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Is Google Down? August 9, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Internet, News, News Reaction, portals, Search Engines , 6comments

I noticed at 4:40 Pacific that Google.com is not working. GMAIL was also not working but Google.co.in was working and so was Google.ie

It took me about 10 minutes to conclude that Google.com was indeed down, atleast for me.

If Google can go down like this - Oh my God!

There must be a vulnerability, there is so much of technology available. Am I the only person who is not able to use Google.com?

Google.com for me went down after 4:30 Pacific and came back before 5:20 Pacific. I am right now in India and accessing from there.

Maybe Google.com was not down and it was a DNS glitch?

Please inform, if you faced n problems?

Google Cuil Comparison Report July 31, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Internet, portals, Search Engines, websites , 1 comment so far

Search Engines have always excited me, and I am loving doing Google Vs Cuil Comparison or Cuil Vs Google Comparison, choose the form you prefer. I am neutral.

For data reference please look at my other post title Cuil Review, available at http://simarprit.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/cuil-review/ 

  1. In Cuil Google comparison across 70 plus datapoints Google wins hands down
  2. Cuil is a serious attempt
  3. Cuil’s launch could have been delayed, or only a beta done at this stage
  4. Cuil needs to be thoroughly debugged
  5. Cuil needs to carry and define boundaries for geographies and verticals
  6. Cuil doesn’t recognize itself – Search for Cuil Reviews on Cuil and enjoy
  7. Cuil doesn’t speak or understand spoken English try “World Map from Mapsofworld.com” Google does it very well.
  8. Most of the filters require serious re-look
  9. Error Messages need to be polished
  10. Image integration is an issue
  11. Local data integration is non existent a search with a particular hotel address stated No results found – try “1510 North First Street San Jose” on both the search engines
  12. I would consider it much inferior to even Ask/ Yahoo/ Live and the gang, forget comparing it with Google
  13. Updating content process is not defined – As a result on search terms “Google Cuil Comparison” & “Cuil Review” – Cuil doesn’t pick up any of the results while Google picks both these posts. (July 31,2008 ). Even four days later August 4, 2008, Cuil just can’t locate this post.
  14. Some specifics, I checked for Great Mall at Milpitas, and I gave over 10 combinations for it – I didn’t;t get the official site even once. No chance. I check for “The Great Mall”; “Great Mall at Milpitas”; “Great Mall of the bay area” and so on.
  15. Be prepared to see “West Indian recipes” when you look out for Indian Recipes. Categorization looks to be a major issue.
  16. Google’s maturity shows when you search for “Time in New York” on both the search engines. Cuil gets a BIG ZERO, while Google tells the EDT as aspecial result.
  17. Cuil doesn’t understand “Geography Filter”. Search for “Map of San Jose” as an absolute search. Google knows that you are sitting in Bay Area and shows you San Jose, CA results fisrt, it also shows one result of San Jose, Costa Rica. Cuil gets it all wrong. 
  18. Cuil doesn’t have “read my mind features” at all. I don;t know how correct it is to compare both on this account, I had the same experience when I checked the search engine for the word Time in New York I just now checked now for California Area. Google read my mind correctly and Cuil sent me over to Alcoholics Anonymous. For those who are alcoholics and need help the result was relevant.
  19. Google understands Wikipedia and does excellent meshing up of wiki information with search results. Look for “California Area”, it goes to Wikipedia, picks up the Area of State of California from the table on the right hand side and displays it up, bingo! Now search for California Capital, the special result is Sacramento.  Cuil is yet to co-exisit with Wikipedia the way Google does. Google’s “spoken english language interface capabilities” are awesome. I just tried this “What is the area of California” to check whether Google still shows me the wikipedia culled out result or not, yes it does. It just truly filters out what is the and of. When I searched for “Where is California” Google showed its map of North America and also brought the wikipedia result telling me exactly “Where is California”. I may not go further making Google a destination site itself.
  20. Google realizes that there are other wonders on the Internet and is always looking at an opportunity to gain from them and provide a better user experience. Shall we call it maturity? Cuil is miles away ad Google on this count is many smiles 8) ahead.
  21. “Coffee Company Pleasanton” searched on both the sites brought in 100% different results. Google’s precise and accurate (and also justifiably with my post on the very top). Cuil struggled to find out where Coffee, Company ad Pleasnton were. This search phrase was given by me to look at categorization depth. My questions were – Do they know where it is? Do they have a meshing up table to bring the most apt rsult on the top? Is their weightage system working? is there database really the largest? I am afraid it doesn’t look like. It is about two month old post, a niche post. Zero on ten  again. I am sorry Cuil, but I am just trying to make you better. Free of cost.
  22. Official Sites Filter – Cuil kept on getting searches wrong all the time. Worst happened when I gave both “Paris Vegas” non absolute. Google promptly understood that I was looking for Paris Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and promptly brought me the Map and the official site. Cuil couldn’t find the official site and showed me assorted results.
  23. No results were found for: Biography of John Travolta

    If you’ve checked your spelling, you could try using fewer or different keywords to broaden your search.

    Still no luck? Send us your feedback: noresults@cuil.com - Good Morning Cuil aren’t you making a Fuil by actualy running this search engine. Why I am loosing my cool, a tester just tests.


The 70 plus parameters on which I did my reserach are mentioned in http://simarprit.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/cuil-review/

This post is being edited by me on daily basis and made more comprehensive.

Last update: August 6, 2008

Cuil – Review July 30, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Internet, News, News Reaction, portals, Review , 8comments

Google – Cuil Comparison

Is it really Cool?

Yes, the interface is. It is too good.

I will work towards a detailed comparison of Google and Cuil, let us see what comes out.

As a starter, Cuil is to Search Engines what iPhone was to mobile devices (at least the interface). It is awesome. The interface and HCI angle is a killer. It can disrupt the party for Google. It has that in it. That’s the good news. On HCI they get 10/10, compared to Google’s 2/10. But on search terms, I am afraid the novelty doesn’t pay, they are just continents away, or shall I say halfway around the world.

I just did about 2300 searches. Random. Global. On any thing and everything. I am getting more focused as I move on with more parameters.

  1. As per Cuil there are no “Indian Restaurants in San Jose” though we have “Japanese Restaurants in San Jose”, “Mexican Restaurants in San Jose” and “Chinese Restaurants in San Jose”. LoL
  2. Search for Map and see the error
  3. Search for Sap and see the error
Parameter Google Cuil
Absolute Search 9 1
Addresses 8 3
Adjacency Checks 9 1
Adult Filter 6 2
Anti Domain Squatting 8 2
Blog Search 8 2
Brand 10 2
Bridge Page Filters 8 2
Bug Free 9 2
Buzz 7 7
City Names 8 6
Cloaking Check 8 4
Complex Search 7 3
Crawls 9 6
Customized Search 7 2
Database 9 7
Date and Time 7 1
Date Filter 8 4
Dead Link Checks 7 2
Deep Search 9 3
Default Weightage 7 1
Depth 9 7
Dictionary Results 9 3
Directory Structure 9 3
Domain Name 8 6
Dynamic Content Handling 8 6
Fake Listings 7 6
Four Words 10 1
Frame Based Content 8 4
Gateway Filters 7 3
Geo Filter 9 6
H Tagging Relevancy 6 3
Image Embedding 6 1
Image Mapping 7 2
Image Relevance 9 1
Incremental Updates 8 0
Industry Awareness 10 5
Keyword Stuffing 6 7
Keyword Weightage 8 5
Languages 9 1
Links 8 3
Long Tail Words 9 2
Look & Feel 1 10
Mathematical Modeling 9 6
Matrix Approach 9 9
Mature 10 1
Medical Terms 8 4
Meta Tags 7 5
Popularity Weightage 8 3
Proper Noun Search 8 2
Random Numbers 7 2
Reach 10 2
Read My Mind 9 0
Relational 9 4
Relevancy 7 2
Relevancy Correction 8 2
Safe Search 6 2
Search Assist 3 9
SEO Filters 7 2
Single Word 6 2
Site Map Relevancy 8 3
Smart 2 10
Social Networking Content 8 2
Speed 10 9
Spelling Correction 8 2
Stop Words 8 2
Subdomain Handling 8 6
Tags 8 7
Telephone Number Search 9 3
Three Words 9 2
Title 7 2
TLD Filter 7 1
Two Words 7 4
UGC Indexing 7 4
Video Embedding 5 1
Weighted Average 9 4
Wikipedia Results 9 3
Within top results 7 8
ZIP Code Search 9 4



  1. I am still working on this post, this post is continuously changing.
  2. New Parameters are being added every day
  3. Scores are also changing – I plan to do a major update
  4. This is a self initiated review
  5. I make no claims to be an authority on this subject or methodology adopted. However I admit to be a part of the vision/ engineering/ architecture/ design and development team  of a Search Engine project which worked well as a beta product, but couldn’t find financial backing and died a natural death.

When does Rakhi fall in 2008? July 26, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : India, Internet, portals , add a comment

When is Rakhi?

Why am I asking this?

Am I not the one whose company announces every year the date of Rakhi on the Internet? Rakhi is on August 16, 2008 but we are not the one announcing it.

Not any longer. We handed over http://www.virtualrakhi.com which was the first Raksha Bandhan site, to its new owners. So when I asked this question to my cousin, the thought came back to me about my association with Raksha Bandhan through Virtual Rakhi. Why did we choose to call it Virtual Rakhi, why not something else, we had hundreds of names to choose from? We called it Virtual Rakhi to create a platform where Sisters and Brothers can unite on this day. We worked towards it way back in 1999, but it was a little early for the concept. We moved on and started retailing Rakhis and creating provisioning for Return Gifts. The concept worked and we did well. We created Virtual Rakhi as a brand with Mani becoming the “Jag Bhai” and literally delivering Rakhis to brothers for couple of sisters who discovered the festival little too late in the day.

It was hard-work, great fun and an emergence of e-commerce. Beautiful Rakhis, Lovely Messages, Great Packaging and all-round innovation. It was just awesome. Getting Rakhis directly from the manufacturers and selling them all over the world was very exciting.

I am sure the excitement continues but we are no longer part of the same.

Good luck VirtualRakhi.com good luck Raksha Bandhan E-commerce.

Diwali Mela and Virtual Rakhi get a new organizer July 4, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Diwali, Festivals, Internet, portals, Raksha Bandhan - Rakhi , 1 comment so far

Business synergies are critical. Small business doesn’t make sense for anyone anymore, more so for those who have other assets and businesses to handle.

Compare Infobase now owns over 1600 websites and portals, I remember at the best the names or existence of about 200 of them, as Compare’s business is to develop and sell websites, selling a website is a business transaction. Whenever we sell an Internet site which is known, we are asked don’t you feel bad after selling the site? My answer is we loved developing it and owning it and we love the act of selling it, this is our business. The second part of my answer actually is not palatable to people, “We make effort to sell to a buyer who would do justice to the site”. Most of the people find the answer a guilt cover, which it is not as selling is a pleasure and not a guilt. The new owner group of http://www.diwalimela.com(Diwali Mela) are well established players, they understand sites as much as we do and they desire to pursue e-commerce business. Dinesh Aggarwal is a dear friend and an old business associate, Dinesh is more known for India Mart however he also owns Intermesh Shopping Network which has bought Diwali Mela and its stablemate http://www.virtualrakhi.com  (Virtual Rakhi).

Diwali Mela was born as a concept of holding a global Diwali Mela or an Exhibition on the Internet. We used it like that for few years, but somehow we always felt that our job was not to manage a business of the site, we were comfortable managing and developing the site. With Diwali Mela and Virtual Rakhi (Our site for the festivals of Raksha Bandhan and not a virtual Rakhi Sawant… LoL) sold we exit from one of the business lines which we were reluctant players in.

Diwali Mela and Virtual Rakhi leave behind fond memories and great learning experience, we wish both the sites best of luck and great success with their new owners.

You Mint – Email Spam June 8, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Internet, portals, Spamming , 4comments

Some times great ideas can be raped by quick grow strategy. Since past seven days, I’ve been getting regular spam mail which  goes like this…

Hi,Join below & get paid for receiving promotional SMS on YouMint. You can also send free SMS to any mobile in India!




- Ashish Goel”

It comes with a noreply@youmint.com address. What did Youmint.com gain by encouraging email spamming like this, and what did Mr. Ashish Goel get by becoming a hardcore spammer disturbing peace and adding to email overload. At-least they lost me as a supporter to their concept and created a bad mouth. I have seen many sites indulge in unethical practices like this and have always thought of creating a post or a blog to take care of them. I was never troubled enough to get into it seriously, but You Mint and Ashish Goel have succeeded in ensuring that. 

The promoters of You Mint should be aware that gentleman  like Ashish Goel can get them into serious trouble, Unsolicited mails are not done, and that also on all possible IDs you could be using. I am of course contemplating writing to you Mint to hand me over personal details of Mr. Ashish Goel to me, so that joint action against them and Mr. Goel can be initiated. I am sure You Mint is too busy minting money to bother about problems they are creating for others.

If there are others who are suffering from this aggressive Youmint.com supported and promoted spamming please feel free to post your views.


Goodbye Christmas Carnivals Website! May 31, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Christmas, Internet, portals, Review, websites , add a comment

Way back in 1999, I was not taken seriously on my attempts to develop a Christmas site. What does a “Sardar” (Sikh) know about Christmas, and what are his credentials. Of course I knew just a little better than nothing about Christmas and had never been to a Church except as a tourist, so I had no credentials, per se.  I knew something about sites, and that got me going. Nine years of profitable ownership later, http://www.christmascarnivals.com is sold. Sold to Side Show Ventures, I am sure Jimmy Sutton  would be a far better owner-manager to my absentee landlord approach. 

Jim, congratulations on your acquiring Christmas Carnivals, it is a good site which offers lot of information on Christmas. It has been very close to my heart , and I would add a lot about the site to this post in next few days.

Let us have a farewell Q & A.

Q: What was the need to design and develop  a website for Christmas? 

A: I don’t need to develop websites, and surely not for a living. To me developing a website is picking up a canvas and letting it known as a painting. On a more serious note, way back in 1999 there were many sites on Christmas, but there was a need for the site on Christmas. Christmas Carnivals was developed to cover that niche. Christmas Carnivals was also developed as a spoke, to the hub and spoke model of  http://www.dgreetings.com. DGreetings, at that time had no significant section on Christmas and Christmas Carnivals acted as a spoke. It was you scratch my back, I scratch yours.  Having said that, Christmas Carnivals is very close to my heart, and would remain so. Every year, the site had a new look and a new treatment, we kept on changing the site

 More to come…