Today, the Internet is abuzz about a new search engine called Cuil, which claims to return “better results” than Google.

I did a few quick searches and wasn’t that impressed.  As an example, when I search for our company name, Bivings, the first four results are random posts from The Bivings Report about John Edwards, our newspaper study, Daylife and Hotsoup.  Our main website,, is the sixth result.  As another example, a search for my name returns a lot of nonsense, with the second result being a random account I set up on the DNC website two years ago and haven’t visited since.  A search for my name in Google returns a much more useful set of results.

Obviously, it isn’t fair to compare brand new Cuil to the well-established Google, and I’m sure Cuil will improve over time.

However, no matter how much Cuil improves it is going to be nearly impossible to get me to start using it as my primary search engine.  I’ve been using Google on a daily basis for five plus years and know its ins and outs.  When I do  a search for something I know what to expect.  If I search for a company name, I expect and want to see results for their main website and their Wikipedia entry.   When I search for a person’s name, I expect and want to find their personal website as the first result, followed quickly by links to their Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin accounts.

Basically, I’ve used Google so much that I don’t really know how to judge search results except by comparing them to Google.  Cuil results could be better than Google by some objective measure, but I’d still prefer Google because it returns the results I expect.  It is familiar.

It is sort of like going to Europe and being forced to drive on the left side of the road.  For all I know study after study may show driving on the left side of the road to be far superior to driving on the right.  But all the studies in the world aren’t going to make me feel comfortable doing it.

Update: Search guru Danny Sullivan has a good Cuil review.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.