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File:Cuil logo.png
File:Cuil homepage.png
The Cuil homepage
Type of site search engine
Available language(s) Multilingual
Owner Cuil, Inc.
Launched July 28, 2008
Current status active

Cuil (pronounced /ˈkuːl/ "cool" according to the creators) is a search engine that organizes web pages by content and displays relatively long entries along with thumbnail pictures for many results. It claims to have a larger index than any other search engine, with about 120 billion web pages.[1] It went live on July 28, 2008.[1]

Cuil's privacy policy, unlike that of other search engines,[2] says it does not store users’ search activity or IP addresses.[3]

Cuil is managed and developed largely by former employees of Google, Anna Patterson and Russell Power. The CEO and co-founder, Tom Costello, has worked for IBM and others.[4] The company has raised $33 million from venture capital firms including Greylock.[5]



The Irish ancestry of Anna Patterson's husband Tom Costello sparked the name Cuil, which the company states is taken from a series of Celtic folklore stories involving a character, Fion mac Cumhaill, they erroneously refer to as Finn MacCuil .[1] The company says that Cuil is Irish for knowledge and hazel.[6]

Some linguists are unsure of this derivation and pronunciation,[7] and note that the modern Irish word for hazel is spelled coll[8] (coill or cuill in genitive form, the former spelling having superseded the latter as a result of the Caighdeán Oifigiúil reforms of the mid-twentieth century). Foras na Gaeilge, the official governing body of the Irish language, doubted the assertion that 'cuil' means 'knowledge'.[7] "I am unaware myself of the meaning 'knowledge' being with the word 'cuil' in Irish," Stiofán Ó Deoráin, an official on Foras na Gaeilge's terminology committee, said.[7] Even pre-Caighdeán dictionaries such as Dineen[9] do not associate the cuil spelling with knowledge or hazel. Dineen only lists two nouns and one adjective with the spelling cuil: "f., a fly, a horse-fly...", "f., a venemous aspect; great eagerness..." and "gs. of col, as a., wicked."

The company name had previously been spelled Cuill.[10]


Cuil launched in July 2008 with an index of 121,617,892,992 web pages.[11]

About one month after launch, Cuil's Product VP and search technologist, Louis Monier, quit the company citing disagreements with the CEO, Tom Costello.[12]

On December 19, 2008, BusinessWeek listed Cuil as one of the most successful U.S. startups of 2008, based on the amount of money they raised.[13]


According to Alexa, the site reached a peak of just over 0.2% of worldwide internet users in late July 2008 and by September 12, 2008, it had dropped to 0.02% and ranked as the 5,340th site by traffic. By October 13, 2008, it had dropped to 0.005% and ranked as the 21,960th site in traffic.[14] In August 2009, Cuil ranked 11,656th in traffic.


Recently, Cuil is available in 8 languages, and there will be more available languages in the future.[15][16]


Cuil has received widely critical press coverage.[17][18][19] Concerns were expressed about the website's slow response times, irrelevant or wrong search results[20][21][22] and in at least one case, inappropriately pornographic images displayed alongside search results.[23] Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch questioned the validity of Cuil's claim that it had the world's largest search engine index and criticized it for focusing on size rather than relevance.[24] Despite reported problems with search results, Net Applications reported that for the last three days of July 2008, Cuil beat Google and Yahoo in the amount of time spent on a site after referral from a search engine, a key metric for relevancy of search results.[25]

According to an interview with a Cuil representative, while other Web 2.0 launches using massively parallel processing might fail with a slow down or crash,[17] Cuil's architecture was responding with incomplete, "less-than-relevant results that then appear at the top of users' pages."[20][22] Cuil's VP of communications Vince Sollitto said the search engine was experiencing heavy first-day overloads and they were "busy putting out fires." Sollitto said Cuil "will only improve with time. It's day one. Traffic is massive. We're new. There are bugs to fix, results to improve."[17]

After the initial critical press coverage Cuil was alleged to have caused issues for some websites, owing to how the Cuil indexing robot polled certain sites. Website owners were reportedly saying the method was not "scientific in any way" and "actually quite 'amateurish.'"[26] Others reported irrelevant images associated with their listing in Cuil's search results.[27][28]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Liedtke, Michael, Ex-Google engineers debut 'Cuil' way to search, Associated Press, 28 July 2008, retrieved 13 Dec 2009
  2. Liedtke, Michael (December 11, 2007). " will purge search info in hours". Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne Newspapers). Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  4., Search site aims to rival Google
  5. Crunchbase: Cuil Profile
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Gohring, Nancy (July 30, 2008). "What's in a Name? Better Not Ask Cuil". PC World (IDG). Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  8. - Irish English Dictionary - Coll/Hazel
  9. Dineen, Patrick Foclóir Gaeḋlge agus Béarla Irish Texts Society 1927
  10. Silicon Republic - Irishman launches Cuil but will it scare Google? - "Cuil (previously known as Cuill)"
  11. DoesWhat (August 22, 2008). "Cuil… Internet ceases to expand". Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  12. "Cuil's VP Product Bails Out A Month After Launch". Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  15. Hema, Software Engineer (May 13, 2009). "Cuil in Multiple Languages". (Cuil). Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  16. Cuil - Preferences
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Needleman, Rafe (July 28, 2008). "Cuil shows us how not to launch a search engine". CNET news (CNET). Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  18. Hansell, Saul (July 28, 2008). "No Bull, Cuil Had Problems". New York Times Bits Blog (New York Times). Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  19. Dvorak, John C. (July 28, 2008). "The New Cuil Search Engine Sucks". PC Magazine (Ziff Davis).,1895,2326643,00.asp. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Hamilton, Anita (July 28, 2008). "Why Cuil is No Threat to Google". (Time Magazine Online).,8599,1827331,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  21. DoesWhat (July 29, 2008). "Cuil… back to Google then". Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 Burdick, Dave (July 28, 2008). "Cuil Review: Really? No Dave Burdicks? This Search Engine Is Stupid". (Huffington Post). Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  23. Metz, Cade (July 29, 2008). "Ex-Googlers reinvent web search". (The Register). Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  24. Sullivan, Danny (July 28, 2008). "Cuil Launches -- Can This Search Start-Up Really Best Google?". search engine land blog (Search Engine Land). Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  25. "Cuil Stumbles on Launch, but Beats Google in Key Relevancy Metric". Market Share. Net Applications. 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  26. Reisinger, Don (September 1, 2008). "Is Cuil killing websites?". (TechCrunch). Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  27. "How To Lose Your Cuil 20 Seconds After Launch". TechCrunch. 
  28. "" search results for 'TechCrunch'". 
ar:كول (محرك بحث)

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