Ok, so what is all this fuss about? The entire internet is up in arms because a start-up search engine isn’t google!
Typical entry: “OH MY GOD! THE GOOGLE-BEATING STARTUP ISN’T EXACTLY LIKE GOOGLE!”
It’s a sorry state when people can’t see the merits of a truly magnificent piece of engineering – all I see in blogs is inane ‘I googled myself and didn’t find my blog – this engine stinks!’ or the ever present, “my obscure peice of software isn’t in the index!” – quite frankly anyone that takes this kind of view is lacking in mental faculty.
If one examines the engine and does some sensible searches one finds that it actually produces useful results for certain topics… searching for ‘Django’ found mixed results of the framework with the guitarist – all nicely grouped together… Searches on ‘Ayn Rand’ or ‘Objectivism’ correctly grouped together not only related branches of the topic (noted individuals, books etc.) but also brought up relevant results in the main page, it’s nice to see search results so finely tuned to topics, it goes much further than other meta-data engines (such as microsofts recent acquisition).
Granted – there are problems – particularly obvious is the issue with the load on their servers, another is that it has some issues with sentence based or more complex queries, which definetely needs to be addressed, what Cuil offers is an alternative and intuiitive way to research topics, which is excellent for research.
Also, I might want to remind everyone with a google account that google tailors its searches to your habits, so those obscure pieces of software will eventually bubble to the top as it takes into account what you’re searching for.
One other issue I could see is that Google has influenced the way we search in major ways, we construct queries for google in ways that we know the engine will understand, and I doubt that by now we do it consciously, considering this is a startup launch I’m very impressed.
The other issue with comments on this engine seems to be the remarks about its front page – the black screen (nice and easy on the eyes, I must say) and the results are displayed in different ways (“oh no! It’s not how google does it! This is pants!”).
How about actually valuing the effort that goes into something and the attempt to provide an interesting research tool instead of cynically sniping at some quality piece of code… somehow I don’t see a startup beating a billion dollar company with 10 years of a head start with any degree of success.
Admittedly, what may have been an issue was the approach – the hype about the index size is precisely the reason all this criticism hit the release in the first place, good for them for creating instant hype & controversy, shame on bloggers that just can’t get over the fact that ocmpetition may emerge that’s attempting to be different (the same could be said about the new wiki search engine).
It’s a damn shame.
In this bloggers very humble opinion, and I’m not an appologist for this company, this search engine deserves support, simply becasue it’s audacious, trying something progressive and taking on an unnassailable company with a promising product. Hard work should be commended, not torn down.