I wanted to see if the disappointing results I experienced on “Newest Search Engine That is Bigger and Better Than Google”, http://www.cuil.com/, was a server load issue or just marketing hype. The exposure that Cuil received has been nothing short of an Internet wildfire that has made every marketing professional go green with envy…
I started my review of this site yesterday, and it can be found just a few postings down from this one (or you can click here, if you prefer).
The significant issues experienced yesterday with the Cuil search engine, like search results not being returned, was a load issue as the site was just crushed with traffic. Today is a different story, and the search results are being returned much faster. Even complex searches that I tested are now working.
I really like the automatic drop down suggestions as you type into the search box on Cuil. Yahoo added this feature a while ago, and it is convenient. The Cuil search results format is superior to both Google’s and Yahoo’s results page. This is one of the nicest search result pages I have ever seen and I really like the keyword associations it suggests. The lack of advertising on the site is refreshing, but I have no idea how long that will last. The company needs to make some money eventually…somehow.
The relevance of the Cuil search results still requires much more work and was not a result of server load. I searched for the same terms that I did yesterday and while all searches returned results the Google and Yahoo results were just more relevant.
Here is an example:
– Term: Sirius stock decline
– Cuil.com: 1 result – not relevant
– Google: 62,000+ results – top 3 listings most relevant
– Yahoo: 2 million+ results – 9th listing most relevant
At this time, Google and Yahoo have nothing to fear from Cuil. Users will have hard time finding information using this search engine. The search relevance is just not their yet. That does not mean that Google and Yahoo should dismiss this start-up. Cuil is on the right track and if they are not taken serious, Google may become the next Yahoo. The Cuil search algorithms need improvement but so did Google’s when it came out of the gate.
Cuil strikes me as company that has been influenced by the work of Apple. They spent time on the user interface and made the site inviting, elegant and easy to use. They should now be working on the improving the back-end workings of the search engine. They now have a huge amount of feedback with all the press in the last three days, heck, just from the blogging community alone they should have enough comments to make substantial improvements to the engine.
This company received massive exposure in the last 72 hours at essentially no cost, what a remarkable job the marketing staff of the company have done. Now is time for the engineers to step up to the plate and knock one out of the park and improve the search relevance.