Is Cuil the new Google? is apparently the new new thing in search engines.

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.

Cuil ego surf

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.

Published by Lance Wiggs


11 replies on “Is Cuil the new Google?”

  1. I agree with Bryan – tried it (thanks for the link) but the results were well below par in the relevancy stakes.

    For a search on myself (but of course) I got “Remington Love, Remington Romance at” which was (I think) 9th on the list … hmmm.

    Sort of nice but, nah, not gonna do it for me.


  2. It will be genuinely wise, if Cuil would think about what it should offer to the public, rather than extensively focus on beating Google in terms of functionality, size and all that statistical balderdash. Acc. to my estimates, I would say Google would still be at the top, and competitors have to probe more innovative methods to beat Google. However, I constantly remind them that beating Google shouldn’t be the primary focus.

    PS: Yesterday, I just typed in a search term “science”, and there was apparently no result whatsoever. I tried so 3-4 times, and it gives me:

    “No results because of high load…

    Due to excessive load, our servers didn’t return results. Please try your search again.”

    That quite annoyed but other features of Cuil are impressive….Anyway, Google’s safe as long as it gives public what they want!


  3. The most important thing in search is the relevancy of the documents that are returned from a hit. The relevancy of their return hits for searches I had done there seems very low compared to Google .Cuil is worst than any of the current top 5 engine. Cuil wanted the hypes and they got it, even New York Times fell into this hype.


  4. Lance:- marketing folk were probably on a completely different planet – speaking as ex-engineer.


  5. Our house was auction in 2011 and I approached the back to do a forensic on the bond because I felt we kept on paying the arears but it just didn’t get done. Absa was so eager to hand us over to the lawyer. Can they object and refuse to check my accout


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