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Monday, July 28, 2008
Ex-Google Engineers Debut 'Cuil' Search Engine

Anna Patterson, the developer of the Internet search technology that Google bought in 2004, released "Cuil", a new search engine that goes live today.

Cuil, pronounced "cool", is backed by $33 million in venture capital. The company claims to pioneer a a new approach to search, which combines the biggest Web index with content-based relevance methods, results organized by ideas, and complete user privacy. Cuil ( says that it has has indexed 120 billion Web pages, three times more than any other search engine.

After getting inquiries about Cuil, Google asserted on its blog Friday that it regularly scans through 1 trillion unique Web links. But Google said it doesn't index them all because they either point to similar content or would diminish the quality of its search results in some other way.

Cuil provides organized and relevant results based on Web page content analysis. The search engine goes beyond today?s search techniques of link analysis and traffic ranking to analyze the context of each page and the concepts behind each query. It then organizes similar search results into groups and sorts them by category.

Cuil gives users a richer display of results and offers organizing features, such as tabs to clarify subjects, images to identify topics and search refining suggestions to help guide users to the results they seek.

"The Web continues to grow at a fantastic rate and other search engines are unable to keep up with it," said Tom Costello, CEO and co-founder of Cuil. "Our significant breakthroughs in search technology have enabled us to index much more of the Internet, placing nearly the entire Web at the fingertips of every user. In addition, Cuil presents searchers with content-based results, not just popular ones, providing different and more insightful answers that illustrate the vastness and the variety of the Web."

Cuil?s technology was developed by a team with extensive history in search. The company is led by husband-and-wife team Tom Costello and Anna Patterson. Mr. Costello researched and developed search engines at Stanford University and IBM; Ms. Patterson is best known for her work at Google, where she was the architect of the company?s large search index and led a Web page ranking team. They refused to accept the limitations of current search technology and dedicated themselves to building a more comprehensive search engine.

"Since we met at Stanford, Tom and I have shared a vision of the ideal search engine," said Anna Patterson, President and COO of Cuil. "Our team approaches search differently. By leveraging our expertise in search architecture and relevance methods, we?ve built a more efficient yet richer search engine from the ground up. The Internet has grown and we think it?s time search did too."

Finally, Cuil is hoping to attract traffic by promising not to retain information about its users' search histories or surfing patterns - something that Google does, much to the consternation of privacy watchdogs.

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