Can Cuil Really be the Google Killer? - A Detailed Comparative StudyBy Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Friday, November 28, 2008
Cuil is a search engine website (pronounced as Cool) developed by a team of ex-Googlers and other top notch people from institutions like Altavista and IBM. Cuil, termed as the ‘Google Killer’ was launched on 28th July, 2008 and claims to be world’s largest search engine, indexing three times as many pages as Google and ten times that of Microsoft’s. I have been following Cuil right from its birth and it surely has come a long way in case of accuracy and proper indexing of search results. So let us take a look at Cuil and decide if it can really be an alternative to Google.
Yes Cuil has a larger database and I searched with at least 20 keywords, such as Search, Fear, Pink Floyd, Prime and etc and every time Cuil offered me at least 3 times as many pages as Google did. But the point is, who needs more than 100 relevant search results? How many times have you landed up at the 11th page of Google? Hardly ever. The number, which they boast of does nothing to people who search but adds to their agenda of indexing the whole internet.
2. Search By Categories
Yes, that is where Cuil beats Google or other search engines hands down. This is a wonderful feature where you can not only get results from the search-driven links but also search them by categories which is at the top right corner of the browser. Let me give you an e.g.
When I searched for a native industrial place in India, Google did a fair job as usual and with their new relevant search keywords feature at the search box just when you type its easier.. But Cuil not only returned me with search results, they also gave me neighbourhood places, names of other villages, railway stations and etc. Again, the website has categories within the categories, which saves a lot of time of the users. I sincerely give it to Cuil this time.
3. Prelude to Search
Though Google has it too, but the Roll-over definition from Cuil provides a prelude to any specific topic in a much better and broader way. So its something that goes well for Cuil.
The website has a purposive appearance, and its interface is extremely appealing. The homepage boasts of black colored background, with grey letters seem to be embossed over it, the black, blue, and grey combination confers captivating looks to the website. The homepage is very tidy, and it is not cluttered with advertisements or other such stuffs. Further, the website has the conventional white search window with search results appearing in blue. Most of the search results have the respective images linked with them, which renders a pleasant feel to the website by all means. Furthermore, the website is pretty quick to navigate, and usually take few seconds to guide the users through various pages linked to the search results.
Though I didn’t like the concept of having a multi- columnar search results. Instead of a list, it displays results in three columns (though you can switch to a two-column view as well). Intuitively, it would seem that the most important results would be in the top left corner, but Cuil does not make this explicit. And I am not comfortable with the idea of seeing results like thumbnail views at my pictures folder from Windows XP.
5. No Dictionary
This is where Cuil must improve. There are so many times we search the internet where we know the word but don’t know how exactly it is spelt and there stands Google at our rescue with Did You Mean: <Correction Option>. It has saved me many times from being stranded at the middle of road with an ignorant face, lol.
I searched with two words, Panda(e)monium (to see if cuil returns me the correctly spelt word or no) and and Mar Adent(r)o (Its a wonderful movie but wanted to see if Cuil anyway understands the foreign lanugage). In both the cases I was thoroughly disappointed because the corrections were never sighted and moreover, I was not even taken to relevant pages. That is what Cuil must improve upon.
6. Safe Search
Yes. that is another safe option that Cuil can boast of and Google should have taken into account before long. You can use a safe search button to turn on and off and then any obscene or pornographic content will not reach you.
I tried it with the word Pornography with safe search on and off. And the results, without being explicit about it, was exactly up to the mark and perfectly appreciable.
The Rise and Fall of Cuil
I will present to you a graph of Cuil that will show you how Cuil had risen at its birth and have fallen ever since.
As you can figure out, the reason for this is pretty simple. Google has grown so magnanimous over the years that its not only a search engine anymore. People live by it. Websites are designed and optimized according to Google’s preferences. Millions of people earn from Google and its ad revenues. So if Cuil intends to to grow bigger than Google, then it won’t be possible unless they become more effective in return search results and then they should go and hit the market revenues.
Cuil has every potential to be a very different and strong contender to Google compared to other competitors we have seen in the recent past. It has nice features, quick deliverance and some unique features. What needs to be done is to optimize it so that it can return unparalleled relevant search results and a thought about changing that column-wise layout and adding a dictionary will be absolutely primary. I guess we all are looking forward to someone who can be a moderate alternative to Google. Cuil, can you achieve that? We will wait.
Tags: Cases, Cuil, Fallen, Google, Search Engine