Cuil, which is named after the Irish Word for knowledge, launched earlier this week. It was supposed to be a new way to search, that starts with the key words, then analyses the whole of the page. They took a chance to get a stab in at the former employer of some of the companies staff search giant Google along the way:
"Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency. " - Cuil Site
The site has already had some problems with slowness and a brief downtime in its 1st day of operation, but the site is confident that it can bounce back. Even today, they seem to have usage issues. Only 1 of the 5 test searches I preformed came back with results and not a 'Servers are Busy' message.
The sites claim to fame is two fold, one is a 120 billion site index, with dedicated servers for major topic areas, like 'Arts' or 'Health', and the second is the interface, your search results show up with a 3 column display view, that shows you not only the results of your search, but of related searches as well.
Of course with 120 billion sites indexed, Cuil still has a lot of work to do. This author tested one of her own sites (with a #1 Google rating and a #3 on Yahoo) both by URL and keywords and Cuil missed it altogether.
Cuil has a lot of potential, but only time will tell if it will work for the average end user, but they have a long way to go in reliability before they find it out.