back to article Ex-Googlers reinvent web search

In an attempt to upstage their former employer, a trio of ex-Googlers have launched a search engine of their own. They insist on calling it "Cuil" - pronounced "cool," apparently - and they say it "goes beyond today’s search techniques." This includes flashing random pornography when you search for information about a Grenoble …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    I used to be on the same bit of campus as the computer science school of UoN.

    I don't remember seeing any of that going on.

  2. V

    Not much good for sites with content dragged in using js/ajax calls.

    "Content based results" sounds fine in practice - but sometimes "most popular" really is what you want. This is particularly the case where the content is applied by javascript or an ajax call. Being able to handle THOSE kind of sites would be truly radical. (Overuse/misuse of ajax is to be avoided, but sometimes it's necessary...)

    E.g. - arguably, searching on something like "diddlefinger" should bring up the google maps mashups by that name [disclaimer: it is mine] as one of the top links - not a range of sites that refer to it.

  3. laurence brothers


    Ha, and that was with "safe search" turned on, too.

  4. E


    I searched on "Posix thread mutex" on cuil. It came back with links that seem well related to the search, but the pictures are a bit out there.

    link title: "Boost.Threads - Mutex Concept", picture of book "Programming with POSIX Threads" by Butenhof.

    link title: "Multithreading Programming Topics: Using POSIX Thread ...", picture of book "Programming with POSIX Threads" by Butenhof.

    link title: "Qt Toolkit - Thread Support in Qt", picture of some cross stitch or petty point.

    link title: "Thread Support in Qt", picture of a music CD "Star of Crash" (hard to read the title.

    link title: "POSIX Threads Programming", picture of some men working on one of the cables atop a large suspension bridge.

    I followed some of the links and they were indeed all related to POSIX threads, which is not too shabby. Just the pics were a bit odd.

    Now, if I had searched on "POSIX rope mutex", or perhaps "insert object into STL container" I might have got some different pictures.

    Interesting also that wikipedia did not constitute most of the first page of links.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Due to excessive load, our servers didn't return results

    Please try your search again.

  6. Edward Clarke

    It has problems with "Dr."

    If you type in Jonathan Grattage it returns the naughty pictures. If you type in

    Dr. Jonathan Grattage then it fails - says the load is too high.

  7. E


    Wow, V, those are some excellent maps of Japan!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Too Cuil to be on Cuil?

    Just tried searching for information on Cuil on Cuil.

    Found Sligo and Scotland, but not Cuil the search engine!

    If the search engine ignores self-promotion, it's got to be good!

    [Paris, because searching for Paris on Cuil definitely gives more interesting results than searching for Paris on Google...]

  9. tony trolle


    I still miss hotbot before it got messed up c.1999

  10. Matti Ressler

    Do it right....

    We make extensive use of Ajax without any problem whatsoever with search engines, eg.

    This comes down very simply to superior site design.

    Matti Ressler


  11. Chris Harlen

    It does not stack up

    I did a test search using House of Health and found that there were multiple duplications of a small number of sites and their contents, though there was a statement saying that "92,746 results for House of Health" only 23 pages with 11 results showed on each, most of the 264 were duplicates.

    Google shows more House of Health sites.

    Test for yourself.

  12. Trix
    Paris Hilton

    Holy sh*t

    I wrote them a grumpy email yesterday for using a copyrighted image that has nothing to do with me or or the content of my site to link to it. So it could have been worse, eh?

    Also, the searching itself is complete pants. As mentioned above, some huge proportion of the search results are simply links to online directories (such as dmoz) - doing a search on "canberra organic garden" has my site on the first page... but no return on the Canberra Organic Gardening Society, half a dozen links to directory sites, and the balance having nothing to do with Australia, much less Canberra (or organic gardening). Searching on "organic garden canberra" doesn't return my site, nor COGS or anything else to do with organic gardening in Canberra. "organic garden_ing_ canberra" returns a whole raft of different results, with COGS finally showing up.

    Similar results occur with all of the searches I've carried out, with occasional links to those Wikipedia clone sites when it comes to the more factual material.

    Can I also point out that using a word to name your website that cannot be correctly pronounced by anyone other than Gaelic readers is complete w@nk. There are plenty of other languages that have words that can be pronounced by anyone who reads a Latin-based script (I vote for "kono", which is Maori for "basket" (of knowledge).

    /Paris, because she can usually find what she's looking for, unlike Cuil.

  13. Tom

    Are they sure it's not cull ?

    Maybe they just want to sell it to Microsoft for a big bag of money.

  14. V

    @Matti Ressler

    ...actually your use of ajax does not seem terribly extensive at all, and it certainly isn't the kind of site I had in mind. (It is a nice site, just not of the type i was referring to...)

    No one doubts that you can often, with a bit of thought, "do things in a way that is search engine friendly" - but if that is the only reason that you are doing it- rather than because the application itself demands it, then you are compromising your site simply to get around an inadequacy in a search engine...

    Pragmatically, that may be worth doing, but it is still more or less a "nasty hack". (That said, being forced to think "do I really need to do this on an ajax call or by writing to the DOM directly" is a jolly good discipline - but sometimes the answer is "yes". )

    The point I was making is that going to a "content" model, as Cuil seems to, is something of a step backwards, because it exacerbates the problem with indexing content applied after the page has loaded - which it seems to be unable to parse. For such sites, the "popularity" model actually works better as web-surfers can analyze the content better than Cuil is apparently able to.

  15. Charles Manning

    Rubbish info

    I think the UI has potential, but the results are rubbish. About half the searches I tried (all technical - honest!) returned name squats and really stupid pictures with no bearing on the subject matter.

    Pictures only inform if they are relevant. If not, then leave them out.

    Cuil claims to search more pages than Google. Perhaps, but quality is far more important than quantity.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The BBC...

    ...picked up on Cuil too, and wrote this on their site:

    "Cuil claims that its technology moves away from the methods that have driven Google's success"

    ...which would explain why Cuil is so awful.

  17. Lyall

    LOL@Matti Ressler

    "We make extensive use of Ajax without any problem whatsoever with search engines, eg.

    This comes down very simply to superior site design."

    Installing OSCommerce and throwing a template on it doesn't make you or your websites superior to anything.

  18. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Wild Joker Cards ....... for Trumping Kings and Queens.

    "Maybe they just want to sell it to Microsoft for a big bag of money."

    If there's astute Celtic blood coursing through their veins, then licensing it to Microsoft for bags of big money would have them sitting pretty and feeling on top of the world.

    And with careful tweaking/tuning of the search algorithm, in order to deliver outstanding lead content, can easily ensure that Novel Information Leads Future Direction ..... which would be Real Cool Cuil ...... although paradoxically, it would be AIRed Hot XXXX dDevelopment ReSearch and Product Placement.

    Are they Planning a Simply Cuil Cloud Complex to lay waste to mouldy G.C.H.E.E.S.E. and the Fuddy Duddy. As we know, cheese is one of those new fangled, entangled string fuels for Upper Crust Echelons .......

    Or is that something which is always in Locked and Secure Beta AIR&dD and therefore Intellectual Property which need not necessarily be discussed and/or revealed until such times as they have IT sussed or choose to XXXXPose.

    Seems like a Good Plan ..... and for anyone capable of sitting on top of the world and feeling pretty ..... a Godsend ....... although Really, it is just IT and AI conspiring 42 EduTain you, Virtually....... with AIRange of Network InterNetworking RobotIQs to Capture the Living Soul and Process ITs Imagination into Beta CyberIntelAIgent Leads Transparently Shared Steganographically with Much SMARTer Leaderships.

    Way to Go, Cuil. amfM HyperRadioProActivity Seconds that NEUKlearer Quantum Leap Path.

    And yes, you can think that that is Absoluut GBIrish but any Full Monty Goon would Realise that it is also Raw PerlyGatesPython for Empirical Imperial Use.

    cc HMGCC re GCHQ Roles in Great Games 42 Play with Quantum Communications BetaTesting Intelligences.

    IT certainly beats pratting about like the headless chicken or psychotic hubristic idiot in Palaces like Westminster....... :-)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Tried yesterday when the BBC announced the site yesterday, got no results at all for several searches, just a page loading progress bar. Google killer? I think not.

  20. Itsacon
    Thumb Down

    I found out how they make money...

    Just searched for the title of my own website, and 90% of the results were ad-sites with text from my website in the description. The description on Cuil, that is. Going to the site in question showed nothing of the sort on the page, just ads

    The top result was a link to an old URL of my site, which has been off-line for over a year...

    Thumbs down, cause they need to do some work before I step over from Scroogle...

  21. A. Lewis
    Thumb Down

    Oh deary me.

    Just when you thought web company names couldn't get any worse. Cuil? Seriously? It sounds like a disease.

  22. BillPhollins
    Paris Hilton

    It's not hot

    I tried searching for this in google, it returned lots of articles about it, but not the actual URL. How suspicious...

    Also I tried cuil itself yesterday, typed in tcp ip and it found a whopping 0 results. I think I'll stick to google...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While I'm all for a credible Google rival...

    ...this ain't it. At least not yet. As others have said, this whole contextual thing is all well and good, but it doesn't seem to deliver the actual site you're looking for, just all the sites that reference it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Bloody hell this site should have NSFW warning!

    Don't miss type for and defiantly don't search for "sql case". Im going for a lie down.

    Paris because - well just take a guess.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    More Hot Action

    Searched for my FlickR name. Page 2 comes up and has a result for a new Narnia movie with some Hot Porn pic, that doesn't even seem to be on the page. Thats with safe search on!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "I still miss hotbot before it got messed up c.1999"

    Amen to that one, brother.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    I don't care what they say...

    'Cull' is pronounced 'cull' as in 'hull', if you want to call it 'cool' spell it 'cool', or 'cuul' or 'cewl'.

    For goodness sake.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The funniest thing...

    ... is that I was in the same form group as Jonathan at college.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Idiot pictures

    "I wrote them a grumpy email yesterday for using a copyrighted image that has nothing to do with me or or the content of my site to link to it. So it could have been worse, eh?"

    So did I - using a different charities logo for the charity website I run is not a good start (charities that work in the same kind of area, but different approaches and one secular, one not)

    Not impressed so far...

  30. Jon Grattage

    @Anonymous Coward

    I've known a lot of Anonymous Coward's, you'll have to be more specific... :)

  31. Chris Richards

    poor john holmes...

    this immigration attorney in orlando will not be happy.

    I see cuil having some legal issues!

    And I really don't like the image thing - I hope this is a work in progress!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They have one of my sites with Iraqi dirt farmers :)

    Brilliant, I think it is a ploy, gosh I hope it is because if not I will be looking for vengeance.

    Cuil it has an i not a double l :) But cool it is not.

    I cannot even work out the correlation of picture to url logic, it is just one great cock up.

    They could be road side bombers, have to check out some other urls (see that is the ploy).

  33. Adrian Jackson
    Paris Hilton

    The images seem to be completely messed up

    But in a strangely logical way. Mixing up charity logos, for example. I searched for my band, and although it found our website (consisting of a single logo and a list of MP3s) it ignored our logo and presented the album cover from "A Looney Tunes Sing-A-Long Christmas". Which doesn't quite fit with our post-punk stylings, but is gratifying nonetheless.

    Strangest thing is that it seems to be consistent - using a different wrong image each time would suggest a 'simple' threading issue. Using the *same* wrong image each time is just confusing (and prone to law suits).

    Paris, because this comment has nothing to do with her, and if it's good enough for cuil...

  34. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "illustrate the vastness and the variety of the Web"

    Well let's see, the web is comprised of 35% junk (pics of pets or kids), 30% porn, 20% news, fake news and tech news, and the rest is either purely commercial or useless.

    So if your search site wants me to discover the 70% I'm not interested in, don't bother.

  35. Sparkypatrick

    Guysh, thish shearch engine ish not ready!

    Went to check it out - took about a minute to open, found nothing that Google didn't, presented the results in a cluttered mess and for "DHCP server Windows 2003" found no results. Best not to announce your "Google-beater" until you actually have it working. Have a Grolsch and get back to the drawing board.

  36. Adrian Jackson

    Also: Pronounced 'cool'?

    I prefer to pronounce it very similarly, as 'cul' - the French for 'arse'.

  37. W

    Where's Osama? Glasgow!

    A search for "Glasgow" returned a link for 'Glasgow Centre for the Child and Society' with an accompanying image of Osama bin Laden!

    A search for "delicious" (or even "") failed to return the social bookmarking site on the first page of results.

    It's not all bad though. "Reg" returns a top centre link to

    But on balance: rubbish. I'll not be back in a hurry.

    I find Scour (formerly aftervote, formerly younanimous) to be a much more useful alt search at the mo.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Still needs some work

    The naughty pic has now disappeared. Testing cuil a bit revealed it is still far from cool.

    "i wanna rule the world" 10cc lyric returns 0 results on cuil, whilst removing the quotation marks returns 4 605 641 results as opposed to Google's 856. I did not check for duplications, though (I have to get some work done as well!).

    Quotation marks, however, definitely confuses cuil no end, almost invariably returning the following error page:

    We didn’t find any results for “"whatever search criteria you entered"”

    Some reasons might be...

    * a typo. Please check your spelling.

    * your search includes a term that is very rare. Try to find a more common substitute.

    * too many search terms. Please try fewer terms.

    Finally, try to think of different words to describe your search.

  39. Anthony Zacharzewski

    More Cuil failage

    I searched for my site, The Democratic Society, with quotes. First result: Homepage of the North Korean government.

    Are they trying to tell me something?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    @Anonymous Coward

    "....'Cull' is pronounced 'cull' as in 'hull', if you want to call it 'cool' spell it 'cool', or 'cuul' or 'cewl'...."

    that's all very interesting, but since the site is called 'cuil', not very relevant.


    @gaelic scholars everywhere

    'cuil' is irish for fly [as in buzzing insect] or 'bad mood' and is pronounced somewhere between 'quill' and 'kill' depending what part of the gaeltacht you're from. if they want it to be pronounced 'cool' they'd have to stick a 'fada' on the 'u' and spell it 'cúil'. that means a 'nook' or 'corner'.

    i can see plenty of opportunity for witty quippage with any of those three options:

    * 'fly' - because you're likely to land in the shit, using it

    * 'bad mood' - because that's what you'll be in, when you search for yourself and find some gay porn under your name [unless you're a gay porn-star!]

    * 'nook/corner' - because [judging on current performance] that's likely to be representative of the amount of google's market share this thing manages to steal

  41. Anonymous Coward

    A search is only as good as the results it returns

    Totally bizarre, I think amanfrommars has been helping code their search algorithms...

    Searching for my company name does find my homepage amongst lots of unrelated sites, but like others above they have used someone else's logo.

    I note Cuil seem to be hosting the images themselves, so they maybe don't have enough storage / bandwidth and want to just re-use the same few files so they get cached by people's browsers or proxy servers to save on resending.

    Results which link to my blog have pictures of some TV show (could be Lost as the bot probably was, but it's a very small thumbnail so hard to tell). Another link to my blog has a pic of a car showroom (nothing to do with me in any way whatsoever).

    Even more weird, a search for "Microsoft training Leeds" has as the second result a page on which does not exist, with link text from an Irish e-learning provider's press releases (nowhere near Yorskshire). Even more strangely, the title text carrying the link reads "management training lesbian training microsoft training".

    This is just ridiculous, and has nothing to do with the linked site at all. Putting it back into cuil as a search term does not return that page at all.

    The other results seem to have a preference for pictures of David Brent, for some unknown reason.

    Does this non-existent page count as one of the 121 billion pages indexed?

    I like the layout of the search results - it looks a bit bloggish, in a good way. Pictures will help the look but only they have at least a vague relevance. Not sure if they help you choose the right link to follow, though.

    As for the name, I have no problem if the Gaelic for knowledge happens to sound like "kewl" - it's no more arbitrary than "Google", or misspelling words like digg and flickr.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Bunch of arse

    they should rename it Culo*

    *students of Italian slang will get where I'm coming from. The rest of you, look it up, possibly in a different search engine.

  43. Chris
    Thumb Down

    It's sureal!

    The level of 'reliabiity' is laughable. The first test terms I tried worked perfectly, right site, No1 ranking, even the right image (the site banner) - after that though it went seriously down hill, failed to find any correct sites from test terms known to work on the big G within the first 2-3 pages. And tons of completely inappropriate, not to mention more than a few NSFW accompanying images.

    In a way it reminds me a little of the early Google - but with that you did often find what you were after, the odd 'off the wall' result was a kind of unlooked for bonus.

    This thing, except for the very first search I tried, isn't off the wall - it's missed the building, the town, the country and isn't even on the right planet!

    Cool it definitely ain't. However you spell it.

  44. Anonymous Coward


    Surely you should know better than to misplace an apostrophe, Jon...

    They seem to have removed the connection between the offending images and your name now! I guess they weren't fond of the negative publicity- although I reckon you've given them a boost in traffic.

  45. Matthew Ellen
    Thumb Down

    failed my ego search

    Searching for my name with Google returns my website as the very first result, even when I don't use quotes.

    Searching with cuil puts my website in the middle of page 16. That's with quotes.

  46. Allan Rutland


    Funniest thing is to search for wikipedia on Cuil...according to it Wiki doesn't even exist :P or is that just wishful thinking.

  47. Jon Grattage

    @Christopher P. Martin

    I know, I know - why isn't there an edit button on this thing? I blame this French keyboard - I clearly intended to type a "4" there.

    Although there is a boost, I think most people will discover that cuil is a bit rubbish.

    I'm waiting for this to be added to the wikipedia page now.

  48. duncan campbell

    Incompetent IP pirates


    "We didn’t find any results for “fubarhak”"


  49. Chris Matchett
    Thumb Down


    it's shite at searching for pr0n

  50. Uwe Dippel

    AC Warning

    I was trying my best to get NSFW stuff on my desktop. According to some AC, a search for "sql case" would do. It gives a tiny thumb, among others, and clicking on it, continuously ends here:

    Server Error in '/' Application.

    The remote server returned an error: (500) Internal Server Error.

    Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

    Exception Details: System.Net.WebException: The remote server returned an error: (500) Internal Server Error.

    Source Error:

    Line 48: Dim aRequestedHTML() as Byte

    Line 49:

    Line 50: aRequestedHTML = objWebClient.DownloadData(siteURL)

    Line 51:

    Line 52: 'STEP 3: Convert the Byte array into a String

    Source File: c:\websites\cutebaskets293\\process.aspx Line: 50

    Stack Trace:

    [WebException: The remote server returned an error: (500) Internal Server Error.]

    System.Net.HttpWebRequest.CheckFinalStatus() +680

    System.Net.HttpWebRequest.EndGetResponse(IAsyncResult asyncResult) +139

    System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetResponse() +251

    System.Net.WebClient.DownloadData(String address) +151

    ASP.process_aspx.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e) in c:\websites\cutebaskets293\\process.aspx:50

    System.Web.UI.Control.OnLoad(EventArgs e) +67

    System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +35

    System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain() +750

    Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:1.1.4322.2407; ASP.NET Version:1.1.4322.2407

    That's Microsoft-dot-Net for you. No wonder, AND a confirmation for my worst suspicion: Of course, they never want anything with it! They make it somewhat workable, remove the pr0n, and sell it to Steve B. for a few hundred millions. Bastards!

  51. Anonymous Coward

    I like it

    My ego search on their site made me top dog for the first time in a long time, since some annoying guy in the US government decided to steal all my thunder.

    other than that - it sucks donkey d*ck - hmmm... wonder what that search would turn up...

  52. TeeCee Gold badge


    (Cue hordes of gaelic speakers pointing that that should be pronounced to rhyme with "porcupine" or somesuch.........)

  53. John Goodwin

    cAsE specific search, and links blocked due to leeching?

    Since I'm an old fart, I thought I'd try looking for info on the classy old stalwart of the 70's, the Rover P5B.

    Simply typed in rover p5b, and cuil got it's knickers in a twist. Tried with P5B and got this result from a link clicked on:


    Leech (computing)

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Jump to: navigation, search

    Access denied: remote loader detected.


    This request has been identified as coming from a remote-loading website. This is not Wikipedia, please update your bookmarks. Access Wikipedia only through *

    A remote loader is a website that loads content from another site on each request. The content is typically filtered, framed with ads, and then displayed to the user.

    The remote loader either:

    * Pretends to be the source website, perhaps using a deceptive domain name; or

    * Converts all instances of the name of the source website to some other name.

    We consider remote loading websites to be an unfair drain on our server resources, and so they are systematically blocked, as this one has been.


    I think I'll be sticking with Blackle/Google to be honest.

    Mine's the one with the leather elbow patches, and walnut pipe.

  54. Alan Fisher

    It's pronounced Cweel

    In Irish, the word is pronounced cw-eel (approximately) and not cool......I understand the phonetic simplification and, of course, the amusing similar sounding word (something -phone, I forget, to my shame) but get the Irish right or you'll upset the Irish!!

    There had to have someone in Ireland express his ire! lol

    I'm quietly confident; lets see how they iron out the wrickles as we beta it for them....

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    doesn't know how to use the blur feature?

    Surely you could have used the blur feature on the second photo? We would have gotten the point. I don't think I am being over sensitive here and that would have avoided me almost vomitting up my breakfast.

  56. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: doesn't know how to use the blur feature?

    Good grief, you bunch of blouses, it's only a little bit of gay pr0n. Surely a *real* man is secure enough not to greet his breakfast at the sight of a bit of bloke-on-bloke.


  57. Luther Blissett
    Paris Hilton

    @Trix + madra

    Arghhhhh do not mention the dreaded garlic. My brain hurts as it knows that "Gaelic" is not to be pronounced "Gay Lick". Ever.

    Paris is not a site for sore I's, but it looks like she too has been too Cuil. Nope, wrong. Let's start that one again.

    Paris. Too cuil for. But not to die for.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not my picture

    Well, I did a search for my name and it found my sites, but none of the pictures are actually of me :-(

  59. James
    Thumb Down


    Tried searching for 2 girls 1 cup not no results, whats the use of this??

  60. jubtastic1

    Cool of Cuilhu

    Heh, I did a search earlier on there for my site, was wondering why there was a donkey pic next to my homepage, now I'm happy it was only a donkey.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    wasn't this once called

  62. gothicform

    Dodgy results

    Well that's definitely a crap search engine. I searched for my own website and it returns first a site set up by a spammer hoping to trade off the success of the site that simply has the same domain name but different domain extension and then page content NOTHING to do with what you're searching for and instead being a spammy link farm. Oh dear.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    I cant say this search engine is pants.

    Because pants are useful for keeping your b0ll0cks under control.

    This search engine IS b0ll0cks.

    So now all we need are the pants to controls it.

    (Theres logic in there somewhere.... I think).

    I hear by question the IT content of this story, cos the site gives no useful "Information", and seems to lack any usable "Technology".

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think this kind of slip-up will be the death of Cuil. The fact is, displaying pictures related to search terms is simply too risky. The same type of thing can happen with google image search (even with safe search switched on), but at least image searching is an option rather than the default method of displaying results.

  65. JoePritchard

    A Google alternative would be nice...but this AIN'T it!!


    I aso went and took a look after reading about the site on the BBC, and the first thing that I experienced was a UI that was VERY reluctant to forget my previous search and let me search for soemthing new... once around that, the results were awful. Significantly fewer than Google in every search I tried and results that, to be generous, lacked relevance. Or were of a relevance that only the eye of faith could see...

    I noticed on the BBC Blog that comments were made suggesting this was targetting academic searches only, but even there I was seriously disappointed.

    If this is a production grade site, Google can rest easy.

    If this is a pre-production site undergoing Beta Testing, then there's a truckload of work to do.

    Mine's the coat with the print out of DMOZ in the pocket...

  66. Dimitrov
    Paris Hilton

    Looks nice, but doesn't do the job

    I kinda like the UI, especially the little tabs with the three or so most popular results at the top (yeah, tested it with Paris...)

    And searching in different languages isn't as bad as I thought it would be. It still finds results when I enter something in cyrillic, alot less than Google though.

    And the images... no need, thanks. Just no. I searched for our prez out here Georgi Parvanov (in cyrillic) and the second result showed the logo of AlliedBarton, a US security guard company apparently. I have no good guess as to why.

  67. Dave Bennett

    Bring on the cockage

    Working onsite at the moment and I brought up a google page when the local project manager told me to check out 'Cuil' - to my shame I'd not heard the news, so he explained and spelled it, repeatedly for me.

    So I searched for my innocuous retailing phrase and got back a cock. I looked at him, he looked at me, we looked at the cock. Luckily nobody else saw us... I've only just gotten over the ribbing I got from looking up 'Micropenis' on Wiki. :(



    PS: Please stop calling me Mike.

  68. John M. Drescher

    They need to change that URL.

    Transpose the l and i and you get a porn site. This is the second time I did that at work by accident. I hope the company network police do not contact me about this..

  69. Roger Varley

    Aaargh ..

    I'm a pretty peaceful guy normally, but the only thing that made me want to punch out the lights of some of our younger members of staff was their habit of answering "Cuil" to anything I said.

  70. Daniel

    @Sarah Bee

    Just what is a "Real Man" anyway? Every definition I've ever seen has been either stupid or trite.

    Anyway, more on the topic of your post, it has always amazed me that your typical male is as likely as not to get all into watching "hot lesbian action" (despite most "lesbian" porn being as realistic as pro wrestling), yet totally freaks out over two guys getting it on.


  71. Dave Bennett
    Paris Hilton


    I'm into 'hot lez' action as much as the next man, but you are quite right, it's wholly unrealistic. Especially the hot part, in my experience (in Zakynthos swimming pools) anyway.

    HOWEVER, I for one, would rather watch the fakery, than get to 1,000 spins on


    Paris cos... oh you know why.

  72. Mike Lovell


    Dude, stop treating objects like women

  73. Cucumber C Face

    re: Bloody hell this site should have NSFW warning!

    >>Don't miss type for<< ? What's not to like? I didn't even have to type the search term and it found what I was looking for

    Meanwhile back to . It's simple indexing 'more pages than Google' when you're incompetent :-( We blocked it's spider "Twiceller" from our website for ignoring robot meta tags and consequently generating tens of thousands of futile hits on our database driven site. Even M$N-search gets that right.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nothing more than Wikipedia

    all the info is dragged from Wikipedia.

  75. This post has been deleted by its author

  76. Jared

    @Uwe Dippel

    I'm not sure if you were implying that error comes from Cuil or not, but I don't think the stack trace you've got there could possibly be Cuil's...Not only is it ASP.NET, but it's an older version of VB.NET. And apparently has something to do with cute baskets.

  77. Dave N
    Dead Vulture

    court case?

    I'd imagine if they start associating photos of men wanking over each other, against somebodies website, there may be a court case in there somewhere...

  78. David Simpson
    Thumb Down


    complete utter rubbish - whereas google seems to have worked out how to ensure real websites are above the various link farmers this one hasn't.

  79. Phantom Wibbler

    Cuil = not very cuil

    Done a couple of searches and the results are, shall we say, very poor. Crap really. couldn't give me any results. Google on the other hand gave me just what I needed. Guess I'll stick with Google for the mo!

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    more garlic

    how ironic that cuil [which plays on its mystical celtic nomenclature] is so shittily put together that the pages dinnae even declare a text-encoding. therefore any search results not in 'merkin english' [which as we know 'merkins' believe to be the only language in existence on the fucking planet] will potentially return a soup of ampersands in place of accented characters. hence the following result for 'foras na gaeilge' [the governmental body charged with promoting the irish language]:

    ".... Foras na Gaeilge - F&ilte | Welcome

    Is &is & do dhaoine a bhfuil suim acu i r&ims& &irithe Ghaeilge. Is & aidhm at& ag an su&omh gr&as&in nua seo & na Gaeilge n& &it amh&in a dh&anamh ar an idirlíon do gach eolas faoin nGaeilge, faoi ranganna, faoi ch&rsa&, faoi imeachta& srl..."

    i'd have thought any campaign to become the biggest search engine in the world might start from the premise of realising that 'the world' extends beyond the USA. as so many have said, more of a 'culo' than a 'cuil'!

  81. Anonymous from Mars
    Paris Hilton

    Since nobody did it yet...

    Paris because she's good at reducing loads.

  82. dervheid
    Thumb Down

    tied it...

    it sucks!

  83. dervheid

    Tried it...

    rather than 'tied it'

    it sucks!

  84. Matt

    Unfortunate choice of name there chaps, not so "cool"

    As a former student of Gaeilge, I'm not 100% convinced on their choice of title, or their pronuciation (I'm willing to take corrections on this, it's 14 years since I've spoken or written any Irish)

    The vowel sounds in "cuil" would not afaik make a sound like "cool" but more like "kwil" or the word quill in English - there's no fada (accent) to broaden the sound. "Cúil" on the other hand would sound like "cool".

    Here's the funny bit.

    cuil (no fada) translates to "fly" or ... "bug"

    cúil (with fada) translates to "back", "back end", or better again "dump".

    I think they may have been thinking of the word "ciall" (pr keel) which means "wisdom". Then again, maybe they're secretly telling us that really is a buggy dump?

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Sarah Bee

    I guess I don't watch as much gay porn as you...

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worse than year 0 google ?

    It's crap, but is cuil worse than google in its first year ? (I know you can't go back in time to compete but I suspect the 'searching problem' is only something that years of combat with the link spammers and other assorted irrelevancies can produce anything like the general level of coherence that google usually produces)

    There's no magic algorithm just years of painstaking "if ... then" exceptions.

    PH because I saw her cuil one time.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did you try to actually search for "porn"?

    Disappointing results.

    (safe search off)

  88. Philip


    More Strategy Boutiqu-ery you'll have forgotten about by Christmas.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Someone failed!

    The poor anonymous serviceman is not US, or were we absorbed by Canada over the last couple of days? Seriously (if that's possible in this case), that's the Maple Leaf flag in the background, not the Stars and Stripes. As for the other picture, so what?

    Why the black helo? 'Cuz the "real" black helicopters around here are actually white, are flown by the Department of Homeland Security, and are manufactured by Eurocopter...

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Snared in the web

    They claim in their FAQ that "Cuil is the Gaelic word for both knowledge and hazel, and features prominently in ancient legend." It is actually the Irish word for 'Fly'. They seem to have got caught in a spider's web of their own making.

  91. Bob. Hitchen
    Thumb Down

    To put it politely it's crap

    That's being kind.

  92. Matthew Barker
    Paris Hilton

    Nuns on google

    I searched google images for pictures of nuns. Got a few porno ones on the first page and loads on the second page. Now I don't know what to think about nuns.

  93. Nat C.

    Crappiness aside, they need a cuil-er name...

    ...if they're ever going to amass any interest from Google fans. Cuil can't be used as a verb. I can't count the number of stupid questions to which I've responded "Google it." I can't do that with Cuil, because (at least here in 'Merka) to tell someone to "cool it" is telling them to calm down. Not cuil at all.

    I kinda like Kono for a search engine. "Kono it." Sounds nice, doncha think?

    /mine's the one with the paperback copy of "How to Start Your Own Search Engine in 65,536 Easy Steps" in the pocket

  94. RW

    Ain't had so much fun since the hogs ate Grandma!

    @ Daniel: ""lesbian" porn . . . as realistic as pro wrestling"

    Hey, ya think gay porn is any better? As a sometime aficionado & connoisseur of said medium, I can assure you nothing is more ludicrous than a gentleman deploying his mating tackle in a half-limp state. To say nothing of the minor detail that Real Men (to steal a phrase from Our Sarah) are rarely so well hung. Let us be thankful for small favors. [pun intentional]

    And then there's the anomaly that a great many of the models in Playgirl and suchlike pr0n for girlies (hi, Sarah!) later have careers in boy-on-boy lust fests.

    Cuil: I cuiled "futhark". The hits all were reasonable, but two of the images weren't. One was a Nazi swastika (vaguely relevant), the other I know not what -- melted glass marbles, p'r'aps?

    It's almost August and the silly season is definitely here!

  95. Anonymous Coward

    No porn on for my website

    Even though Cuil put a VERY unrelated picture next to my website, I'm happy it's not a porn image. I feel sorry for those website owners who experienced this.

  96. Chris Hunt

    Yeah, right

    "You lose a machine for even a minute or so - the images that machine is going to provide can't be used, and so you then have to choose from the remaining results you have"

    I didn't get a degree from Stanford in searchengineology, nor have I spent any time amongst the massive brains of the Googleplex, but it seems to me that the sensible thing to do if you can't access the appropriate picture would be to put in a little icon saying "picture not available". Something all "web 2.0" with gradients and rounded corners if that's what floats your boat.

    Putting in random gay porn images in the hope that nobody notices/cares seems more than a bit sub-optimal.

    I think there may be a reason why these folks are EX Google employees...

  97. Charles Manning

    @Sarah Bee

    A search for "Sarah Bee" also kicked up some bloke-on-bloke.

    Sarah.... is there something you're not telling us?

  98. Justin Staines

    Gym equipment

    I searched for our software Ergo (ironically a piece of search software that clusters, and shows webpage thumbnails so you can easily see what they are, but using Google, Yahoo and Live results) and I got a picture of a guy next to some Gym equipment. Yeah right. I don't think we'll be doing a Cuil connector in much of a hurry.....

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    oooo er

    im mildly aroused...

  100. Thomas Hayes
    Paris Hilton


    ...I for one welcome our new gay porn flogging overlords.

    Paris, because like me she enjoys a bit of man on man.

  101. jimmy you
    Thumb Down


    I searched for my blog and it claimed to have found 5,826 results.


    Nothing on the first page actually leading to my site, just a load of crap link farms and aggregator sites and other shit that reposts articles and earns off the ads.

    Page two was no bettter...more aggregator shite.

    Page three? More shit.

    Page four, yep - More shit.

    I hit page five and got this:

    No results were found for: **REMOVED**

    If you’ve checked your spelling, you could try using fewer or different keywords to broaden your search.

    Still no luck? Send us your feedback:

    So the 5,826 results erm...disappeared? Huh?

    What a pile of shite.

    Definitely not cool or cuil or however they want to say it.

    A google killer it is not.

  102. Maisie Donaldson

    NSFW porn, nothing but NSFW porn

    Well, I gave it a go.

    I had the phrase " The site for everyone working for an MP" in my copy/paste (I'd just stored the website in bookmarks) so I asked Cuil to search for that.

    Too many words, apparently. So I cut down the number of words till I was left with MP.

    Imagine my surprise when I saw the picture associated with Mike Hancock MP, MP for Portsmouth South.

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