I’ll be the first to admit that for fast and free searching I head to Google. I’ll punch in my search terms with limited Boolean logic and see what turns up. Usually, I’ll go over more than just the first 10 hits and hope for success or leads. I may find a blurb or two that can put me on another path and direct my search into specific legal, academic, news, etc. databases.
There are times when I head off Google and test out other search engines, perhaps their crawlers have captured something different. Cuil is something of an anti-google. Their site is in all black versus all white background, they aren’t a hulking billion dollar entity, and they proclaim:
Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency. http://www.cuil.com/info/
However, like Google they want to stake their claim in web searching and have a goofy name. Unfortunately their results aren’t as comprehensive or useful as Google’s results. I really want Cuil to give me better results that it does. Comparison searches left Cuil in the dust. I do like their results display, single bar of results (adverts) above two column (actual) results. Additionally, they embed images and maps next to search results when possible. Unfortunately, the results just aren’t there- look at the difference between Cuil and Google when searching: san diego statistics. Cuil gives us a list of sports and athletic websites while Google displays crime and US Census Bureau links as first hits. If I wanted sports stats I would have just added “sports” in the search box. This is one search where “superficial popularity metrics” wins out. I’ll continue to test out Cuil as my research needs change; but at this point it’ll only serve as a comparison to Google and other search engines.
Want to read more, check-out this CNET /Webware article: http://news.cnet.com/new-search-engine-cuil-takes-aim-at-google/