Welcome to the Dark Site

The story of the day has been Cuil (pronounced Cool), a new search engine. So, what was so special about this that everyone sat up and took notice? Well, for starters, it has to do with the starters. (okay, bad one) – ex-google personnel. In addition, it boasts of indexing 120 billion pages, a semi-semantic approach to search (understands connection between words and will help throw up better results thanks to better page ranking) and it does not store IP addresses. While I’m not averse to doing a complete review, I think there are those who are better qualified for that, this one is quite a sharp and comprehensive piece, and has amazing links too. And this, is a riot!! πŸ™‚

All I’ll say is that the number of indexed pages is not exactly the benefit I’m looking for as a user, the relevance of the results is. And when a search engine learns to beat Google on that, and consistently, we’ll talk. I tried various searches on Cuil, and while the display is arguably better (since it shows more details and lets me know if thats the page I was looking for), the results, unfortunately are no match for Google. I liked the energy saving (?) black touch though, visually, puts it bang opposite Google’s white. πŸ™‚

On a sidenote, if you’re interested in looking at cluster based search engines, give Clusty a spin, and do me a favour, check out the others in this list too, and we can compare notes πŸ™‚

Also, I’d like to think that a one-up on search is also not enough to be a google killer. Google is so entrenched in the way we operate these days, that even starting a mindshare battle would be an uphill climb.

Meanwhile, Google has also been poking its nose in Wikipedia territory, with the launch of Knol. Though its been said that its more similar to Squidoo, the broad territory remains the same. But unlike wikipedia, where there is one entry per subject and users add/delete/edit, there can be several ‘Knol’ s on each subject, and creators can earn revenue, courtesy Ad Sense. The final authority for accepting changes on his Knol rests with the creator.

I, for one, shall stay with wikipedia, because Google these days is overwhelming me, and making me quite afraid of its monopolistic potential on the web. Imagine the kind of grip they would have over users, when say, it decides to throw Knol results above wikipedia results. Decides to put knol widgets inside orkut, blogger, youtube, lively and so on? All of them with relevant Ad Sense banners, which help users to make money. Yes, there might be better products out there in each of those verticals I’ve mentioned, but who can challenge them on an integrated bouquet?

In such a scenario, Google may not be able to resist the temptations of the Dark Side.

until next time, don’t be evil πŸ˜‰

Advertisements

One Response to “Welcome to the Dark Site”

  1. […] There was an interesting piece I read about the way Cuil, the new search engine I’d written about earlier. In that post, the author compared Cuil to toilet paper, no offence meant because it […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: