How Cool is The New Search Engine Cuil? One Writer's Opinion

Cuil.com is up and running - and it's set itself up to challenge Google, claiming an even bigger index of websites than Google. In fact, Cuil is boasting to have indexed THREE times more websites than any other search engine (Google or otherwise). That's over 120 billion pages.

For those writing for the web, cuil.com should be interesting to watch because it's also claiming to be checking content and thereafter ranking sites in search engine results differently than Google does. Does cuil care about keywords and key phrases and site maps? I don't know that they do .... according to PC Mag's Chris Gampat, Cuil "... ranks pages based on relevance, rather than popularity based on link analysis, as Google does, and analyzes the context of the page and the concept behind queries."

How does it work? Well, I've done a couple of test searches on Cuil, Google, and Yahoo and if I were Google or Yahoo, I wouldn't be worried just yet. Cuil didn't give me what I wanted in the top 10 results by a longshot.

Not a quality result in any of my test runs. For example, when I searched for my own name, I got a lots of obits, along with real estate commercial listing info for a woman who shares my name and lives in a different state, and other skipping stone type of data.

Same thing when I did a couple of other searches, looking for topical stuff. Like "Caylee Anthony" - first page of search results is giving me stuff on Caylee Monique McCosker's obit, and something called "the ultimate KAYLEIGH eliminator." Right. NOTHING on the first page about the missing 3 year old the entire country is talking about today.

Not helpful, and not impressive. Maybe Cuil is new, and this will change.

I do like Cuil's result format. Three column, paragraphs, the occasional image. That's nice.

More on Cuil:

PCMag - Hands On with the New "Cuil" Search Engine
PCWorld - Cuil Stumbles Out of the Gate
Computer World - Ex-Googler's Search Engine Draws Fanfare, but testers prefer Google
The Motley Fool - Will Cuil Kill Google? Probably Not


My MozyPro Update - After the Crash

Last December, I was so happy with MozyPro. This month, not so much.

I'll still keep using MozyPro as my remote backup service but I've learned some things about MozyPro that I thought I'd share here (for all the gorey details on my July computer crashes - two computer crashes, back to back), check out my post over at Everyday Simplicity:

Bottom line:

1. MozyPro did save me - I did get all most of my files. I have my emails, I have my word processing documents, I have my publisher files. I may have lost my TurboTax and QuickBooks files (most of this was in hardcopy already, however) as well as some website designs made with a special webdesign software provided by GoDaddy.

2. MozyPro's tech support was helpful and human - when I finally tracked them down.


3. MozyPro doesn't always download even if that window tells you it does.

4. I will keep using MozyPro, but I won't be as trusting of the software. I'll double check the reality of those backups. And, I'll keep that tech support number handy.

5. In addition to MozyPro, I'll also keep hard copies of all my important, current workweek stuff - including emails, invoices, works in process - on a flash drive. I would have been in a mess if this had happened in the middle of the workweek, and I had to be down three days just to get myself up and running again. In a way, it was a blessing that this happened over a long holiday weekend (except for cancelling that picnic/BBQ ....).


Writer Lawyer Tip: Google's Keyword Tool Just Got Better

Google's Keyword Tool is better than before. Now, you can find the "approximate keyword search volume" ... which means Google will tell you the exact amount of monthly search for a particular keyword for the previous month as well as an average amount of monthly searches.

What's all the hoopla about?

First, it's Google. Their numbers are what you want to know ... with all due respect to the other search engines out there. Google is King.

Second, it's free. Yep, free.

Third, you can choose "exact match" from the menu (or surround the keyword with brackets) and get the actual number of times a keyword has been searched for last month. That's big.

For more info:

Google's Announcement

Google's AdWords Blog Post on the New Addition




My E-Book Road -8: Bob Jensen Is the EBook Guru

Bob Jensen of Trinity University (here in my hometown, what luck!) has studied e-books for years, and he's sharing his information over at his website, Electronic Book, e-Book, eBook, eJournals and Electronic Journals Watch.

Lots of info here, going back many years -- Prof. Jensen's attitude may seem slanted toward academic usage of the publications, but that's certainly understandable. He's very generous with his knowledge and he's kept his website current for several years. Good place to surf thru when pondering e-books vs print ....

Dell Saves the Day: You Can Still Buy XP

First, there was the nightmare: as of June 30, 2008, the last XP was being shipped out of Microsoft, and we'd all be faced with Vista in future computer buys. (For details on why this might be a horror, check out PCMag's "Vista's 11 Pillars of Failure" by John Dvorak.)

But wait!

Silicon Valley Insider reports that Dell has come to the rescue ... Dell is reporting a loophole in its licensing agreement with Microsoft that allows Dell to continue offering XP as an operating system.

For details, read the SVI reports of June 30 and July 3, with their links.

Thanks to Vodkapundit for the heads up.