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July 28, 2008

New Search Engine Has Google Nervous

A new search engine launched today has market leader Google nervous. Why? Because Cuil.com (pronounced “cool”) is being touted as having the potential to topple Google off their pedestal. Yes, it’s been predicted before to no avail, but this time the critics might be right. Let’s take a look at reasons why:

1) Cuil can apparently claim the title of world’s biggest search engine, searching more pages on the Web than any other site. That’s three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft.

2) Cuil tackles the issue of privacy by promoting the fact that they don’t collect user data. Privacy concerns are apparently one of the main reasons users abandon Google in favor of other engines.

3) The three founders of Cuil know search inside out. They include ex-Googlers Anna Patterson and Russell Power of the TeraGoogle project and Tom Costello of IBM’s WebFountain project.

4) Even Danny Sullivan thinks Cuil could be a major player. As he points out:

“Google already did a blog post in reaction to Cuil and its size claims on Friday, before Cuil even launched or those claims became public. If Google’s paying that much attention, then anyone should.”

That’s good enough for me!

5) Cuil provides some unique tools for researchers and serious searchers. After you perform a search, you sometimes see a box on the right-hand side that says “Explore By Category” with a list of subjects related to your search. If you roll-over a category, it will open and show related refinements. It reminds me of the dig tool you sometimes see when performing keyword research on WordTracker or KeywordDiscovery.

And what exactly does “Cuil” mean? Apparently it is an ancient Irish word for knowledge. How very cuil!

Stay tuned to see if Cuil can make a dent in Google’s 1st place trophy.

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