Do you remember when Cuil launched in 2008? Two ex-Googler’s, Tom Costello and Anna Patterson started the search engine, claiming to have the largest index of website (over 127 billion). Even with its large index, they still had the near impossible task of going up the 800 pound gorilla called Google. Also in my opinion, it does not matter how big your index is, if you do not show the most relevant websites for a given search, what’s the point?
As you can see, it has taken a huge dip since its launch and continues to decline.
This goes to show you that just because you claim to have the biggest index, doesn’t mean you can compete and steal market share from the “Big 3″ (Google, Yahoo, Bing). Google is where they are at today because they focus on innovation. They pride themselves on providing quality search results by constantly improving their algorithm and adding new features. This is something that I believe Cuil needs to improve on in the near future or continue to fade into oblivion.
Mashable wrote a blog post in August on how Cuil is re-emerging as a real-time search engine offering a number of new features. The problem is that even with the focus on real-time search, they are a little too late. With real-time search engines like Twitter Search, OneRiot and Tweetmeme, who have already gained market share and offer better user experience, Cuil is just a day late and a dollar short.
Personally, I have done a number of searches in various industries and have seen a number of sites that have no business being ranked on the first page. It should be interesting to see if Cuil can regain momentum in 2010 with their real-time strategy.