Cuil looks useless

July 28th, 2008

So lots of technology sites are all excited about the launch of cuil.com, yet another in a long line of companies that the hype says could dethrone Google.

I went to cuil.com and searched for Amtrak.

It came up with hits for various routes, a historical society, etc. Everything except the actual homepage of Amtrak, amtrak.com, which has the most useful information about Amtrak.

#1 hit on Google.

If Cuil can’t get that right, why bother?

Categories: Software

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  1. Karen in Wichita

    I dunno how widespread it is, but on my sites I blocked Cuil when it was Cuill, because they had issues with bot runaways.

    Of course, if Amtrak was doing that, it doesn’t show up in their robots.txt now, but it’s possible the bot ran afoul of throttling.

    It’s interesting that some Phoenyx results *do* show up, even though they’ve been blocked since forever. Which makes me wonder if they’re just using really stale stuff, or if they bought their starting database from Google, Yahoo, or Ask. Or if they went stealth, though I usually catch those.

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  2. Anonymous

    I do agree that the quality of their search results could use some work. They also have a somewhat out of date database; on the order of months. They also seem to have some issues with high load, probably due to insufficient capacity.

    However, several things about them show great promise. In particular, their ability to cluster results seems very useful. Try searching for “Debian” and you’ll also get categories for Debian Project Leaders, Debian People, Debian package-related tools, Debian-based distributions, Linux distributions, etc. Try searching for “git” and you’ll get categories for “Free Revision Control Software”, “Linux Kernel Hackers” (as well as some bands that had songs with “git” in the title :) ); you’ll also get separate search tabs for “Georgia Institute of Technology” and other such uses of the term “git”.

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  3. Weird

    When I search Cuil for “amtrak” I have two amatrak.com-sites on the first page.

    The first links to a 404-error, that’s not so great, but judging a new search engine on just one site seems a bit too fast forward.

    Reply

  4. Weird

    Hm, I haven’t seen that. There’s a result there:

    [URL=http://img3.imagebanana.com/view/osg7snhl/screenshot1.png][IMG]http://img3.imagebanana.com/img/osg7snhl/thumb/screenshot1.png[/IMG][/URL]

    Reply

  5. jldugger

    Try searching for cuil on cuil. Epic fail.

    Reply

  6. Anonymous

    I tried to do some movie searches yesterday. There were no imdb and wikipedia links in the results, which is totally dissapointing. Google lists those as the first two results.

    Reply

  7. Alexey

    You should try to search for cuil. :) They are not even on front page!

    Reply

  8. Colin

    Cuil is ridiculous. Search for Cuil now and they are number one but … the results page gives a paragraph which should be from the site (of course). Follow the link to their homepage and there is no description, including in their meta tags. Where the hell does the info they display come from!?!?

    Reply

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