Secrets to a quick review of a new online service

[Later: I posted this early Monday morning. Now, it’s mid-afternoon. After using Cuil a little, I’ve decided they should shut it down and give any money left over back to the investors. All it has done for me is make me realize how wonderful Google is.]

When I see a new online service announced, say, Cuil, a new search “challenger” to Google, I typically go to the site and click around. Seeing what it is, I seek the insight of someone I know follows closely the developments in that category. For instance with anything related to search, I look for what Danny Sullivan has written. Sure enough, sometime in the middle of the night, Danny has posted his quick review of the Google killer.

Because Danny is a professional guru of how search works, he has a battery of tests he can immediately run a new search tool through. From reading Danny’s, I have learned that having benchmarks can help someone compare any “new” thing with some valid comparisons, rather than some knee-jerk opinion.

Read Danny’s review for a real review. As for my personal review of Cuil, I’ll say this: I have five words and phrases in my benchmark tests that I know get the results I have learned will appear on page one of Google’s SERP (search engine results page). These five searches involve words and phrases related to my work, so I track them very closely. The results I expect to see don’t show up on Cuil — they look more like Microsoft’s results. I know the information found on the sites I expect to see will be more helpful to someone searching for information about the topic. So, at least for this morning and for me personally, Cuil is not doing well against my benchmarks.