Gang of ex-Googlers launch search rival

A new search engine staffed by former Google engineers is claiming to have indexed three times more Web pages than its rivals. Cuil claims its results based on Web page content analysis approach beats standard search techniques of link analysis and traffic ranking.

Cuil gives users a display of results that offers organising features, like tabs to clarify subjects, images to identify topics, and search refining suggestions to help guide users to the results they seek.

The company was founded by husband-and-wife team Tom Costello and Anna Patterson. Costello researched and developed search engines at Stanford University and IBM; Patterson worked at Google, where she was the architect of the company’s large search index, and led a Web page ranking team. A third partner is Russell Power, another former Google employee.

“Other search engines are unable to keep up with [Web growth],” said Costello, Cuil CEO. “Our 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. Cuil also 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.”

Added Cuil’s president and COO Patterson: “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.”

Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Cuil derives its name from an old Irish word for knowledge. The venture has received funding from Tugboat Ventures and Greylock Partners, and Madrone Capital Partners.

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