Beating Google on search is hard. The latest entrant is Cuil, which recently launched amid much fanfare. Predictably, they’ve been lambasted by the techno blogs. Google is so good that you get a sense of whether a competitor has a chance within about 20 seconds. Cuil doesn’t smell like a winner.
But but but. Whereas most Google clones copy Google’s interface pixel-by-pixel, Cuil’s interface is better, in some respects. For one thing, they cram more search results into the page, without making it look crowded. The category widgets work quite well, too: pretty yet functional. And it is surely a useful innovation to keep the links to the other results pages visible at the bottom of the window. My guess is that Google would be doing some of these things if they weren’t scared to death about messing up their famously simple and usable interface.
Admittedly, Cuil’s results are a little strange. When I Google, er.. Cuil myself, the picture above is one of the first results. Thanks!