Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What is Cuil?

Early Monday morning, I was greeted with a news story about an upstart search engine called “Cuil” that has set its eyes on dethroning the incumbent search leader Google. The press got wind of the Cuil announcement, and the upstart became a calamity of its own marketing machine. In my testing, the site has been slow to respond to queries, most likely due to an inability to handle the flurry of requests directed at its servers. To add insult to injury, the results aren’t as relevant as even Yahoo’s; in what I consider true irony, searching for the keyword Cuil on Cuil returns no information about the search engine. We’ve gotten used to search results having both breadth and relevance (sounds like an oxymoron), and Cuil’s results seem to be lacking in both departments.

Not that Cuil should throw in the towel already; every launched product has some kinks in its armor. Even established players release products with much fanfare that become PR nightmares – just ask Apple about the MobileMe service. What Cuil has going for it is its pedigree – it is built by engineers who consider Search Engine technology to be their “bread and butter” – and the magazine style layout of the results, complete with an image if one applies. If Cuil is to really challenge Google, it must have a disruptively unique innovation up its sleeve, unless the company’s goal is to be acquired by one of Google, Yahoo or Microsoft. If the plan isn’t to be acquired and doesn’t include a disruptive idea, Cuil is going to go the way of the dodo; that’s anything but cool…

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure about Cuil but I think either Microsoft or Yahoo should surely hire their PR firm...