SEOs Comment On Cuil, New Google Competitor

Jul 28, 2008 • 8:11 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Search Engines

Last night, Cuil (pronounced "cool") launched and every article out there compared the new search engine to Google. Just scan the Techmeme headlines and see the coverage for yourself. Of course, Danny Sullivan does an excellent job going through the important aspects of the search engine.

Cuil should be taken seriously, if you need to know why, read the articles above.

But let's take a look at what SEOs have to say. We have threads at DigitalPoint Forums, WebmasterWorld, Sphinn and Matt Cutts of Google has a pretty comment heavy discussion going on at his FriendFeed.

The comments in Matt's FriendFeed all suggest that Cuil is a poor search engine with little relevance and technical issues. Yes, Cuil had some server issues last night but they seem to be corrected as of this morning. The WebmasterWorld thread has much of the same reaction, but does take notice to the impressive nature of the management team, the new search interface and the size of the index. Overall, it seems as if SEOs are not all that impressed with the current results, but many do believe Cuil does have a shot.

I personally liked this comment at WebmasterWorld:

When Brett makes a dedicated forum for them, I would like to be the mod. ;)

Webmasters, Cuil has a webmaster section at They have a robot named twiceler, yes, the user agent is twiceler. They crawl from the IP addresses of,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

Forum discussion at DigitalPoint Forums, WebmasterWorld, Sphinn and FriendFeed.

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07/28/2008 03:56 pm

I did one search and that was enough for me. I typed: "mac os x annoying window glitch jumps" (without the quotes) to see if I could get an answer to a bug I'm having on my laptop. Cuil returned exactly 0 results. That's right. Absolutely nothing. A Google search got me 89,000 results. Enough said. is A cute name doth not a search engine make.

Ben Pfeiffer

07/28/2008 04:02 pm

Yeah, I am not impressed either. The interface is fun to work with but overall in terms of returning "quality" results to give the searcher what he is looking for, it has a ways to go. A lot of hype.

the Jim Gaudet

07/28/2008 04:48 pm

Same here. I did a search for football and there were no results. How could they not have With fantasy football season coming, there should be a million hits... Then there is the speed of the search. There is too much time being taken for a search.

Lisa Know

07/28/2008 05:27 pm

I think you need to try again...type in football and you'll see that is the first item in the first column. Not only that, it's indexed by All Results, Fantasy, College etc. It's pretty Cuil!

Matt Keegan

07/28/2008 05:44 pm

So far, I'm disappointed. Not that I expected a whole lot off the bat, but when I keep getting error messages and finding broken links on the nav bar, I'm not encouraged. Hopefully, Ciul will work things out otherwise I won't be back.

Matt Keegan

07/28/2008 05:45 pm

So far, I'm disappointed. Not that I expected a whole lot off the bat, but when I keep getting error messages and finding broken links on the nav bar, I'm not encouraged. Hopefully, Ciul will work things out otherwise I won't be back.


07/28/2008 05:48 pm

I think we are going to have to give them sometime. They seem to be overwhelmed with interest. If you type a search, you may not get a result - but refresh and results appear. I think give it time and should be worth trying again.

Jaan Kanellis

07/28/2008 05:51 pm

slow, pages are not found and no one will be using it a few weeks.


07/28/2008 06:48 pm

Reposting my comments from another blog: The problem with your average SEO is that they assume they already know everything, including how it should work and how it does work; they get very haughty when things don't meet those expectations. To say the least, they'd make poor quantum physicists. Just about everyone is making the assumption that Cuil throws us back 10 years and ignores popularity. That's due to a poorly worded press release. Read a bit deeper and you find this: "Popularity is useful, but not always important. Popularity is useful, but has dominated search results so heavily that it gets harder and harder to find the page you want, especially if your search is a complex one. Cuil respects popular pages and recognizes that for many simple searches, popularity is an easy answer to your question. But for a deeper search, establishing relevancy is more than a numbers game." So let's take a moment and analyze. For a simple search (one word), popularity metrics are employed. The site has been out for 24 hours, of course your page 1 Google result is different from your page 1 Cuil result. 3+ word searches have been borked all morning. Okay, let's look at that... for COMPLEX searches, Cuil is using their algo. The algo is down, probably being tweaked. It makes a poor first impression but this is a really useful time for SEOs to be PAYING ATTENTION. Why? Because you can see where popularity ends and the algo begins.


07/29/2008 07:23 am Cuil doesent show its own name when searched Talk about indexing!

Pre Priyadarshane

07/29/2008 01:52 pm

@Ian Armstrong In an initial release the question is will early adopters promote cuil? What's your thought on that? I consider myself an early adopter, and I certainly won't recommend cuil to anyone at this point. Would you? It may get better... but as in everything online if it does not get promoted by its first users it's doomed to fail. So most of these disappointed users will abandon cuil. Without users what is cuil?


07/29/2008 02:33 pm

I think that it will take much more for them to compete against Google. It will take quite some time for them to really bother Google.


07/29/2008 10:11 pm

Some of the results do not show very relevant contet. I can only supect those are sponsored links that are mixed in with the natural results. Thanks for wasting my time by sneeking in the sponsored links like every other hack search engine.I'll stick with google whrere they are not trying to trick me by cloaking sponsored links.


07/30/2008 01:31 am

and what about google ranking ?


08/03/2008 11:40 am

I have a family website and a business one. I am a published writer and my work is everywhere on the Net - from the online edition of the Sydney Mornings Herald to the UK's Cat World Magazine and more - however - when I 'Cuiled' my name I discovered that I simply do not exist!

Bill Johnson

08/14/2008 07:20 pm

I googled my business and got a few results, but random pictures show up with the results. What the heck is that all about? Cuil sucks.

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