Remember the ill-fated Google-killer Cuil? Named ‘Cuill’ and very much in stealth mode for the first part of the year, they finally emerged end of July 2008 with a ‘massive’ search engine that would rival the most popular search engines of our time with an enormous index, an innovative interface and some nifty features.
Rival, it never did. The launch of the search engine was nothing but a classic PR trainwreck, with much hype and little to show for. Cuil failed to deliver good enough results to drive anyone to change their search behavior, and quickly became the subject of backlash and criticism because of their poor performance and indexing methods that actually took websites down in the process. Last time we reported about Cuil, was when their VP of Products (and AltaVista founder) Louis Monier quietly resigned from the startup.
With the end of the year approaching, I took a peek at how they’re doing traffic-wise out of sheer curiosity. After all, with no less than $33 million in funding and a founding management team consisting of ex-Google search experts, something had to give, right?
Well, no. Cuil isn’t performing well any way you look at it, and I can only imagine how nervous the startup’s management team and investors must be by now. Based on the numbers and graphs we gather from Google Trends, Alexa, Compete and Quantcast, you could even say search engine traffic is nearing rock bottom. Apart from that, a Cuil search for ‘TechCrunch’ still displays a Gmail logo rather than our own.