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Yuil is no more!

For a moment, I thought this is the most enjoyable week of my life as far as search engines are concerned! This headline 'Yahoo Exec Makes Yuil: Looks Like Cuil, With Better Results' on WashingtonPost.com (courtesy TechCrunch) was enough to make me smile as I was thinking of writing on how easily Cuil has generated so much noise.

Unfortunately 'Yuil' built by a Yahoo! engineer using Yahoo's recently release BOSS API has been now taken off the web. For those who don't know, BOSS stands for 'Build Your Own Search Service'. Yahoo recently opened its entire search technology to developers as now they can access almost all the services and functionalities given by Yahoo search.

I could not use Yuil, but comments on the page and even TechCrunch report said Yuil performed better than Cuil. I am not at all surprised. Cuil is so pathetically bad at the moment that any thing will perform better and since Yuil was based on Yahoo Search, you can great results (second only to Google maybe!)

This leaves us back to Cuil. (I won't talk about the quality of search results ay all) In the past two days I have got two mails and many exciting colleagues telling me about 'a new search engine launched by an ex-Google employee'. There are 62300 results for Cuil.com on Google and here I am adding to that count. All this when this is one of the worst ever search engine launches. I had once found a list of search engines on ZDNET.com and believe me, most of those search engines had something or the other unique feature. They didn't boast about their capabilities or algorithms but gave good results, just what I wanted most. And here, I don't even remember those names and I am sure you won't even know them.

Is it the 'ex-Google employee' factor? I certainly think so. Plus lots of funding that Cuil has reportedly got.

However I could find one good feature. When it gives correct results (yes, this miracle happens sometimes on Cuil!) it categorizes some more prominent results in form of tabs at the top. And some in a separate expandable menu near results. But after the portalization of results that Yahoo! India search does, it is like loose change!

Small mercies!

Update: On Yahoo! BOSS homepage, I found links to some very interesting search engines which use BOSS API. Check out: Me.dium, Cluzz and Hakia

Comments

Abhishek said…
Peter said:
I heard of Cuil either at the beginning of this week or late last week. I took a quick look and although was impressed by the visual, I was underwhelmed by the results. Although visually appealing I think that the problem is one of screen real estate. I mean it's really annoying to see so much real estate being used to display what I'm not interested in. It reminds me of one of the early internet providers (I can't recall the name right now I'm sure it will come to me ten minutes after I click the send on this email) in the days of slow dial-up modems. They had nice graphics but spent most of their time downloading images for 10 buttons when I only wanted to select from one of them! It was unusable.

I read an article that said that the problem with Cuil is that they use specific machines for specific subjects (one for medical, one for legal, etc.) and if the machine is too busy to another one will respond to the request their by yielding a poor result.

I hope that it will dramatically improve. It will need to.
Abhishek said…
Rob said:

Hey,

I'd have to agree with Peter. It's got a much better look that other search engines, but the screen real estate seems a little odd. On top of that, the very first thing I searched for came up with ZERO results whereas with Google there were many (all correct) references.
Abhishek said…
Well.. I am not that big fan of the looks as well, except the first black page. Could it have been a response to popularity of black Google?
I remember when Live Search had launched they had a bar which would control the description part of the results.

I agree with Peter. It will need to improve dramatically!

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