Monday’s buzz about Cuil should ease itself by tomorrow.  Cuil, pronounced “cool,” blasted off its press releases and got an excellent response from the media today.  It was the “top story” on CNN at 7am PST, and most of the Aussie and European bloggers had already made several posts about it.  Surprisingly, even now at 4pm PST, the Wall Street Journal continues to keep it at the top of their online stories…back on CNN it appears Amy Winehouse’s umpteenth admission into a hospital has taken the top spot.

Let’s start with the technical side and how it works.  Note:If any part of this paragraph seems to be over your head, just skip to the next one for likes and dislikes.  Cuil uses content analysis as its core algorithm, as opposed to Google’s link popularity element.  Cuil also claims that it’s not interested in any of the private information that Google records. If it is news to you that Google records your searches as well as other information, you can probably understand why they have the “make no evil” motto, and keep their public image clean with employee massages, pet-friendly offices, and a 24 hour organic-cafeteria.

What is cool about Cuil:

  • From PhDs to experience with petabytes, Cuil has brought together a group of very smart ex-Googlers which see a flaw in Google’s results.  Competition and innovation is always good for the search industry.
  • The web is supposed to grant anonymity to the user.   By doing this Cuil’s search results could have greater integrity, but not necessarily greater relevancy.

Not cool:

  • Cuil proclaims that it indexes nearly 3 times as much as Google, 120 billion pages.  Great, its likely to be a bunch (“bunch” being billions) of pages of junk that should be buried down in the search results anyways.  Keep in mind the world of Black Hat SEO tactics and spamming has polluted our information superhighway over the past 10 years.
  • Results do not have a clear heiarchy.  No # 1, # 2 and so on.  Even though Google does not list a numbered rank next to the result, the ability to identify which site is #1makes a user feel comfortable.
  • Privacy factor: To be honest, we marketers want as much information as is available about searchers.  We want their age, sex, home/office locations, socioeconomic status, education level, favorite color, and pets’ names if its available to us!!
  • If they spent all this time preparing for a big launch, how could they blow this first impression with an error like server capacity?  That’s junior varsity.  Never once have we seen Google’s search function be unavailable.  GMail, AdWords and other functions, yes, but Google search has always worked.

Google is laughing.

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