Ex-Googler, husband launch new search engine

Rival engine has indexed 120 billion web pages, founders say

A former Google employee and her husband have launched a new search engine called Cuil (pronounced "cool").

Cuil, of Menlo Park, California, is led by Anna Patterson, a former leader of Google's search index and her husband, Tom Costello, who researched and developed search engines at Stanford University and IBM. The two are president and CEO of Cuil, respectively.

Russell Power, the third co-founder of the group, also worked at Google on search indexing, web rankings and spam detection. He is vice president of engineering at Cuil.

The company says it has indexed 120 billion web pages and can provide results organised by ideas with complete privacy for users.

Last week Google said it had discovered a trillion unique web pages on the internet, but did not give an updated number on how many of those pages it has indexed.

Cuil says its search engine goes beyond traditional approaches by analysing the context of each page and the concepts behind each query so it can provide better rankings by content rather than popularity. Cuil then organises similar results into groups and sorts them by category. It also offers tabs to clarify subjects, as well as suggestions on how to refine searches.

Cuil isn't the first Google rival to launch this year. Wikia Search, a highly anticipated search engine from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, made its official debut in January. Wikia Search hopes to provide better search results by allowing a community of users to index pages by using their web page rankings and other suggestions, as well as its own indexing of the web.

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