Monday, July 28, 2008

First Impressions of Cuil

There has been lot of news coverage and searches this morning regarding Cuil, the new search engine launched by several former Google employees. Since I specialize in paid search, the first thing I noticed is that there’s no information on the site at all about advertising, though it’s supposedly in the plans for the future.

Instead, I took some time to just try a few searches and form a first impression. There are some good points. I really like the design of the results page- the column layout, pictures and “explore categories” feature. The best feature is the extended preview text provided with each listing.

However, I’m not very impressed by the first-page results returned for searches, and for a search engine, that could be a small problem. Here are a few examples:

It’s severely lacking in “current” information. Searching on “dark knight box office” does not bring up any information about broken box office records, etc. Even worse, some of the results don’t even mention The Dark Knight. Compare that to the Google results, which reference the movie’s opening day and opening weekend records, and offer much more relevant “related searches”:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

There are also issues with repeat entries. This can be seen in the duplicate subject lines in the Dark Knight results above. It became even more apparent as I searched for reviews on a Bluetooth headset. I saw three pages of one review returned as three separate results (Legit Reviews), and another listed as two (

Click to enlarge

Of course, the most embarrassing result is that Cuil does not show up as a result on a search for “cuil”:

Click to enlarge

I can see some potential, but Cuil has a ways to go before they’re a Google-killer.

Digg my article

No comments:

Post a Comment