Cuil as Icarus

I’m not the only one who is underwhelmed by Cuil (“cool”–the name by itself is trouble), the new search engine that says it is “faster,” “bigger,” and “better” than Google.  This from today’s Globe:  “[B]y the end of the site’s first day, many bloggers and journalists seemed to have found something to dislike, whether it was a prominent site missing from a set of search results or Cuil’s propensity to match photos of one person with Web pages related to someone else.”  The article quotes a PR consultant about Cuil’s launch, who said “Cuil [should]  slap “BETA” all over the site and any other outbound communication.”  Here is more critical commentary from cNet and TechDreams.  Why pick on Cuil?  It suffers from one of the biggest sins of our age:  over-arching ambition and killer PR married to disappointing substance, like the Ryan Leaf of search engines.

Google v Cuil, Round 1

There’s news today about Cuil–pronounced “cool”–a new search engine created by former Google techies.  Based on my comparison so far I’m not ready to replace “google that” with “cuil that” in my lexicon.  I searched <david randall blog> with both Google and Cuil.  Google returned “A Foolish Consistency” as its fourth item–a surprising result, actually.  There are many David Randalls out there and I didn’t expect anything close to the top ten.  Cuil didn’t list this blog in the top ten and, when I clicked on the additional pages links, I received the message that it found no results for my search.  That just ain’t so.  I also searched for <PDF creator open source>, to add a PDF printer to this computer I’m using in Maine.  Google’s first item was the SourceForge page for PDF Creator, exactly what I’m looking for.   Cuil returned one link, to Open Source Licenses by Category, which did not include direct links to any PDF creation programs.  Two searches is not statisfically significant data pool and I’ll continue to compare the two.  Don’t set off the fireworks yet.