MSE360: Cooler than Cuil

January 6, 2009

I received an email from Daniel Clark. He provided me with some information about a new Web search engine, I ran a number of test queries on the system and found it to be useful. The most interesting feature to me is what Mr. Clark calls “deep search”. He said:

We… have introduced Deep Search methods to try and provide the user with a notice when a site is known to host a valid privacy policy. Although this feature is still in beta and thus only a few million sites have been deep searched, the platform will in the end provide users with a way to decide what sites to trust.

When we do spot checks on some potentially useful but really low traffic Web sites like the National Railway Retirement Board, we have found that Google does not visit very often nor does the GOOG go much beyond three links deep. The key point, of course, is how often a Web indexing system pings a site to determine if there is new or changed information available. If you have a billion Web pages indexed and refresh only 10 percent of them, the index is not too useful. Other vendors only index sites that contribute to popular searches. This approach saves money and returns useless results unless one has the knack of searching what rings the bells of 15 year olds. wants to change these practices. The engine also beeps when its visits a site with a virus. I was able to find a site that would inject trojans and the did not squawk. The system is new, and I think its virus alert will improve. The company also wants to protect users’ privacy. Google does this too, and until I see how the company grows, I applaud’s privacy initiative, but policies can change. You can generate tag clouds which show some of the popular searches on the system.

I ran a query for my Web log Beyond Search. We pop up on the results list but not in the top spot. No problem on my end. You can see from the screen shot below, that presents hits from Wikipedia, Web logs, traditional results in the middle panel, and images on the right hand panel. I was not able to run an image search, but I did not dig into the advanced search options very deeply. You can see more results by clicking a relatively tiny hot link at the bottom of the very dense results page.

mse360 screen

Mr Clark said:

We wanted to allow users to get the most out of there time, so in turn we designed the 3 tier layout. This layout allows for the user to get images, blogs, Wikipedia and web results, all on one page. When we polled 250 random Internet users over 70% said they preferred the layout over Yahoo. Of course the other 30% didn’t!

I found the system useful. Check it out. I will keep my eye on the service. I don’t have substantive information about funding and other basic facts. When I get them, I will pass them along.

Stephen Arnold, January 6, 2009


2 Responses to “MSE360: Cooler than Cuil”

  1. MSE360 Blog - Dev, Views & Rants. » Beyond Search: MSE360: Cooler than Cuil on January 6th, 2009 10:34 am

    […] To see his full blog post click here […]

  2. Daniel Clarke on January 6th, 2009 10:34 am

    It’s Clarke, with a E. But no worries! Thanks for the write up. I have posted a tadbit of information regarding funding on the dev blog: Thanks again!

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