Monday, July 28, 2008

Cuil, Convince Me, Please

Cuil launched last night and I (with thousands of others) immediately started playing with the search engine. I want a better search engine and apparently many other people want one too. Google's time is numbered because they have not done anything to improve their search engine in years. Plus, Google privacy policies are basically - well - everything on the net is their property.

I have a theory that Google is dominant, not because of search engine results, but because people make money from adsense and other ad mechanisms. Take advertising away and people would not be interested in getting to the top of Google. People hide the money issue by talking about "relevant results." They really mean - I can find my site and name in the search engine results.

Advertising is where any new search engine must focus; focus on getting people traffic so the site makes money. If Cuil can help people land traffic then Google must react to keep you drawn into their world. And believe me - if you don't understand that the Internet is Google's world - then you are not paying attention, my friend. Google owns the Internet and it's time people start thinking seriously about how to take it back.

After tinkering with a few results, though, I noticed some hiccups. Throughout the night, the hiccups became larger with the site becoming unavailable at times. Personally, it is funny to see a GMail logo next to TechCrunch. It is even funnier to type in "cuil reviews new york times" and get back online betting with the Poker Channel. Yes, we are betting results will improve because the Poker Channel was removed the second time I put in the results. A Children Magazine is there now.

Twitter and FriendFeed results also suggest people are interested in the search engine but results were not favorable.

“Cuil is number one on Google Trends” -- Steve Rubel

I searched for my name - nothing. Honestly, that's just wrong. - Lee Stranahan via Alert Thingy

Google is a search engine, Cuil is a PR disaster.” - Barbara K. Baker

nothing relevant for me. all old, dead blogs and profiles to places I haven't been to in years. - Rob Williams

“Cuil fails to find any results for "Mickey Mantle," "Hat," or "life itself:"” - Harry McCracken

“based on a few searches this morning on Cuil... or whatever they are calling it, Google has nothing to fear” - David Parmet

What do I think? I want Cuil to convince me. Therefore, for the next 2 weeks I will operate with Cuil as my default search engine. Google was removed from the FireFox search toolbar and Cuil is the default. I expect a rough start because people are trying all types of results. I'm just hoping the people at Cuil are smart enough to be logging all of these search attempts and picking through them.

Cuil isn't perfect - and neither is Google. Are you going to give Cuil a chance to convince you? 5  minutes and a few searches isn't going to cut it - are you really going to give them a chance?