If you've followed any tech headlines this week, then you have surely heard of Cuil (pronounced "cool").
Cuil is the new search engine that launched earlier this week with much fanfare and curiosity. It's well named; it's cool looking. But, that's about it.
It is refreshing to see a sleek uncluttered search engine home page that loads uber fast. Cuil claims to have more sites in its search engine than Google (do we really need more!).
After playing with it all week, here's my take on the good, the bad and the ugly of Cuil.
- Loads fast, nice and spartan look that is refreshing.
- Black is at last the new black. The black background is also very trendy. I'm guessing it'll be a hit in Manhattan.
- The search results come in either two or three columns and include more copy leading into the site, with a thumbnail picture. It's visually engaging and nice and clean.
- Search results typically come up with tabs at the top to click on categories of information. There is also a very elegant box of drop down options of other tangential information on the search topic. I would say this is the most innovative part of the search engine. Very cuil!
- It's so simple, it lacks all the basic search engine features we've all come to depend on; searching by images, for example. How about a quick link to news and weather?
- This is a barebones search engine. It's like buying a car with no air conditioning, electric windows or iPod doc. If you like that sort of thing...
- I'm not sure what determines which sites rise to the top of the search results. Whatever the criteria, it doesn't work for me. I find the most obtuse stuff rises to the surface and I have to click through page after page to find what I really want. For example, I ran a search on Picasso's "Starry, Starry Night" and got everything but a picture or write up on "Starry, Starry Night".
Frankly, I'm not sure the world needs another search engine. Although Google could use some competition, so I will withhold my opinion and wish Cuil well.
Last updated: Aug 1, 2008
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio