Daily Archives: September 14, 2009

Digital Marketing

Cuil is back. For real (time).

Although most of us only have eyes for Google, there’s a new search engine that launches almost every month. The recent high profile launches were WolframAlpha – not strictly a search engine but a ‘knowledge engine’ – and of course Microsoft’s ‘Bing’.

Most of these search engines come and go. And that’s not because they aren’t always good; but because it’s not easy to convert people from their tried and tested brands (Google). It takes not just a good product, but a much better product. And a lot of marketing money too.

So it was with some excitement that last July the market greeted ‘Cuil’. Here was a new search engine built by some ex-Google employees that had all the promise of a giant killer. It had a cool, leftfield name, the right backers, and the kind of buzz that only Silicon Valley can produce.

So it was disappointing to find that Cuil went off with more of a whimper than a bang. Despite the huge level publicity, a year later search traffic has fallen to just 90,000 unique users.

But now Cuil is now back, and trumpeting a real-time search feature that it hopes will help to catapult it into the search big-league. As we discussed recently, real time is becoming a major battle ground for search engines. And with the acquisition of FriendFeed, even Facebook is muscling in on the act.

On Cuil, when you search for keywords that also have real time results, Cuil automatically creates a mini-toolbar that shows how many real time results it has found.

You can then expand the toolbar to show just a sample of results both blogs and news websites, which gives an indication of how ‘hot’ that topic is.

As a user, you can then choose to open the toolbar in a pop up, which allows you to monitor the topic on an ongoing basis.

What not take a look at Cuil and let us know what you think. Can Cuil’s Real Time features save it from the search engine scrap heap? Has the real-time SERPs been over-hyped? Leave us a comment below

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