Monday, Google creator Anne Peterson announced the launch of her latest search engine invention: Cuil (pronounced "cool"). Together with husband, Tom Costello and a few other former Google engineers, Peterson has created a search engine to give Google a run for its money.
According to Dan Sullivan, Editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land, the time might be right for someone to really challenge Google, and the best way for Cuil to do this is by capitalizing on key consumer complaints.
So what makes Cuil different and according to Peterson better than Google? There are several key differences. Firstly, Peterson says that she and her team have created an improved search that enables them to search and index a wider breadth of content. In fact, Peterson claims to have over 120 billion pages indexed, and believes that to be three times that of Google's database.
Another key difference is Cuil's content drilldown method to determine the quality of a site or page, as opposed to ranking pages based on quality content and quality links to a page. Lastly, Cuil displays results in a magazine format with site snap-shots instead of stacking the results on top of each other.
Even with Peterson's promise that Cuil will not to retain information about its users - which is what Peterson considers a bankable lure away from other search engines - Cuil still has the challenge of going against the Google brand; a much larger challenge than just getting a piece of the search engine pie.
For a large segment of the Internet population, Google = Internet Search, just as Kleenex is often equal to facial tissue and Xerox = copy. This is the kind of market dominance and brand recognition any Google competitor is up against.