After getting past the initial urge to play on the name; cuil (pronounced cool), it's not that bad of a search engine. The design is top rate, and an image next to the returned results is nice as well, but like many others: your results may vary. I have been playing around with for an hour or so now and haven't turned up any of the anomalous errors and odd results (or lack thereof) that have been reported on various sites, although in most cases the returned results are not what I expected. I, like so many Googledites, have been Pavloved into accepting what they think are the best results – so that's what we expect and when they are not what we expect – they must suck. Like this clever play on words, cuil is crap right out of the gate, or maybe even the worst tech launch of the year. When was the last time anyone has ever released a website, web app, or any other application for that matter that didn't have trouble on its debut? Never. Google wasn't the overnight success story that everyone makes them out to be now (lest we forget about Web Accelerator problems). Google was only started because no one else wanted what was perceived as crapola, otherwise it would Yahoo or MSN we would be comparing this to right now. They did however grow into something quite extraordinary. Michael over at Techcrunch has it right when he says "Launching a startup ain’t easy. And flatlining right after your launch is more of a rite of passage than an embarrassment. Here’s hoping Cuil is cool again by morning."
When I started looking around a few hours ago I did find some domains not in the top results when searching for things like WordPress, but just minutes ago it was the top result. I did run into an error though:
No results because of high load…
Due to excessive load, our servers didn't return results. Please try your search again.
This doesn't really bug me too much since I know 80 freakin' million other folks are doing the same thing I am right now on cuil. Running a search for a domain which I couldn't find in their listing. Granted this is a site that gets less than 1,500 hits a month right now. Google and Yahoo both find it right off the bat, but MSN fails to load it as well. They seem to be getting it under control for the most part, after all today was day zero. A couple of the things I don't like are the lack of being able to search for just images, and not being able to perform "site" searches like on Yahoo, Google, and MSN. These two issues may seem small, but they are two things I use quite often.
So rather than jump on the everything sucks until it doesn't band wagon, I am going to switch to cuil for the rest of the week, and see what happens and if I like it better or not. OMG! Get out! Really? How could I ever go a whole week without Google!? Easy. Besides, how can anyone make an informed decision and critique about anything after using for 3 or for queries? Leave that kind of one-sided, sophomoric decision making for ol' GWB; he's better at it than you anyhow.
I am sure Apple is happy about the problems the folks at cuil are having, since it takes the heat off of them for a while as the world takes aim at the fresh meat online.