A Search engine start-up by a few ex-Google employees has just launched called Cuil (pronounced Cool according to them).
It has an interesting 2 or 3 column magazine style layout that is very different to any other search engine. One thing that struck us was that it looks like a single column might be designed to fit on an iPhone or other smart phone screen, which is interesting as it means they have 95% of the work done already to display nicely on mobile devices.
Cuil claims a large number of pages indexed, but a lot of people are reporting that the relevancy of the answers returned by the search engine leave a lot to be desired. It is als very US centric, having problems with sites outside of the USA. One well known SEO, Jill Whalen, commented “Nice! Search results like it’s 1995!”
Some of our test searches returned no results at all but when tried later they worked. Sometimes results are full of low quality spam pages and sometimes NSFW porn images.
It is early days so far for Cuil and its availability is patchy. When we where testing it on launch day, it kept going down every few minutes.
It will be interesting to see how Cuil develops and if it does manage to make any headway against the 900lb search gorilla that is Google.