How Did Cuil Get So Many *Users* on Day 1?!

There’s a post over on ReadWriteWeb speculating on how the new search engine Cuil managed to get so much publicity on Day 1. My question: how did the search engine wind up with so many users on Day 1? I followed the Cuil news with some interest yesterday morning, but was shocked to discover the Motorola blog I write was already getting link referrals from the new site. Cuil just launched. Who was over there yesterday morning searching for “OCAP” and “femtocell”?

As far as my own thoughts on Cuil, I like the interface quite a bit, but whether it can deliver the comprehensive results that Google does remains to be seen. I also noticed a quirk in the results it delivered for pages I recognized. Cuil seems to add in little thumbnail pics that have nothing to do with the results they sit next to. Odd.

14 thoughts on “How Did Cuil Get So Many *Users* on Day 1?!”

  1. I tried it ..I’m not sold on it being better. Maybe I just have to get used to it. I did a search on Tivo and got the official website but then other weird sites came up too.

    John G.

  2. I’m not sold on Cuil being better either. For Ex, Search for Vudu Vs Apple TV and on the side, the top two Explore by Category headers are

    Films Based On Robert Ludlum Novels


    Jason Bourne

    Both with the same links..
    * The Bourne Ultimatum
    * The Bourne Identity
    * The Bourne Supremacy

    What that has to do with Vudu VS Apple TV, I have no idea.

    Then the next three are Cable TV, VOD and Interactive TV. All of which I would think should have been higher ranked then Jason Bourne which seems more like an Advert then an Explore by Category header. Seems like the old bait and switch trick which users hate vs the clean marked Adverts of google which made them famous and rich…But what do I know

    Side Note:

    When clicking on The Bourne Ultimatum, it just changes my search term from Vudu Vs Apple TV to Vudu Vs Apple TV The Bourne Ultimatum. I dont see why that is called Explore by Category..

  3. Question 1: Why would the world need another search engine? Aren’t the existing 10,000 enough?

    Question 2: As much as I like to bash on lame new software start-ups ( Trust me, I am really good at it too ) isn’t a search engine a little out of context as a post subject for our beloved ZNF blog?

    Bonus: The reason there was so much hype was because of Micheal Arrington’s multiple posts of how “cool” Cuil is. But I suspect a bit of cronyism. TechCrunch and Cuil are two blocks apart:

  4. Hi,
    Believe it or not I was out there yesterday searching for OCAP. I was using searches I am familiar with to see how well the engine works. I belong to a group in toronto called Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. Search for “ocap” in google and the organization is on top, but with Cuil it barely made the cut.
    I played around with Cuil a bit, and my verdict is a thumbs down. – (I wish exalead had an index that big though)


  5. @ Ben: Bourne is there probably because Vudu had a promotion where they gave away first two Bourne titles in HD to all the buyers. Every review must’ve referenced that and that’s why Cuil thinks there’s a strong link between JB and Vudu.

    @ Mari: don’t like it. Google is better or, at least, presents results in a familiar manner. At this point, it’s going to be hard to de-throne Google even if you have a strong engine since EVERYONE is using Google and its users are less fickle than social-network ones who switch from one “cool” network to another frequently (Friendster->MySpace->Facebook). I don’t remember my search engine preferences exactly, but I think I went directly from AltaVista (plus DogPile when needed) to Google.

    BTW, I searched for my last name and — by looking at the first store– I found out that I was actually quoted in CNET article from 2006 about eBay. Well, actually I think it was my comment on a story that got included in another story. That story is not on the first page of Google, by the way.

  6. I gave it a try but wasn’t very impressed with the results. I also had trouble moving from one results page to the next. Unless Cuil lives up to the intial hype and really starts delivering some good search results, I’ll just stick with Goog.

  7. The results are definitely different from Google’s, and the general consensus (here and elsewhere) seems to be that Google’s are better. That said, I do like the Cuil interface. I could see a search engine making inroads by allowing more flexibility in how results are displayed and how they can be manipulated.

  8. Is it too early to say I hate it and I think it sucks? Can I be that guy yet?

    The results are…well, pretty awful. The format reduces the amount of links in favor of more excerpts from each link. Don’t need that. Terms that should return some very obvious results are filled with links to totally unrelated pages, and the thumbnails generally have nothing to do with anything. Terms that are commonplace return zero results. WTF?

    You can’t beat Google. There’s no use in trying, not with something so…half-baked and useless. And the name is utterly, fantastically, ridiculously stupid.

  9. “And the name is utterly, fantastically, ridiculously stupid.”

    That’s what many probably said about Yahoo and Google. ;) Anyhow, I like the colors and lack of ads, but like everyone else: Goog’s got the results and that’s what counts.

    @Todd I’m buried at work on the west coast this week, so I begged Mari to post anything.

  10. Through the only means I know to test something, a vanity search was a little fruitless.

    Also, why doesn’t Google spin-off it’s own engine into specialty search engines that are called things other than Google (because I get the feeling people always want something ‘new’ and using Goog is ‘old’ – my parents use The Goog)

Comments are closed.