Lurking in California is a bunch of Ex-Google Engineers that are hell bent on unseating the unstoppable juggernaut of search – Google.

The companies name: Cuil (Pronounced “Cool”)

Cuil launched today with a index of 120 billion web pages (compared to Google’s 1 Trillion) making them a formidable competitor out of the gate. This is the brain child of the husband and wife super team Tom Costello and Anna Patterson who, while at Google, were responsible for much of the way the search engine functions today.

Patterson and Costello’s impressive feat is that they’ve done this with a total of 1,400 eight-CPU computers (1,000 find and data-mine Web pages, the remaining 400 serve up those pages), while the big search services have warehouses of servers numbering in the many thousands.

Cuil attempts to see relationships between words and to group related pages in a single server. Patterson says this enables quicker, more efficient searching: “While most queries [at competitors] go out to thousands of servers looking for an answer, 90% of our queries go to just one machine.”

Patterson and Costello believe this yields more insightful results. “We aren’t a popularity contest,” says Costello, knocking Google’s well-known “PageRank” method, which counts not just relevance of a page but the number of other sites linking to it. [via]

Despite all the hype, I found the engine to be quite inaccurate and irrelevant. Anybody care to share their experiences?

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