Checking the popularity index for yesterday, Monday, July 28, 2008, searches I was quite surprised that the news about getting on the market new Google competitor, Cuil was not on the first lines. Cuil captured line 17 among the top 100 search items, cuil search - 22, and cuil.com - 63.
It is not a first time since era of Google domination begins, when new rivals are trying to challenge the “Big One” leadership. This list might include startups like Teoma (whose technology became the backbone of Ask.com), Vivisimo, Snap, Mahalo and, most recently, Powerset, which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. this month.
However, even after investing heavily on search, both Microsoft and Yahoo Inc. been gradually losing ground to Google. Through May, Google held a 62% share of the U.S. search market followed by Yahoo at 21% and Microsoft at 8.5%, according to comScore Inc.
What makes Cuil different from his predecessors? May be, it is the fact that, for the first time, the competitor’s product is compiled by the former Google employees. May be, it is the overconfident claims that the search engine will ultimately challenge Google market share?
Rather than trying to repeat Google’s approach on ranking the quantity and quality of links to Web sites, Cuil’s technology drills into the actual content of a page, according to the company’s president Anna Patterson. Also, Cuil’s results will be presented in a more magazine-like format instead of just a vertical stack of Web links. Cuil’s results are displayed with more photos spread horizontally across the page and include sidebars that can be clicked on to learn more about topics related to the original search request.
While I tested the new search engine today, the results were quite mixed, with bringing more quality content from Google than from Cuil. Also, Google interface and approach is so familiar through the years together, that it is not easy to be non-judgmental testing another interface approach. Observers also note that some of the well-known pages seem to be not index at Cuil (such as Wikipedia, for example). However, if you take in an account that the site was released just yesterday, the results are quite good. Work is still needed, but it looks promising. Google, beware!
Access main page: http://www.cuil.com/