Google old boys launch their own engine in global search for wealth

Call it internet treachery if you like but three former senior engineers from the Google campus are trying to usurp the search-engine crown from their former employer by launching an alternative tool that they hope we may all one day use for scouring cyberspace content.

With $33m (£16.5m) in venture capital funds, Anne Patterson and two other Google alumni – Russell Power and Louis Monier – yesterday took the wraps off Cuil.com. Their boast was brave if predictable: Cuil (pronounced "cool") will be easier and nicer to use and will have a longer reach.

To be more specific, the folk at Cuil.com – Ms Patterson's husband, Tom Costello, is also a founder – will have a search index spanning 120 billion web pages. If it's out there, Cuil will find it for you. No one will say what span Google boasts, but almost three years ago it stood at 8.2billion pages.

Cuil won't divulge the formula it has developed to cover a wider chunk of the internet with far fewer computers than Google. But rather than trying to mimic Google's method of ranking the quantity and quality of links to websites, Ms Patterson says Cuil's technology drills into the actual content of a page.

Its results are displayed with more photos spread horizontally across the page and include sidebars that can be clicked on to learn more about topics related to the original search request. Cuil is also hoping to attract traffic by promising not to retain information about its users' search histories or surfing patterns – something that Google does, much to the consternation of many privacy watchdogs.

Ms Patterson, who left Google back in 2006, claimed most surfers are ready for a new approach to content-searching. "Google has looked pretty much the same for 19 years now and I can guarantee it will look the same a year from now," she said.

Google itself did not appear overly concerned about Cuil's debut. "Having great competitors is a huge benefit to us and everyone in the search space," said a company spokesman. "It makes us all work harder, and at the end of the day our users benefit from that."

Lest anyone forget, Google does not have a monopoly on internet searches, or at least not quite. Recent data show the company commanding 62 per cent of the US market, compared to 21 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively for its two largest rivals, Yahoo and Microsoft's MSN service. Nor is it by any means the first time that a new upstart company like Cuil has joined the fray. Other plucky pretenders include Teoma (which was adopted by Ask.com), Vivisimo, Snap, Mahalo and Powerset. Cuil sets itself apart, however, by being created by ex-Google engineers.

As for its name, the company says it was inspired by the Irish roots of Mr Costello and specifically a Celtic folklore figure named Finn McCuill (or Finn McCool). They might want to rectify one early problem. A search on Cuil.com for information about the aforementioned Mr McCuill turned upprecisely nothing.

* The editor of the BBC’s Newsnight programme has resigned his position to join Google as head of PR for the UK. Peter Barron has spent 12 years at the BBC2 programme, as well as time at Channel 4 and with Tonight with Trevor McDonald

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

    Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

    Day In a Page

    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower