They claim to scan more pages than Google, and they present their results in a lovely, though heavy, format.
In addition to looking at the popularity of a Web page, Cuil also analyzes the concepts on the page and their relationships — grouping similar results under different menus. A Cuil search for “Bruce Springsteen,” for example, pulls up a section for results on the artist and a section for results pertaining to tickets.
But they have failed in Google’s strength – keep it simple and light. Perhaps that is why when I went there before then I got this:
Cuil claim to scan 120 billion pages versus Google’s 40 billion, but Google has just stated that they scan 1 Trillon URLs. Let the battle commence.
Actually it feels a little bit like the Yahoo! to Google era. Yahoo! had increasingly added stuff to their directory and search services over the years – Yahoo! Finance, news, email, personal webpages, shopping, domains and so forth, and as a result Yahoo! had become much heavier. A destination not a searching start point. Google came along, offering an almost blank screen, simplicty and fast loading. Google did not try to own your browsing experience, but merely helped you get to where you wanted.
Now Google is the one with the heavy offerings – iGoogle rather than Google is my default searcher, and then there’s Gmail, maps, news, checkout, groups, blogs, you tube and so on forever.I can stay on Google for hours without going to another site.
So is this a genuine opportunity? Will Cuil be able to be the new simple yet better kid on the block?
It seems that Rowan is involved with Cuil somehow – a Cuil search gives a staggering 21,546,000 results for “Rowan Simpson“, while only 15,651 for former blogger Rod Drury, a pathetic 209 results for “Lance Wiggs” and, entertainingly, none at all for “Sam Morgan”.
(Google gives Rowan 5,530 links, Rod 15,300, me 10,900 and “Sam Morgan” gets 75,500. That seems a lot more reasonable.)
So a bit more work to do there for Cuil it seems. Those 21.5m links for Rowan run out at page 23, a search for “Wellington Blog” gives a useless front page of results and search for “New Zealand blog” gives no results at all. A search for Helen Clark gave the “we are unavaialble” page again.
I remember the early days of Google had their share of being overloaded, but I also remember being absolutely staggered at how much better their search results were than the best competition, AltaVista.