Cuil, the much maligned search engine that at one time had hopes of toppling Google, has gone offline. And from what we hear from former employees, it’s not just a temporary outage, it may be done for good. Those employees who are still with the company apparently weren’t paid this week, and they’re starting to say they’re looking for new jobs.
The company had raised $33 million in venture capital in 2007 and 2008. we first started covering Cuil in late 2007 when it was in stealth. It launched in July 2008 but a month later their VP Product had bailed. By December 2008 it had little traffic and since then things have only gotten stranger.
To be clear, we’ve confirmed nothing right now except that the site is down, the rest of what we’re hearing is from former employees. We’ll update as we hear back from the company and/or investors. Meanwhile, it’s in the DeadPuil.
Cuil was a stealth search engine startup which claims that it can index web pages significantly faster and cheaper than Google. Cuil has told potential investors that their indexing costs will be 1/10th of Google’s, based on new search architectures and relevance methods. In some ways Cuil is the polar opposite of Powerset, which has huge indexing costs because it does a deep contextual analysis on every sentence on every web page. Powerset’s indexing costs, therefore, should be...