Google (GOOG) has a new rival, Cuil. Out of the box, it seems hopelessly broken. The news search engine claims it covers three times as many web pages as Google.
Coverage of web pages is probably not the key to Google’s success, though, by most measures it does a better job of this than Microsoft (MSFT) or Yahoo! (YHOO). Google’s success in search so far is that it brings back results that most users find more relevant, or, to state it more simply, closer to what they were looking for.
Cuil has not cracked the “relevance code”. A simple example is Motorola’s (MOT) decision to break up its second largest business unit. “Motorola to break up unit” brings back a large number of relevant results from Google. Cuil does not find any results at all. The search “Batman tops box office again” brings back a number of good results from Google. Cuil’s response to the same query is “we didn’t find any results”.
If Cuil cannot find the most basic information, especially on recent and important subjects, it does not matter how much of the web it searches.
Cuil is a failure and it has not been in the market a day.
Douglas A. McIntyre
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