There’s a kid on the block, and he’s as cool cuil as can be — or at least he promises to be when he grows up.

Cuil (pronounced “cool”), is a Mountain View-spawned search engine (started by some star Google engineers) that promises to be every bit as powerful as its big “G” counterpart, but goes about achieving this claim in a slightly unorthodox fashion:

Cuil’s ranking is based less on popularity and more on content. For example, Cuil would understand that someone performing a search for “throat,” “fever” and “cough” is probably looking for medical advice, and results with related medical terms would be ranked higher than a gossip page about Brangelina’s twins.

Cuil also uses a tab-style layout to make it easier to break searches down and make things that much more simple. Furthermore, results are returned in a magazine-style format, making things visually pleasing and uncluttered.

From the cuil website:

Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency.

Then we offer you helpful choices and suggestions until you find the page you want and that you know is out there. We believe that analyzing the Web rather than our users is a more useful approach, so we don’t collect data about you and your habits, lest we are tempted to peek. With Cuil, your search history is always private.

I tried a couple of searches with some mixed results, all mostly positive. “Apple pie recipes” returned a nice, newspaper-style layout of 6 links. However, when I tried clicking a couple of these links, they returned “Server Not Found”, which perhaps was not the fault of the engine but of the resulting pages themselves.

I’m going to give this search engine a good run through as I’ve read some positive notes on the development, research, and methods of how cuil returns results. With 120 billion pages already indexed in the cuil engine, there’s gotta be some meat on these bones (not to be confused with Google’s 1 trillion URLs FOUND on the net - the distinction being that cuil actually has the 120 billion pages indexed).

Note: At the time of this posting, a search for “SMASHgods” returned 0 results. OK, it’s not perfect yet.

[Via Venturebeat]

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