Cuil is a new search engine with a larger index than Google, built by former Google employees. It’s very interesting. Here are my first impressions:
Things they got right
The homepage design is very nice, spot on in fact.
The idea of contextual ranking is great, the technology seems very promising.
Things they got wrong
The design of the search results page is flawed, badly. If you’re going to have multi-column results, then do not have a scroll. Missing the bottom row of each column is stupid. Because the results are not aligned in a grid you can’t work-around this by scanning horizontally either. You end up having to scroll the page three times just to read all the results. FAIL, as they say.
The results themselves seem to pull up a disproportionate number of deep-pages instead of offering domain results first. Being a narcissist I searched for my name; my homepage was nowhere to be found, but there was a page full of ancient comments left by me on other websites. My site’s #1 in Google. I then searched for my name and added a little context by way of the term “css”, a topic I regularly write about - not one result. Pathetic.