With all the buzz going around about the new up and coming search engine, Cuil (pronouced "cool") we obviously had to kick the tires a bit to see how this bad boy would drive. As CNN reports, Cuil was created by ex-Google engineers, and who better in the business to drive the technology behind a search engine than those that helped to create the current market share leader. While Cuil claims that the advantage of the new search engine over other engines like Google is that the results will be displayed and ordered based on the content of the site more so than the quality of the site and the links pointing to it, it also appears that they took a stab at a new visual layout as well. Unlike search engines that have come before it, Cuil definitely has a different way of showing results with the top 3 (or 1, 4 and 7 in the search results - it doesn't really say) results spanning the first row of the results with the rest down below. On smaller monitors, this definitely gives a much larger advantage to those that appear in that first row.
Cuil also appears to grab random images from the site and displays them next to the result. Some are appropriate, some probably detract but by displaying pictures next to the result it gives even further advantage to those that are shown with better pictures than those without pictures, regardless of the value of the page itself. The one advantage that I do think that is visible in its current state is the ability to navigate through similar subjects and categories with ease. Sure, other engines employ this subject fairly readily, especially Yahoo, but Cuil does it without overpowering the page and with fairly simplistic functionality and use. Cuil also seems to claim over 120 billion indexed pages, which far surpasses that of Google. I only seem to get results half of the time though when searching for things and am greeted by the following page: Really, 120 billion pages indexed and nothing about call tracking? Clicking search a second time found results, but a 50% success rate at even showing any results is nothing to write home about. Google killer, definitely not. Overtaking Hotbot, a fair possibility.