Cuil – Latest Stats

Hi folks,

Following on from your suggestions, we have been keeping an eye on the usage stats for the new search engine Cuil. Unfortunately, we have been watching a quick decline rather than a steep ascent to success!

Despite an impressive start, stats for Cuil have been falling steadily. It’s unfortunate that the engine couldn’t capitalise on the initial interest it generated following widespread media coverage, and it remains to be seen if and how Cuil plans to tempt many disgruntled users back to the site as the index improves. It looks like the folks at Cuil have some tough work ahead of them.

In the meantime, please find below the latest stats for Cuil – these figures show the % of searches performed using Cuil relative to the total number of searches performed.

Globally US UK
Jul 29 0.10%
(1 in 1,000)
(1 in 1,000)
(1 in 500)
Jul 30 0.11% 0.12% 0.19%
Jul 31 0.08% 0.09% 0.10%
Aug 01 0.06% 0.07% 0.10%
Aug 02 0.05% 0.07% 0.09%
Aug 03 0.04% 0.04% 0.08%
Aug 04 0.03% 0.04% 0.06%
Aug 05 0.03%
(3 in 10,000)
(1 in 2,500)
(1 in 2,000)
Aug 06 0.03% 0.03% 0.05%
Aug 07 0.02% 0.03% 0.01%
Aug 08 0.02% 0.02% 0.01%
Aug 09 0.02% 0.03% 0.01%
Aug 10 0.01% 0.02% 0.01%

Note: This information is based on a total sample for the period of over 365 million page views globally.


  1. Even though I always knew that Cuil is no Google Search killer, still there were hopes that it will present a nice foundation alternative for Google. All I can say, whenever I search something in Cuil , I hardly find anything relevant to what I am searching, no wonder it traffic is falling down. I do think that they will improve in future.

  2. Well said michaelmross. I agree. It does show that there is room for some others. Maybe BOSS (yahoos “Build Your Own Search Engine”) is the answer? Maybe it needs a new approach, but one thing is for sure….. Someone is trying.

  3. Cuil has demonstrated one thing – there is room for a fresh way to present results – one that combines text and image and that has a sensible classification system. However, Cuil is not effective at either of these – and it’s indexing is completely erratic and unreliable to boot.

  4. The fatal blow for Cuil was the irrelevant results. When people try a new search engine they are first going to type a search query where they have a good idea what should rank near the top. If the engine doesn’t deliver sites they know are relevant, they won’t use the engine. This was the #1 problem with Cuil.

    Secondly, the grid layout is cool (no pun intended) but were they ranked left to right, top to bottom or top to bottom, left to right? I couldn’t make sense of which site was #2 and so on. I’m afraid they portrayed themselves as a fully-functional Google alternative with a half-baked algorithm.

  5. Its the only place where doesn’t come out as the first result when I search for thunderror.
    They’ve improved, but why should I go to there when I’ve already got to

  6. They couldn’t find any result for “Retro Garden” when I searched. My site has been up for over a year, is well indexed and generally going well in Google (not least because it’s number one in Google for Retro Garden). Nothing at all.

    It’s no surprise really.

  7. First day it wouldn’t even find my site as number one. I couldn’t find my site for it’s own unique term. I think it is getting better but first impressions count. Good luck they’ll need it.

  8. Yep. C.r.a.p. was a great idea to start off with but then it fell to pieces like one of mums coconut macaroons.

  9. 2 reasons why cuil is not going to do well.

    1. the layout, it confuses people when they use it. People expect it to stack down the way not in collumns.

    2. Their bot (twiceler) has been hammering some websites and hitting bot traps which has resulted in some websites banning them from crawling their website. Ive unbanned them basically to see if the bot has started to behave.

  10. > So what can we glean from this? Google Rules? CUIL is no threat to any search engines?

    We can glean from it that Cuil appear to have done insufficient user research and usability studies on their own product to find out (a) what problem they’re trying to solve (i.e. what subset of internet users would switch to a different search engine, and why?), and (b) whether they’ve managed to solve it for that set of users.

  11. The numbers intrigue me. By the looks of it, there will be no pageviews using CUIL at latest by the end of September. That’s stretching it.

    So what can we glean from this? Google Rules? CUIL is no threat to any search engines?

    I was wondering if it would take the same amount of media impact CUIL got from CNN in the beginning to salvage what dwindling users they have, or would it take something even more explosive? I’m sure the numbers have the answer.

  12. Different isn’t always better. Even if Cuil had come out of the blue with no presss, they would be hard-pressed to prove they’re better than Lycos, Webcrawler, or any of a dozen SE’s in the ‘B’ and ‘C’ list. Google’s format is simple, but also probably the best way to display information. Also Cuil might find it hard to keep their index current since their Twicler bot has ticked off so many webmasters for over a year already. Google/Yahoo/MSN might at times gobble a good amount of bandwidth, but nothing like this evil bot. I would imagine people have been writing in droves for months (like I had to), demanding to be delisted from their search index. That can’t be good for business if search is what you do.

    A year from now, people will be saying “Whatever happened to that search engine with the funny name?”.

  13. I hate to be negative but I am not surprised at all. Cuil’s three column format is hard to skim, their indexing frequency is zero, and there really is no advantage over any other search engine.

    I hope they can make some changes and bounce back, but it will be an uphill battle.

  14. Pity to see the stats declining. Innovation and more competition is always a good thing in my view.

    I noticed that their search didn’t have the depth of Goggles, maybe just because it’s early days for them.

    As an example:

    I’m widely known as the StartBusinessMentor and despite their ‘About Us’ page saying they are search 3 times as many pages as Google my search on this term gave the following results…

    Google – > Results 1 – 10 of about 428 for startbusinessmentor

    Cuil – > 14 results for startbusinessmentor


    (the StartBusinessMentor)

  15. Cuil is definitely going for it, but it’s hard to imagine them doing anything but incremental changes to what Google’s done. And even that would take years of effort. has taken a different tack. We have a full web index, but we change the results based on the surfing activity of our user base (now over 2,000,000). It’s in alpha, but I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

  16. The guys at Cuil have a lot of work ahead of them……..for some odd reason many search results are showing old links…….some as a year or more……

  17. Sorry, but I tried Cuil a few times, and was completely underwhelmed. I don’t like the layout of it at all. I prefer Google’s listing, 10 results, stacked in a list. Cuil’s grid method just doesn’t work for me. Probably one of the reasons nobody’s really taking to it.

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