Webeden Blog Digital Marketing Cuil is back. For real (time).

Cuil is back. For real (time).

4 Replies

Digital Marketing

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

  • http://www.alisoncross4webs.co.uk Alison Cross

    Don’t you think that this is all a bit much? All we’re looking for is a screen that we can type in some search terms and something will come up that will help us.

    Why do all these companies think that the Search Engine is the Holy Grail?

    These are the guys who should be looking for The Next Big Thing.

    I don’t know what the next big thing is, but it’s not yet another search engine.


  • admin

    Hi Alison,

    When it comes down to it, I reckon that all these search alternatives go green when they see how much money Google makes.

    And they know that if they capture just 1% of that market then their nests are well and truly feathered…

    Maybe its a lot easier to try and make a current ‘thing’ slightly better, than coming up with a new thing?


  • http://www.alisoncross4webs.co.uk Alison Cross

    But one of the reasons that google is so great is that they offer you a whole ‘cloud’ experience. Is that the right term? Where everything that you need is virtual, not on your desktop?

    From basic word processing, e-mail, RSS and webmaster tools, it’s pretty much unbeatable.

    It’s the apps, not the real time search, that keeps us using google :-)


  • admin

    Funny you should mention the cloud stuff – got a blog post all about that lined up for next week. Nice intro!

    I reckon, though, that you are becoming quite an advanced user of Google. I still think that 99% of people don’t think that its anything more than a search engine.

    I just asked my mum – and she didn’t realise any of that other stuff existed (even though I’ve told her a hundred times!)