Sunday, August 3, 2008

Looking for the next Google?

It looks like all the Internet community is desperate looking for the next big thing.

Obviously right now and during the past 5 years, Google has been the "coolest" site, business, place to work and its "American Dream" achievement helped to maintain the seed of hope inside the Web community.

Do not get me wrong, I am aware of the achievements also from other new business like YouTube (a Google company), MySpace, Facebook, Digg, Twitter, LinkedIN, etc... but any of these new business have the sales, growth, market cap, media buzz and visitors recurrence like the one about Google.

Better than expected were the results from a search query when I used Google for the first time, and that was the reason why they became the best and most used search engine, ...well. A week ago some of us where ready to find out the new best search engine. (that was my hope...)

I was ready to switch from Google to Cuil as I did from Yahoo! to Google some years ago. The past 24 months I really tried to swith again and I gave the opportunity to ask.com and live.com but the accuracy of the results at Google made me loyal to them.

Monday 28th (early in the morning) I went to cuil.com and I typed "symposier.com" At Google I receive 4 results and at Cuil I got "No results were found for: symposier.com" That was probably a bad test for Cuil, because is an experimental new site with no links from the outside, so... I gave a second chance and I typed "gzones1974" my nick name on the Internet... and url of this blog, well, at Google I received 222 results and this blog is one of the top 5 results. At Cuil I received 15 results and this blog is not listed there.
My third test was typing "Viagra" (I work for Pfizer and this is a common analysis for me) The results at Google 84,900,000 and at Cuil 998,787,254. Cuil gave me 10 times more links than Goolge (WOW!!!! finally I think I got it, Cuil is better and so much better...)
The Viagra search exercise is great, because is a drug, a well known brand reference of jokes, stories, a generator of social media and with different audiences like patients, physicians, media, entertainment readers, etc the results page is important because it is difficult to satisfy all the audiences.
At Google, the first result (organic) is viagra.com (the official site) but bellow that you can find options to refine your search ( Drug uses, Interactions, for patients, from medical authorities, side effects, warning / recalls and for health professionals). These options give you the opportunity to narrow your options to what you are looking for. The rest of the results are wkipedia, patient experiences, fda results, etc... At Cuil the results first page gives you the link to viagra.com 2 FDA pages and 7 links to unofficial pharmacies with illegal Viagra sales. So at Google I found results for all the audiences and the capability to redesign my search term. At Cuil I had more results but only 2 of the results are official, the others are illegal.

My conclusions are:
1.- Cuil is "interesting" because offers an alternative about how to present the results (in terms of usability), and these new proposal will push Google and Yahoo! to improve their results page
2.- Cuil did a great job in terms of PR. They had the attention of the media (more than 3,000 news articles in one week from around the world) because they did a tremendous affirmation, they claim to be the World's Biggest Search Engine (which I am sure they are) but size do not make you better
3.- In a search engine, size is not the only important thing. How do you define the relevance of the results is also as important as the volume of the indexed pages
4.- Cuil is probably bigger than Google and Yahoo! but Google and Yahoo! are so much better than Cuil. (try Yahoo! is also a great option now, they have been improving a lot)
5.- The users are looking for the best answer to their questions not to who has more answers.

6.- The media and Internet community are looking for the next "American Dream" story and the new David to hit Goliath

I wont use Cuil as often as I thought, but I will keep giving them a chance once in a while. why? because I want to try a new way of search, I want some day find a better way to find things and because I believe now some one is designing a best way to find things in the Internet and also in a different and better way than links related to the sites.

Thanks for visitng!