So for a while now I’ve started to feel uneasy about my sense of loyalty to Google as a brand.
Part of my anti-Apple stance has involved singing the praises of all things Google – particularly Android in that it represents the inverse of everything that annoys me about Apple. However, I started to worry that maybe I was just turning into a Google version of the crazy Apple fan-boys, the people like my wife’s colleague who was on the waiting list for both the iPad and the iPhone 4 before he even knew what they did. That’s £1000 of cash outlay before he even knew why or how he would use them!
In truth I marvel at Apple’s ability to continually demonstrate the triumph of marketing over matter, but it does wind me up too. What I don’t want to do is become exactly the same as those Apple fanboys in trying to be different from them: to blindly support Google initiatives such as the brilliant Google Navigator just because it is brilliant and better than the competition and FREE!
So damn google then for this absolutely brilliant video and making me fall in love with Google again. In very simplistic terms it is just a demonstration video of how fast google chrome is, very rational, very clear. But it is delivered in such an engaging and spectacular way as to just grab me on an emotional level. It appealed to the 10 year old boy in me who used to wonder how many stairs he could jump down in a single leap, the same 10 year old who would dam the local stream and blow it up with fireworks. I love this video. Watch and enjoy
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?