How Cuil???

A friend of mine is engaged in a little, private “Beta” website that I’m contributing to. It’s kinda Christian-themed news and random stuff. I’ve spent some time tonight on a post which I hope he doesn’t mind me cross-posting here.


You may, like me, have noticed the latest big thing on the Internet…a new search engine set up by some ex-Google employees at (pronounced Cuil).

We have conducted an extensive review of Cuil’s search functionality (OK, we did a few searches, almost at random) and hereby bring you the definitive, Christian-themed review of this new tool.

We’ve run a number of test searches, analysed the results and graded them out of 5. We’ve also stated the “suggested searches” that Cuil came up with as we typed, and what we actually thought we might get.

We didn’t have time (and we’re not THAT sad) to do a complete comparison of Google, Yahoo, MSN and others, so we’ve simply compared the results to those given with Google – it seems appropriate given the circumstances.

Test 1 – “What would Jesus Do?”

Well…what would he? (For those that don’t know this was a cheesy Christian slogan used to remind people to ask the question themselves when making decisions – it was probably a good idea until someone got into printing it on merchandise galore – keyrings, wrist bands, etc).

Suggested searches:

  • What would jesus buy
  • What would jesus drive
  • What would jesus eat
  • what would jesus do

Expected result: WWJD merchandise, or possibly a site actually stating some things that Jesus did.

Top Cuil result: What would Jesus Buy (

What else we got:

  • Lots of references to the film above
  • Christian weight loss: What would Jesus Eat?
  • What would Jesus shave with?
  • The Church of Stop Shopping (presumably related to the movie?)
  • (we didn’t follow the link and have no idea what it is)
  • Listed Categories (to narrow your search): “World Championship Wrestling Alumni” and “American Professional Wrestlers”

Google says:

  • What Would Jesus Do on Wikipedia
  • WWJD merchandise at

Result: Wrestling??? Seriously, we’re NOT making this up!!! Google wins by a clear mile. Cuil gets 1 out of 5 for entertainment value only.

Test 2: “The Bible”

Can Cuil find me a Good Book?

Suggested searches:

  • The Bible (yay! First hit!)
  • History of the Bible
  • How to Read the Bible
  • The Bible Code

Expected result: Links to online bibles, or possibly reference articles explaining what the Bible is.

Top Cuil result:Track and Field News: The Bible of the Sport since 1948

What else we got:

  • Navigating the Bible II
  • (an actual Bible!)
  • The Bible Society
  • A few other random bible-related things, none of which seem very important

Google says: – everyone’s favourite online bible!

Result: Cuil gets closer but is again blown away by Google. 2 out of 5 for effort!

Test 3: Lalbagh Indian Cuisine

…because even the faithful like a good curry now and then!

Suggested searches:

  • Lalbagh Fort
  • Lalbagh Road

Expected result: Web page of my favourite local Indian takeaway, local directory entries and some reviews.

Top Cuil result: Correct listing on (What’s that then?)

What else we got:

  • Local newspaper reviews
  • Other fairly random listings
  • Category: Kings of Mysore
  • Wikipedia article on Culture of Bangalore

Google says: The Lalbagh Website, Yell and Thompson directory entries, and reviews of the intended, and other restaurants called “Lalbagh”

Result: Again, I got the information I needed, but a link to the restaurant’s own web site didn’t make the front page. 2 out of 5 again.

Test 4: “Cuil”

Can it find itself? And will Google list their new competitor?

Suggested searches:

  • None – though by this point I wasn’t getting any suggested searches at all – perhaps the system was overloaded?

Expected result: Cuil home page, lots of news articles from today about the launch.

Top Cuil result: Properties for sale in Cuil Mhuine, Ireland on

What else we got:

  • References to what appears to be a music album or a band called “Chase around the Windmill”
  • Books, and area guides relating to several places whose name includes the word “Cuil”
  • Categories: Towns and Villages in Sligo, French Cuisine, Local Breads, Lochaber, and Glens of Scotland.
  • I also noticed that Cuil returned 121,578 results, compared to Google’s “about 718,000? – I’m open to the possibility that less is more in this case.

Google says: News results for Cuil from Information Week and 819 related articles. Cuil Homepage.

Result: What? They’re not their own top search result? Zero!!!!

Test 5: “Help”

Maybe Cuil is a new breed of search engine and I’m expecting the wrong sort of results. Perhaps there’s a help page?

Suggested searches:

  • Still no suggested results at all.

Expected result: Cuil help page. Err…not sure what else.

Top Cuil result: This is really REALLY true. I got a page back that said: “No results because of high load”.

What else we got:

  • Nothing
  • Zip
  • Zilch
  • Not a sausage

Google says:

  • – seems reasonable
  • BBC Help (
  • Ingenta Connect Help (???)
  • Google Help (which is, of course, the equivalent of what we wanted)

Result: Another zero I’m afraid. An overloaded service is no service at all!

In conclusion

We’ve done our best to show you how this new search engine performs. We’ll leave you to make up your own mind from our results. I’m sure you’ll agree they’re a great help!

We give Cuil a grand total of 4 out of a possible 25 points!

We don’t think Google need worry too much.

Tuesday Update:

The service is back up. Searching for “help” didn’t.

Oddly, though searching for “Cuil” on gave random results, searching for “Google” on gave lots of links to Google’s sites. Weird!