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Cuil: Apparently "Bigger" Isn't What We Crave

Cuil I was anxious to try out this new Cuil search engine everyone's buzzing about.  The management team is loaded with former Google-ites and they've promised to deliver "the world's biggest search engine," meaning all those sites Google ignores will now be included in Cuil search results.  Further, content and relevance are king, which should provide a much more satisfying search experience.

To be honest, I don't have any beefs with Google.  I use it throughout the day and I generally find what I'm looking for in the top half of the first page of results.  Then again, I was happy with Lycos many years ago before shifting to Yahoo.  Then I abandoned Yahoo to jump on the Google bandwagon.  Although I've pretty much stuck with Google for the past several years you can see I have no search engine loyalty.  I'll use whatever suits my needs.

Btw, I've seen lots of people ask the question, "do we need another search engine?"  My answer is, "it depends", but I'm not convinced the solution involves focus groups or building a business/tool around user feedback.  That's how New Coke's are born.  After all, was anyone really screaming for a better search engine in 1997-1998 when Google hit the scene?  I'm pretty sure we were all happy with Yahoo, AltaVista, Excite and the others back then.  It reminds me of that great quote from Henry Ford who said, "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse."

Well, Cuil may indeed be a faster (or at least bigger) horse than Google, but I'm not all that impressed with it.  The searches I experimented with produced results that were different from Google's but I still found Google's to be more useful and relevant.  Although it doesn't take much to change search engines I'd need a compelling reason to switch from Google; I'm not finding that with Cuil.

P.S. -- Searchme is probably the only search engine I've seen recently that's worthy of abandoning Google over.  No, it's not just the nifty user interface...I like the whole stacks metaphor they use and how stacks can be saved and sent to others.  Now that's something I never would have suggested as a search engine improvement but it really lends itself to some very interesting applications.


Kevin D. Washburn

Have to agree with your assessment. I bookmarked Cuil to give it another try in the future. When I searched for organizations I knew, even searching by the actual web addresses, Cuil failed to find them. Whatever the search basis is, its results are not up to par yet. Have experienced similar problems with Searchme, but I do love the stacks concept. Hopefully both will improve and become worthwhile alternatives.


I'm definitely not impressed with Cuil. Some of my standard searches don't return nearly as good results as Google.

I remember when I first heard of Google and made the switch from (what?) Hotbot....someone said that Google somehow almost always turns up exactly what they're looking for in the first few returns. I gave it a try and, bam, I was hooked. Cuil certainly doesn't provide the same experience though I am intrigued by the way that Cuil returns the results in terms of a display using column.

But thanks for that mention of Searchme. I've never tried it before. That's really interesting. It's certainly a great tool for stressing the importance of Web design as a form of SEO.

Timothy fish

Cuil leaves a lot to be desired. I did a simple search for my name, "Timothy Fish" and it came back with no results. As many times as my name shows up on the web, you would think they could have found one. If nothing else, they could have returned, or

I then went in search of my church. It found the correct website, but it had a picture beside it of people I don't know. Perhaps it will improve with time, but right now Cuil appears to be the worst search engine out there.

Stephen Tiano

Hell, have I been asleep. I’ve stopped in over the last week at least a handful of times and never noticed your mention of Searchme. I like it. It’s simply a fun interface. More than that, I seem to come up somewhat faster than in Google, when I search “book designer,” somewhat faster still for “layout artist,” and--get this: Number One--for “page compositor.” I will definitely need to play with it more.

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