(Potentially) better than Google

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dozens of media outlets are heralding the launch today of, a new Internet search engine designed by a former Google employee. What's so great about Cuil? According to its developers, the search engine culls through 120 billion Web pages, which, by some accounts, is three times Google's capacity.

I don't know that I need a search engine to look through hundreds of billions of Web pages in processing my request, but what I like about Cuil (granted I've only had about a few minutes to play around on site so far) is the way pages are designed. Search results are displayed horizontally, as opposed to Google's vertical page, which often forces users to scroll down just to get to the seventh or eighth most relevant finding. Plus, Cuil features helpful drop-down menus that suggest additional micro-searches when your search terms return a huge number of Web hits.

For example, type "Canada" into the search field, and Cuil will retrieve 223,000,000 relevant Web sites. But the results page includes tabs at the top of the page for "Air Canada," "Canada Post" and "Government of Canada," plus a second set of tabs on the right side of the page dividing search results in categories like "Prime Ministers of Canada," "Leaders of the Opposition" and "Canadian Federal Departments."

Also, there are no search-fueled ads. This is in keeping with Cuil's mandate to not retain or use any personal information of users. And, the shorts abstracts from Web sites are easier to read and seemingly more helpful than Google's abstracts.

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