People trying to use search engine optimization (SEO) to improve their website’s search engine rankings can use new tool Cuil to test the efficiency of their measures, it has been claimed.

Writing for SEOptimise, Kevin Gibbons said the new search engine – which is made by former Google and IBM engineers – could be useful for those wanting to test their SEO strategies because ranking is based on content rather than popularity.

Therefore instead of ranking results by the quality of the sites linking to it, how relevant a site is to the user’s enquiry is seen as more important, Mr Gibbons explained.

He commented: "This could make Cuil a very useful indicator of how effective your onsite SEO will be in Google. For example, a search for SEO will display websites containing relevant content as opposed to the trusted authority domains ranking in Google."

Cuil – pronounced ‘cool’ – displays its results in a magazine, rather than a list format and there are fewer results shown on each page.

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines provide advice for those seeking to appear high up in search results.

These include providing a "useful, information-rich site" with clear and accurate information.