Has Google met its match?

Today sees the launch of a brand new search engine, Cuil – and it’s an important development in the world of search. For a start it has been developed by a former Google engineers, plus it has a unique way of delivering results.


As you can see from the screen shot, the design is much clearer than Google – plus because it is multicolumn it makes it easier to read, especially online. But, here’s the clever bit – look at the top of the screen shot. I’ve done a broad search for Internet Marketing, but it has automatically produced tabs for related, more in depth searches (such as Internet Marketing Strategy and Internet Marketing Services).

What this means is that Cuil (pronounced cool) is already doing some sorting for you and categorising search results. This is particularly important since the human brain depends upon categorical organisation to help us recognise things. The frustration we have with Google is that its search results, whilst they can be useful, are non categorised. Google expects us to do the categorisation by refining our own search terms. Cuil does that automatically for you and presents the results in an easy to use way.

For the past nine years, there have been no threats to Google. Microsoft has tried, but in fact all they have done is try to copy Google – the results pages are similar, there is lack of categorical organisation and no intelligence to find extra things related to your search terms.

Cuil is the first search engine that is different. Google needs to notice this. Why? Because the world switched from using Yahoo to Google almost overnight because Google was so different to the “traditional” search at that time. Cuil is now remarkably different and therefore may well find a home amongst those people who find Google difficult and cumbersome.

And remember – the vast majority of people who use Google report that it fails to deliver what they were after until they refine their search term. Cuil seems to be getting that right by delivering alternative searches related to your original term in a friendly tabbed interface that is much more tastefully designed than Google’s plain and rather untidy offering.

I suspect that with the right PR, Google will find Cuil much tougher competition than either Yahoo or Microsoft.

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