Cuil The Next Google Search Killer? Techie Buzz Verdict: No Way
By on July 28th, 2008

Cuil also pronounced as cool, the latest search engine offering is making big news today with their launch, they claim to be indexing 120 billion documents which is 3 times more than the 40 billion documents Google Indexes. But why are people calling it a Google Search killer?

We strongly disagree with those who feel that way. Michael Arrington from Tech Crunch echoes our feelings with the blog post talking about how Google Beats Cuil hands down in size and relevance.

Cuil has a really large index but does that matter? How many of you get to the 100th page of the search result? As for getting search results for relevant terms, we do think that many of the results are identical on both the search engines. So does that mean 120 billion of documents are going to give you the same results that 40 billions of document can?

We are not defenders for Google here, but Google Search has been the center of everything we do, getting stuck with things is not in our dictionary and it is because of the search results we have found using Google search.

Relevancy – Winner Google Search

Many of the searches we did returned similar if not better results on few of them were outright different, but as far as relevance goes we rank Google more higher than Cuil. For example for the search term technologywe got totally different results, but from relevance point Google won.



From the two search results you can see the drastic difference, and also how different the search terms are in relevance. It would also be worthwhile to know that Google indexed more than 1 billion pages which is almost 9 times more than what Cuil has indexed. You can click on the images above to visit the search results in the respective search engines.

Categories or Related Searches – Winner Google Search

Cuil does have categorization in place, but how relevant are they, let us look at the search results for the term technologyonce again.



Well the results say it all, and you already know our verdict.

Longer Search Terms Winner Google Search

Cuil does not seem to understand longer search terms too, let us show you a example of a fairly simple query we ran on Cuil and Google, in the query we used the search terms installing ngnix on Ubuntu hardy. We rate this as a fairly simple search term since we have used much more complex search terms on Google over time. You wouldn’t be surprised by now to know who lost, it was the one who indexes 120 billion documents.

cuil-search-results google-search-results

Though Google only returned 6 results, the first result solves our problem. Now we are just starting out with some of the simpler terms (according to us), there are several such terms which do not fetch any results on Cuil.

Interface Winner Google Search

Don’t even get us started with the interface, we were really surprised they chose black, agreed they are pronounced cool, but with search we mean business not coolness. The black definitely takes our eyes off the main search results and focusing is a bit of a problem. On the other hand, Google sports a plain interface no jazziness or coolness, only relevant search results.

Though many of you may say that we have become used to the plain old interface, we would say yes we are, because we are only concerned about getting answers for our queries and not drooling over how good a search engine looks.


We won’t fall for the crap that it’s just launched, Cuil has been in the making for the past 2 years now, and that definitely is a long time to ponder upon several things we listed here.

If Cuil intends to poach users to start using their search engines, they will have to do much better job. We have nothing against the search engines, once they address the shortcomings we would be more than happy to give them a shot.

As a end user, we don’t really care what they do in the backend and how fast they index documents or how many documents they index, for us all that matters is the search results that answer our queries.

So the verdict from Techie Buzz for the new cool search engine is that, it’s in no way a Google search killer, in fact for us its not even in the competition.

Visit Cuil Search

Author: Keith Dsouza Google Profile for Keith Dsouza
I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website. I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

Keith Dsouza has written and can be contacted at
  • Sathya

    As a end user, we don’t really care what they do in the backend and how fast they index documents or how many documents they index, for us all that matters is the search results that answer our queries.

    This about hits the nail on the head. As a user when I type something into the search box, I want relevant results. Google offers me that – no what how common or how obscure the query is, and hence I prefer Google to anything else!

    BTW Great blog here. This is my first visit, and instantly goes to my feed reader. Keep up the great work Keith!

  • legend

    The tech dudes who wrote this review have missed the point. This is a new search engine which doesn’t give a rats ass who you are, and most importantly, makes sure the government cant find out who you are for the ass rats in the New World Order who are in the business of stifling dissent by profiling Americans online activity. There will be lots of users who will abandon Google wholesale, especially in light of their co-operation with the freemason Gates and his Microsoft-we know who you are enterprise- known as Windows personal informant.
    Is the government and the military industrial complex gorging itself on your Cookies? You better beware, you are being punked.

  • sys

    Really crappy review. Who do you think you’re kidding? :)
    To me Cuil’s as good or better than Google in every way.
    The black home page is a nice change and would save some electricity. The columnar result page lets me read faster.

    • Keith Dsouza

      @sys these are our opinions and we stand by it, for us relevancy matters the most, and with Cuil we could not really find the right results. And as far as the black color is concerned, again its a personal preference for us.

  • Ankesh Kothari

    Thanks Keith.

    I found cuil lacking in relevancy too. Especially for the long tail keywords.

    But I found it had a lot better interface than Google. Its the kind of interface the normal everyday non-techie user likes. And its not too crowded like the old altavista either.

    More importantly, I don’t think the next google killer search engine will be the one with better algorithm and relevancy.

    It’ll be the one that revolutionizes search again – maybe with something like search by voice… or someone who pays you to search (I’ve been receiving 3-4 invites everyday since a week now…)

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  • Brent

    I respectfully disagree that cuil’s interface is better for a “normal everyday non-techie”. The most intuitive style is one that runs vertically, allowing one’s eyes to quickly scan down the list of results. Cuil’s magazine-style layout means slower comprehension.

  • Brent

    Sorry, Ankesh, I was confusing interface with the way results are displayed. I also like cuil’s interface, however I think google’s struck a good balance between minimalism and options.

    I agree that voice search would be great. As would simply segregating commercial results, squatter results and relevant results.

  • Searcher4Hire

    Listento the legend aboive; privacy is good. Google forgot that. I do business overseas with people in “interesting countries” and my phones have been routinely tapped by multiple agencies. I’m sure I’m on a list that Google responds to as well. If you believe in the Bill of Rights you should like Cuil.

    As for the criticisms of the Google people and their minions in the technology “press” bashing Cuil, I say stuff it… because I search information on the web for a living, spending 6 or more hours a day in search activities and engines. There is plenty of room for Cuil. Okay so it’s overwhelmed on Day 1- guess that means a lot of people are looking for alts to Google. Do any of the ADHD users out in c-space remember what Google’s opening day was like? They were overwhelmed, just like Cuil and did not spring forth as a little homunculus of applications.

    The Cuil display is more like a blog . newspaper. Set to 2 columns and you will chunk at great speed- far faster than with Google. There is much more to see. Whether 4 billion or 4 million pages, any astute user will tell you it “isn’t about size” but which pages and how they are used. The info architiects I spoke with today all like Cuil on first blush and like all of us will be checking it out in detail.

    Search is my bread and butter and Cuil, Alta Vista, Zaba, Ask, Vivisimo (Clusty), Google and others all have a place in the information stew. Each has prose and cons… so I say Cuil it and allow them to roll out and grow. Remember Windows 3.1 or IE 4.0 (I use Opera whenever possible)? They got better. Cuil are gonna get better, have a great brain trust and a point of view other than posting popularity for ad revenue. Cuil is kewul.

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  • Madhur Kapoor

    I really so seem to like its interface. Dont know why

  • George from Dallas

    I did a search on Cuil. The site I wanted did not appear anywhere. I did the same search on Google, and the site was right on top! Enough said.

  • Hammad

    i really like the interface of Cuil but the search results are not at all relevant. i searched for a simple term and it showed so many weird results that were not at all relevant to what i was looking for… So a google killer? i say NO

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