meant. And it has become more spammy of recent. So why is there no (real) competition ? Is it so much that Google is fallible, everything is, but we've gone stale on seeing the same old search engine ?

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