Cuil – One to Watch

According to research conducted this week by us here at StatCounter, the new search engine Cuil is one to watch.

Cuil, launched on Monday July 28th, could be a significant rival to Google. After just one day, Cuil accounted for 1 in every 1000 searches done on Tuesday.

Aodhan Cullen, CEO and founder of StatCounter said, “This is phenomenal when you consider that Altavista, a search engine founded in 1995, accounted for just 6 in 10,000 searches.”

Cullen continued, “We monitor over 100 search engines and Cuil was in the top ten in US, UK and Ireland. When you consider that over 90 other search engines (e.g. go, excite,, lycos) combined accounted for just 1.54% of searches on Tuesday – Cuil with its 0.1% share on the market inside 24 hours is doing extremely well.”

On Tuesday Cuil accounted for:

  • 1 in 1,000 searches globally and in the US
  • 1 in 500 searches in the UK
  • 1 in every 400 searches in Ireland

Note: This information is based on a sample of over 25 million page views globally.

Press queries to StatCounter PR Agency:
Mary O’Brien/Jacinta Ryan – Simpson FTPR

UPDATE – 3 August 2008
Thanks for all the comments and interest so far folks!

It does appear that Cuil is having some “teething troubles”, but hopefully they will manage to work these out soon. It’s a brand new search engine – let’s give it a chance!

Some of you have mentioned how the high traffic that Cuil has received is as a result of an impressive PR and marketing campaign. We agree! Regardless of the reason, however, we believe that interest in Cuil has been unexpectedly high. Of course, we have to wait and see how the engine performs in the future, but the stats so far have been interesting anyway. Without initial stats, how could we compare how Cuil fares in the weeks and months ahead?

In our opinion, and for a variety of reasons, Cuil remains “one to watch” – whether we will be watching a meteoric rise or a slow descent remains to be seen… Further to some of your suggestions, though, we would be delighted to update you with more stats on how Cuil is doing in the coming weeks – we’ll keep you posted! 😉


  1. Surprised somebody from a *statistics* company couldn’t work out that the spike in traffic was as a result of high media attention (GOOGLE EX EMPLOYEES START SEARCH ENGINE) and people trying out the results.

    The results have already have been proved to be poor, and there’s no evidence of any user retention, which is likely to be non-existant anyway!

    StatCounter Team Response:
    Hi Harvey,

    Why do you think that we “couldn’t work out that the spike in traffic was as a result of high media attention”? Regardless of the reason, interest in Cuil has been unexpectedly high in our opinion. Of course, it remains to be seen how the engine performs in the future, but the stats so far have been interesting anyway. Without initial stats, how could we compare how Cuil fares in the weeks and months ahead?

  2. When Google started 10 years ago their search results were phenomenal not disastrous. I know because I was there in the midst on campus and there was an actual literal buzz like I’ve never heard before going around from student to student, and haven’t heard again from anything else. Only the iPhone can perhaps compare. And they had an enormous number of users before ever doing any PR. Their search results then were much better than Cuil’s is now. It became a daily resource the minute a person was introduced to it. I haven’t found a single useful Cuil search result yet. The only search results it returns correctly are for things that are so obvious I don’t use a search engine for them.

  3. Hi-

    Cuil may be over ride the Google but it will need more staff, experience and filter-level efforts to make the search results better and better. Otherwise, Spammers can make it “Miserable Failure” 🙂


  4. Cuil *may* be the one to watch. But they are not a player yet and not ready for prime time. Most of the hype is due to PR and most of they traffic they are receiving is due to they hype and because they are new. I have yet to see stats on how many returning visitors they are getting.

  5. Cuil actually failed miserably and the stats were from people trying it out. You can read my analysis here:

    John Carson.

  6. Cuil doesn’t even display the scroll bar in Opera! It’s been very badly designed if you ask me. The “Next” button for pagination is on the bottom left for some reason, on every other website on the planet, the “next” pagination button is on the bottom right, they’ve got it the wrong way around! It’s very counter intuitive. You would have thought that they would have designed it properly before spending loads on publilcity.

    The only good thing about Cuil is that they say they don’t log your IP address at all. It would be better if they offered a https: version for extra secure and private searching to defeat the likes of Phorm and Gordon Browns big evil internet history database (only British people need to worry about this kind of abusively intrusive level of BIG Stalinist government)

    It’s just a shame that their search results are so usless! Made me appreciate just how good Google is.

  7. They had a ton of hits because of all the media coverage – I actually got a message that day that they were too busy to do my search and were out getting more bandwidth.

    I have a blog and use the supplied code to block myself from engine searches. It’s worked perfectly since I added the code. Then on July 15th my stats counter showed a web crawl from the new engine. Not good.

  8. i personally think that google provides search results much more relevant than cuil…but cuil’s not bad…espeically for a search engine that just started out recently.

  9. I’m not a highly techie person but when I read about Cuil on their launch date I was eager to try it out and be on top of the “latest and greatest”. Needless, to say I was not impressed and I expected more and better from it based on the article I read and the credentials of the creator(s). They’ll have to really do an extreme engine makeover to live up to the expectations and claims that have been asserted. Good luck but google does just fine for now!

  10. Pingback: Tribble Ad Agency challenges Statcounter regarding Cuil : Tribble Ad Agency : The Advertising Agency of Record
  11. Agree with archshrk this is one to be careful of. There are reports of webmasters blocking the bots because it visits sites so much it chews through bandwidth. Having taken more than just a cursory look at it the results I found returned were appalling – showing page after page of results pulled from the same indexed page doesnt make it an intuitive engine at all and in this day an age when engine technology is far better understood than when Google first started out, that’s a big no-no in my book.

    So far, not impressed and over hyped. (btw, great counter and first post here 😉 )

  12. I looked at Cuil and so far I am underwhelmed. Some of the links were very old. Several had graphics that did not match the site.

    Oh well, it’s brand new. There are obviously a few bugs and kinks to iron out. Maybe it will improve.

  13. I like the visual approach, but the columns drive me crazy…plus, the results are not so relevant. Their algorithm needs some serious work. I suppose the hype comes from the new format.

  14. Just took a look at it — nothing special about the results. I’m also skeptical about their supposedly enormous database size, considering that several of my sites which rank well in Google don’t even seem to be indexed in Cuil.

    They’ve already lied about their name, and my guess is they’re all hype and no substance. There are thousands of useless little search engines around. This is just one more.

  15. Actuially, Cuil is not cool. To me it’s been totally useless. I posted about it in my blog at It’s been over-hyped and under-developed.

  16. cuil used 30 million bucks to build data base while ignoring robots.txt and media hype. its a flash in the pan unless more money thrown at it. and yes mostly useless search redults.

  17. When Google started 10 years ago their search results were also disastrous…….it will be interesting to see how Cuil modifies their search results during the coming year.

  18. Yeah I’d like to know how many searches Cuil has the Tuesday of next week — I’m guessing it will plummet dramatically.

  19. Actually, Cuil is more like one to “watch out for”. While they have seen a lot of use after it’s official launch, the search results have proven to be disastrous. Read more: How NOT to search the web is more promising (and fun)

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