Whatever Happened to the Google Killer?

Back in July of this year, the internet was buzzing with news that a new search engine was coming, a Google-Killer that could unseat the giant of the search engine world. Part of the buzz surrounding this product was the fact that it was being designed by former Google employees Anna Patterson, Russell Power, and Louis Monier. This supposed Google-Killer was called Cuil (pronounced cool).

So what happened? Google is still the giant of the search engine world, and most people probably don’t even remember Cuil since its launch at the end of July of 2008. Did it collapse? Has Cuil shut down? What happened to this highly touted search engine that was supposed to draw us all away from Google?

Like most of those that attempt to overtake Google (see MSN Live, Yahoo, Ask, Excite, Alta Vista, really just about anybody), Cuil just didn’t have what it took to draw users away from the search engine that has quickly come to dominate everything we do with the web. Some blamed the preponderance of irrelevant search results that Cuil seemed to like displaying. Others blamed the unconventional style with which Cuil displayed results (see image below). But what really killed Cuil?

In the end, the only thing that killed Cuil was Google. Not by actively battling them, but by simply doing what they do – being the best. Sure, Cuil claimed to have more sites indexed than any other search engine, but by returning irrelevant search results, it didn’t matter how many websites they had indexed, nobody could find what they were looking for.

Google continues to capture around 80% of the search engine market, while Cuil has slipped to roughly less than half a percent (0.005% of total search traffic to be specific). Cuil isn’t the first to try and claim the title of being a Google-Killer, and they certainly won’t be the last, but one thing is for sure…there is no such thing as a Google-Killer. At least not yet.


  1. Hey, if they make a major change, business will be Buzzing in the SEO field.

  2. I think it is just part of media promotion to brand themselves as Google -killer. Besides, Google is getting more powerful as it acquired top social media like youtube and obtained a lot of web tools patents.

  3. The Problem is that SE’s try to beat Google with a search model that is 10 years old. Altavista was first Gen search and Google was second Gen Search. The true Google killer will have to introduce the 3rd generation search model. It would most likely contain a social element. One thing I can think of is to ID internet users and attach a type of a PageRank to them. With such an ID user behavior could be tracked and authority of users together with website authority. Search results can thus be determined on user specific relevance.

    Think of the Next gen search as the child of Google and StumbleUpon.

    Oh. Cuil is just a bad 2nd gen SE


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