It was a big deal, a group of Google expats raise thirty million dollars to stick a group of servers together and suddenly call themselves a search engine. In earlier news keyword research tool api releases, Cuil even talked about how their results were less dependent on links than that of Google. So, we ran a little test to see if this was true.
Does anybody remember the “miserable failure” Google bomb? A group of anti-Bush bloggers and webmasters linked the keyphrase “miserable failure” to U.S. President George Bush’s official Whitehouse.gov web site. Regardless of the fact that the site doesn’t use the phrase “miserable failure”, the site ranked number one in Google. Google fixed the problem and resulting searches for “miserable failure” became content based.
When Cuil launched, I noticed a spike in traffic to the article resources on my company’s web site generated from Cuil. People immediately searched for “miserable failure”. Guess what is number four, Whitehouse.gov. Look one row below that and you will see my article titled “Google Repairs Miserable Failure”. Next to it, ‘The Onion’ logo.
I was just thinking several months ago while doing a Google search how nice it would be if my search results were accompanied by completely random non-relevant images and icons. Thank you Cuil for making this a reality.
The “engineers” at new search engines like the now forgotten Accoona like to come up with new looks and logos while completely ignoring what makes Google so popular. Unlike the Ask.com post Interactive Media buyout commercials saying “Don’t just use something out of habit [Google]”, people use Google because its clean and gives relevant results.
Users are not demanding results be displayed in some mid-90’s frame based design style. They want something fast, clean, and relevant. You want to do something useful with your undeserved $30 million of venture capital? How about you make something as fast, clean, and relevant as Google only with page rankings not changing ever 20 seconds.
I speak from experience. Several years ago I too developed a search engine which is now a huge online resource. We started a search engine then we quickly saw that only 2% of our users were actually doing web searches on it. So we spent a tiny amount of money integrating into Yahoo’s API for the search results then built a network of individual interest channels. Because new content on the web is far more valuable than a new way to find it. Especially if that new way displays irrelevant picture eye-candy in a framed search result screen.
Yahoo actually figured it out a long time ago. According to Alexa, Yahoo gets the most traffic of any other web site in the world. Yet, Google is delivering more than 70% of online search queries. See, Yahoo figured out that Google’s search was superior to theirs so they began investing heavily in their “channels of interest” sections.
When your product is inferior, know what you can be good at, excel in that, and don’t reinvent a wheel that is not broken. Oh, and free up some venture capital funding for real technological innovations.