Anna Patterson's last Internet search engine was so impressive that Google bought the technology in 2004 to upgrade its own system. She believes her latest invention is even more valuable — only this time it's not for sale.
The end result is Cuil, pronounced “cool.” Backed by $33 million in venture capital, the search engine plans to begin processing requests for the first time Monday.
For starters, Cuil's search index spans 120 billion Web pages. Rather than trying to mimic Google's method of ranking the quantity and quality of links to Web sites, Patterson says Cuil's technology drills into the actual content of a page. And Cuil's results will be presented in a more magazine-like format instead of just a vertical stack of Web links. Cuil's results are displayed with more photos spread horizontally across the page and include sidebars that can be clicked on to learn more about topics related to the original search request.