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Cuil - an inside perspective

 3:37 am on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

On 11/05/08 Anna Patterson, one of the co-founders of Cuil, gave a talk at Stanford (link to podcast below). She covered general topics about company and people, but also offered some interesting insights about search topics in general, and some Cuil's specifics (math algo vs. G's big server farms, i.e. processing search query in memory or not). I did not know that she worked at Archive.org and is responsible for their crawler....

Anyhow, interesting easy "listen":




 12:03 am on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

From the blurb: "Her latest venture, Cuil (pronounced "cool") is a search engine that is challenging Google."

From Alexa: [alexa.com...]
From Compete.com: [siteanalytics.compete.com...]

In real terms, Cuil.com is up there as one of the epic failures of 2008.


man in poland

 5:38 pm on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

jmcc - those statistics are frightening - seems like that search engine is dead and buried. It appears even with all the media coverage they got, at the very best they were 'enjoying' around 2.5 million uniques per month, or 80,000 per day, and is now down to around 10,000 per day. Not sure how accurate those graphs are, but the direction they are pointing in is pretty clear!


 5:11 am on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is a terrifying collapse, Man In Poland,
The initial PR was good and it got mentioned everywhere. But the product was crap and the image matching was insane. Naturally it was not as good as Google and that's the important lesson. In the search business, if you launch a new search engine it has to do something better and more effectively than Google. You only get one shot at it and if you miss then Google will overwhelm your operation. But Cuil were dead before they even started. They lied about the Cuil being the Irish for knowledge (It is the Irish for bug or fly. With an accent over one of the letters it is the Irish for "arse".). They didn't seem to understand the importance of getting things right. They started getting mentioned for all the wrong reasons. Apparently they impressed technology journalists (according to some reports). However it is the average user that needs to be impressed.

Most importantly, they don't seem to have a clue about monetising the operation. I think that they were hoping for a trade sale in which they could sell their company to Google or perhaps Microsoft. They way that the global economy has gone into recession, that option is no longer a good one - not when Microsoft could buy Yahoo and all its search and advertising patents for around $10 a share.



 6:36 am on Dec 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Anna Patterson, one of the co-founders of Cuil, gave a talk at Stanford

If I was at that talk I would have blasted her so much for her failures with Cuil they would have had to remove me from the room.


 6:10 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

So whats te future for cuil. They seem to keep going & developing?
Could the 'cuil' there way back up
How do you see google going, are there any competitors coming to the fore


 10:46 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think that Cuil is in trouble because Yahoo is a much stronger buy for Microsoft. The strange thing about Cuil is that there is no monetisation of the SERPs. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and most other other serious search engines all have financial strategies. Cuil has no apparent one. That's why I think that it was heading for a trade sale to a major search engine. I don't know how much of the $30 million venture capital it has left but it may take a few years before the market is interested in Cuil with a valuation close to that. They lost one of their key board members as well.



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