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July 28, 2008

New Search Engine Has Google Nervous

A new search engine launched today has market leader Google nervous. Why? Because (pronounced “cool”) is being touted as having the potential to topple Google off their pedestal. Yes, it’s been predicted before to no avail, but this time the critics might be right. Let’s take a look at reasons why:

1) Cuil can apparently claim the title of world’s biggest search engine, searching more pages on the Web than any other site. That’s three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft.

2) Cuil tackles the issue of privacy by promoting the fact that they don’t collect user data. Privacy concerns are apparently one of the main reasons users abandon Google in favor of other engines.

3) The three founders of Cuil know search inside out. They include ex-Googlers Anna Patterson and Russell Power of the TeraGoogle project and Tom Costello of IBM’s WebFountain project.

4) Even Danny Sullivan thinks Cuil could be a major player. As he points out:

“Google already did a blog post in reaction to Cuil and its size claims on Friday, before Cuil even launched or those claims became public. If Google’s paying that much attention, then anyone should.”

That’s good enough for me!

5) Cuil provides some unique tools for researchers and serious searchers. After you perform a search, you sometimes see a box on the right-hand side that says “Explore By Category” with a list of subjects related to your search. If you roll-over a category, it will open and show related refinements. It reminds me of the dig tool you sometimes see when performing keyword research on WordTracker or KeywordDiscovery.

And what exactly does “Cuil” mean? Apparently it is an ancient Irish word for knowledge. How very cuil!

Stay tuned to see if Cuil can make a dent in Google’s 1st place trophy.

43 Responses to “New Search Engine Has Google Nervous

    avatar David Hobson says:

    Only time will tell if it can topple Google from the top but i dont really see it happening myself although i would love it if it did.

    avatar New Search Engine Has Google Nervous | Search Engine Optimization says:

    […] Read more here: New Search Engine Has Google Nervous […]

    avatar Natali says:

    New visual search engine already exists, it is only for kids))

    avatar ron angel says:

    I just tried it on my site keywords & name very good quick & accurate info
    some of it over a year old on blogs. google should be afraid VERY afraid…

    I have just done one comparative test. I entered a search term “Fun days out in Hampshire”.
    Cuill returned eight matches, six of which were from the same site. Google returned about 418,000. Of the first thirty, two were not entirely what I was looking for and one was OK. Twenty-seven were on the button, covering twenty-five different web sites. And that was using, not
    I shall try again in a while but, based on that, my inclination is to stick with what I know.

    avatar Pierre says:

    I think we must forget the google-killer, it ‘s not for tomorrow. Ten years ago the panel of consumers for a search engine were people in touch with computers (so quite fickle). Now, it’s really different,their profile and number have changed and Google is a widespread brand, general public will not leave it just because there is another thing funer or even more pertinent. They just don’t care. The strategy of a big company is to be inscribed in our head.

    Look at Coca cola or McDonald, even if a brand invent a better drink or a better sandwich, general public won’t leave them overnight.

    The second reason that makes me think google will not have to worry is the fact that if a competitor search engine has success, then….it will be bought out by Google^^

    Moreover, cuill has work to do in other languages, english may be good, but in spanish, french and german results are only spam.
    In a research about olympic games, there is no results about Beijing….

    avatar metalisa says:

    the coil search results are very disappointing even the results are better, but i wish them good luck 🙂

    avatar anonymousunknown says:

    Google’s success is down to the relevancy of search results. If cuil does not produce relevant results then it wont take off. I would like to see google fall. Everyone loves to see a champion take a tumble

    avatar Gorilla says:

    Competition! The winner in this fight against Google can only be determined by time. After all, competition make the world a better place.

    avatar Philip says:

    Nice to know that an alternative is pointing its nose, but they have a long way to go to even match Google and Yahoo, I did searches on all 3 engines and they consistently came back with less results. In addition, the pictures associated with the results often were not even related to the results while looking for products.

    avatar StevieBob says:

    Yesterday when I tried it I got error messages all over the place. When it worked there’s just a jumble of descriptive text that’s way too long. Also, images were randomly selected from several sites to be used on other site descriptions. Definitely in beta.

    avatar CEOmike says:

    A search on Cuil seems to give results similar to the old google. Results are without the spammers – good – but “content” seems to mean the number of internal links – bad, open to spam. It does seem to be doing as claimed – using content and not keywords but is seems too heavily weighted to internal links, searches are giving back better results, no spammers, but very shallow sites. The picture from a site feature seems broken! Not good enough yet to be a seriuos challenger – why did they release so soon with out at least fixing the picture problem?

    avatar Robert says:

    While it’s always nice to hear of new and exciting developments I’m not going to hold my breath on this one. I confess that I do like the column display instead of the old and tired listing, but that’s simple enough for anyone to do. But so far Cuil has failed to deliver better results than Google and without proper localization I don’t see much changing.

    avatar Eric says:

    So far, this search engine is much worse than any I’ve tried. It seems like they’ve crawled less of the web, even though they claim to crawl more. I’m not finding a lot of the results I would expect to find from the major SE’s and the results aren’t always that relevant. Also, their page system is strange; it seems to repeat the last items from the previous page…

    avatar Michelle Tukachinsky says:

    Competition is always a good thing! This should be interesting

    avatar Powerpets says:

    Sounds like a niche market search engine, unless they have some serious marketing cash behind them. As for the site name, personally I’m not a fan of names that are pronounced different than written. It’s just an extra hurdle a startup doesn’t need.
    What about the search engine that pays you to search/rate/comment? (click my name at the top of the article) — Now there’s something that’s bound to generate a social networking frenzy. It’s only a few weeks old, but with a large ad company at the wheel, it has all the tools to become a major player.

    avatar Vinayak says:

    I do like Cuil’s homepage, but not in much favor of the search results page style. I think the Google’s descent and simpler look still make it stand out. Again, the search process is quicker than Cuil.

    I just made 1 search with a keyword and I am not at all satisfied with the results, it confused me instead. Google gives me the accurate results with that keyword.


    avatar MGA says:

    Everybody is searching for himself/herself to test how good is a search engine! But it looks simple and clear… I hope they overcome the dominance of Google…

    […] Google Killer? July 30th 2008 Posted to Worth a Look New Web search engine, named in part as a nod to Finn McCool, claims to have indexed three times as many Web pages as Google—and they don’t track your personal footsteps. Read about it at Umbrella News and/or SitePro News. […]

    avatar Kerstin says:

    Hopefully they are still in beta, although they don’t show this anywhere on their site unless I missed it.

    I tried a few searches and for internet marketing type searches, which in Google we do very well, Cuil gave me russianbridesonline .com twice on their first page as well as 2 stock photography indexing a large number of pages doesn’t mean squat unless they can produce the proper results.

    avatar Karl Baldwin says:

    Cuil, Trademark Theft and Copyright Infringement – OH MY!

    Trying a few searches on using several vacation cabin rental search terms, brought up hundreds of websites with graphics taken from my website being used on other’s. Even more bazzar, many of my clients websites had somebody else’s graphic attached to their listings.

    My law firm is already taking action. To put it kindly, Cuil is clearly not ready for prime time.

    Karl Baldwin
    Mountain Lodging Vacation Cabin Rentals

    avatar Helmut Steinebrunner says:

    Okay we got a new search engine better than any other search engines ever known. I’m taken the second and pausing. I don’t think so!!!!!! the search engine looks like a well-written book, and most people have a attention deficit syndrome. So if you can get someone to read this well-written book . This search engine cool -cuil guess what, your going to start counting you are not Going to get too far. So well I guess we’ll leave it at that.

    avatar Elizabeth says:

    I tried it.. disliked it completely – will not use it again unless it changes drastically.. the poor layout, usability and lack of relevant information just did nothing for me.. personally I think Google has nothing to fear.. lots of indexed pages don’t mean much if your interface is terrible and your results poor..

    too bad though .. was excited to see it come around..

    avatar zurpit says:

    Cuil is cool but I don’t see them or any other company a threat to google search anytime soon. There are a lot of common search results that show up in google and not in cuil so far.

    avatar Johan Jong says:

    My sites that score at number one for the chosen keywords in Google, are nowhere to be found in Cuil.
    I’m not likely to become a fan very soon 😉

    avatar Jonathan says:

    From an SEO point of view, don’t know about Cuil yet. Some of my number one ranked sites on Google, are not even in Cuil top 20. But i think its great what they’ve done and well done to them.

    avatar Lake Hartwell says:

    I make my living in SEO and I have a ton of time and money invested in optimizing for Google. If cuil or anyone else topples them I can’t say I’d be happy about it but if the new kid made things easier and established a level playing field for SEO I’d be happy to build a new toolbox!

    avatar Kelly says:

    Time will tell if it all pans out. I had a look at their page and was impressed. The hype is that they’re searching more pages than Google, but it seems they’re not returning as many results. Are they caching them?

    Best of luck to them. Seeing as how the site is a Gaelic word, let me just respond in the spirit of the thing by saying, “Google, pog mo thoin!”

    avatar swapna khade says:

    Great news….
    I saw this search engine it’s amazing..


    avatar Janet says:

    The overall response I am hearing, after a couple of days, is that it is a dud. They hyped it too much without testing it first. I have been puzzle, personally, at what they returned on some of my search inquiries.

    avatar Christina Lannen says:

    Unless the developers significantly improve it it will not go anywhere. Completely unrelated images show up next to results.

    I am not impressed at all.

    avatar Themetal says:

    Any follow up articles on the failure of cuil?
    I’ve run a few searches now and I think it’s safe to say they have 213 billion useless results. For some reason they’re listing pages on our site that haven’t existed for the last 7 and a half months (and most other results I checked were either non-existent or completely irrelevant.)

    Did you actually get to test this before writing this blog, or did they pay you (I hope they paid you, at least some good came out of cuil then).

    I like it’s three column approach and image preview, meaning you can see a lot more on each page but I don’t think relvance and quality of links returned is half as good as Google’s… at least not yet!

    The biggest index means nothing if you can’t deliver the pages for relevant searches. I went to Cuil and typed charleston ghost tours (a main keyword for one of my clients) and Cuil delivered zero results. I found a couple of other phrases with the same zero results, though I don’t recall what they were right now. Cuil has a lot of work to do in my book.

    avatar Primal Media says:

    At this time, it’s all smoke and mirrors. Cuil has some major stumbling blocks before it will come anywhere close to making Google nervous – including the fact that its results are junk and it randomly pulls images to match results that often bear no relation to the business listed.

    The fact that they deliver up so little results despite exaggerated claims about indexing will be enough to deter most who even bother to check it out. Packaging without substance cannot make a giant like Google topple.

    avatar Comedy Blog says:

    Google is nervous? No seriously, you’re kidding right?

    The engine has terrible results. They might reshape it, and it might get better, but they really should have waited to send out those press releases. It only took me about 3 searches to realize that I don’t need to go back anytime soon.

    avatar Robert says:

    Um… just because they don’t rank your website that you have optimised, doesn’t make them a poor search engine. I think that might have some play on some of the comments made. My site doesn’t rank so it’s got to be poor. I think the worst is that they can’t match images from the same site, never mind relevant ones. But hey… lets hope they can fix that.

    I would love to see a few of Googles stupid dominating features like PR be challenged but I dont think this engine has the ability or the capacity to deliver anything close to what Google has done with search results. Merely spidering a website and then delivering results doesnt mean you have the right results. It doesnt mean mean you have “Good Info” either. I even think the styling of the typography that is delivered makes it hard to browse the results.

    I do however like the design of the site and think it has potential. Maybe a few tweaks would make the site more user friendly.

    avatar Helmut Steinebrunner says:

    Not so fast, saying Google killer, especially when I produced a web site less than a week and a half ago. Then had it spider by Google, MSN and Yahoo. I have top 10 search ranking now. But Cuil is still searching for my web site. I think let’s talk about some years down the road may be then Mc cool will get theirs

    avatar web design says:

    nice to have competition like that.

    avatar Mike's Notation Software says:

    The results are poor and in a lot of cases, duplicated. For example, on a single page you may see 3 or 4 same domain names for a particular keyword. Google does this sometimes too, but at most they list 2 same domain searches on a results page which. The images next to the results are a dumb idea because they are never relevant and some companies may not want a particular image next to their results. I know for a fact that I own a certain term on the web (Google, Yahoo, MSN and many others) list me as #1 for my search term. Cuil does not list me anywhere for that phrase. Yes, I can safely say that because Cuil did not recognize that my phrase (which is the name of my website) is not even in the vicinity of the results, that is has a lot of improvement to do. Google has nothing to worry about.

    avatar Brian Hooper says:

    Ok – I did a search for my sites main keywords and I appear absolutely nowhere, even though I am ranked very highly by google, msn and yahoo.

    the results it returned were not even related to my search phrase “holiday rentals in spain”. there were rental companies from the States!!

    Also some sites were repeated 2 or 3 times and teh images they displayed were totally irrelevant.

    just because it has been built by a few ex google employees it doesnt mean squat.

    Google has 10’s of thousands of employees!

    Verdict 1/10 (the 1 is just for trying)

    Brian Hooper

    Good attempt, keep working at it

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