Now that you are all finished laughing at my pitiable attempt at digital artwork, I would like to begin my article entitled “Cuil vs Google”.
Google, as many of you know, is the dominant search engine. No, not Bing, neither Yahoo!, nor Ask.com. No, Google is dominant. Check out NetMarketShare.com (Marketshare.hitslink.com) for more info on market shares for search engines, as well as market shares for browsers, operating systems, and other such things. Anyways, back to dominance and comparisons. Some of you may have heard of Cuil.com (pronounced “Cool”). A few of you may have even read my previous article from 2008 entitled Cuil. In my article, which was almost shamefully short for the release of a new search engine of it’s caliber and potential, I described a few of the features I liked most about Cuil. I hope to do a much better job here, as well as talk some about Google. But let’s do Cuil first, seniority rights don’t apply here.
Cuil. When you open up Cuil.com you will see almost the total opposite of Google.com. With its black background, simply colored logo, and attractive drop-down menu as you type, Cuil is pretty much everything Google is not, except effective. Cuil is very effective, and does its job very well.
Google. When you open up Google.com you see the ever-present Google logo, in the customary many-colored logo. Not much has changed over the years, the website has stayed mostly the same with its white background, simple logo, and mostly empty webpage. Recently, however, Google has been slowly filling in its page. In no particular order, Google has added a top-bar containing links to its most popular services. Google has also populated their homepage with a few different links to various services they provide.
Point. My point is this: Overall I would have to say that Cuil has a much cleaner homepage that Google does, more aesthetically pleasing, and possibly more functional also. Being a web designer myself, I also have to give Cuil props for their real-time search suggestion drop-down box. Cuil’s search suggestion box, unlike Google, has rounded edges (something you will come to appreciate as a Web Designer), and the suggested search queries don’t overwhelm you in size, opacity, or weight (again, a web designer thing).
So lets make a search.
Cuil. If I head over to Cuil and search “myipc” the top of the list will include a profile for someone named “myipc” at Answers.com (I may or may not own this account, I can’t remember), along with some irrelevant articles pertaining to my search. What about something that I may actually need to look for? Well this year I am researching genetic engineering for a possible topic in the coming FLL season, so let me do that. The search results are displayed cleanly with three to four line excerpts from the websites found. What, can it be? No ads? It is! Yes, I’m not joking, there are no ads in the Cuil search results.
Google. Now over to Google, my query is the same: “myipc”. This time, however, I am pleased to see that my blog comes up at the top of the list, some pretenders to the throne below that, and some of the documents I’ve posted around the web later on. Note: I am in no way associated with the “myipc” person on YouTube. My username on YouTube is ‘zachman1094’. Typing in genetic engineering as I did with Cuil, I receive many results displayed in the middle of the page, ads on the right hand side, and some strange search suggestions, ways to customize the search, and other unnecessary features on the left.
Point. So who won this round? Well, I don’t really know. Without sitting and going through the results returned from each search engine I could not give you a sure answer to which search engine yields better results. However, I will say this: I prefer Cuil for two reasons: 1. There are no ads on Cuil search results. This is a huge thing for me. I hate seeing ads for stupid websites claiming that they hold the answer to the question I have posed Google. No more! 2. Cleanliness. You know, they say Cleanliness is next to Godliness, so what does that make Cuil? Cuil has a clean search results page with only that: search results. No ads, no stupid options to mess up my search to obscurity, nothing.
Bonus: cpedia. So what is cpedia? Well from what I have seen so far, cpedia is a very cool little feature in the Alpha stages with culminates data on your search query from pages around the net and puts them all in to one page. For example, I made a query for ‘genetic predisposition’ just to see what came up, and I was pleasantly surprised when a well formed, informative article was generated from over 250 different webpages.
Conclusion. So what’s my conclusion? Let me come to it step-by-step. To me, especially as a web designer, I like to see webpages that are clean and well designed with balanced colors and well placed objects. Cuil does a great job with that. The dark colors blend well with the few light ones put to use, and everything just seems to flow and all be in order. Google, however, needs to tone it down a bit. I see too many sharp edges, I want to see more rounded corners. I see too many objects asking for my attention, it would be better with less. There are too many different ways to change my searches up through Google, if I want it changed I’ll do it myself. Aesthetics are a very, very, very important part of any webpage for me, and especially on a page that I use quite a bit. The one thing that makes me wince every time I use it is Google’s suggested search box. Besides taking up a full quarter of the page, the text is in a very large font, and on top of that it’s in bold. It just doesn’t work for me. Search suggestions should be a side feature, not the focal point of the search.
And as for results, I have to say that cpedia is very pleasing to me. The culmination of information put in to that page is a great resource for anyone to use, better, I think, than going through many pages to try and glean the information you need. Sure, you may still have to do that, but from what I’ve seen cpedia does a good job of that by itself. And besides, it’s very cool to see an automatically generated article.