Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Cuil" Competes for Search Engine Crown

CNN reported yesterday that former Google employees have launched a competing search engine, Cuil (http://www.cuil.com/). Creators declare Cuil (pronounced "cool") to be "the world's biggest search engine", possibly indexing up to three times as many web pages as Google (although exact figures for Google's scope have not been publicly available since 2005).

Cuil displays your search results in a 2- or 3-column layout, with brief summaries below each item. An "explore by category" box and navigation tabs help to narrow your results (ever "Google" someone with a generic name, or someone who shares their name with a celebrity?).

The next time you have to search the web, experiment by comparing your results in both Google and Cuil. To assess your results in other major search engines, the site Thumbshots.com will provide side-by-side comparisons of the top hits for a search term in selected search engines, but it unfortunately does not yet include Cuil.

Of course, Cuil and Google are far from the only competitors in this field. To locate lesser-known or specialized search engines, check out the directories at SearchEngineGuide.com and the Yahoo! Search Engine Directory. The recent College@Home posting on "100 Useful Niche Search Engines You've Never Heard Of" may also provide you with some interesting alternatives for your web searches.