There has been general condemnation of Cuil – my personal reasons are below
OK, The sell in was good
1) Indexes 3 times as many pages as google
2) Groups into categories
3) Gives each one a picture
That all sounds very good and when you first arrive at a search results page it looks interesting and different, and that’s when you realise it doesn’t have a hope in its current form. The reasons it will fail are the reasons it thinks it is better!
1) 3 times as many pages as google – So what?! If it fails to discriminate between the quality of those sites and the relevance to your search then what’s the point – 3 times as many pages means 3 times as much work for me to find the one I want. The search that I did on Cuil (“Guinness fake advert”) did not return a single relevant result on Cuil – it only returned other paid for search sites – whereas all of the top 5 results on Google were 100% relevant to my search
2) Groups into Categories – This just makes it less accessible. The beauty of Google has always been its simplicity, and the whole world has been trained to use it. I don’t want to have to re-train my brain to think in categories. (they don’t seem to work anyway. )
3) Pictures – Irrelevant and small – they add nothing except complexity.
Saying all of this, it doesn’t mean I don’t think anyone can challenge Google. When Google first came along, it seemed like an impossible task for them take over Yahoo’s dominance and we all thought it would remain a niche preference and look what happened there!
However the difference between then and now is that Google had a true product benefit which was recognised by the opinion forming niche. Can anyone explain to me the benefit of Cuil?