Over a year ago, on the 28th July 2008, Cuil went live. Surrounded by a lot of 'Google-killer' hype at the time, for many, Cuil's launch passed by virtually unnoticed. The 'Google-killer' tag that many attached to it was in fact incorrect, and Cuil was never going to be a 'Google-killer'. The major advantage that Cuil brought to the table was that it was managed and developed by former Google employees, Anna Patterson and Russell Power, and their CEO and co-founder, Tom Costello, had worked for IBM among others. This couple with the fact that Cuil boasted a larger index than any other search engine with over 120 billion web pages.
So over 12 months on, what is Cuil doing to gain ground on its rivals?
In what may be the smartest move the company has made to date, Cuil has announced the released of a real-time search feature, finally pushing it as a threatening alternative to Google, Facebook and Twitter. The advantage of real-time search is that you can instantly access what people are saying/thinking about live events as they unfold.
Cuil's new feature will generate a toolbar, indicating real-time results found. Through the toolbar, users can then explore a sample of results from news and blogs,with an indicator on each result showing the ‘hotness' of the topic. The toolbar can also be opened as a pop up box to act as a monitor on an ongoing basis.
Real-time search has been thrown around as the next big thing for a number of months, as both Facebook and Twitter continue to grow in leaps and bounds. The massive user bases that both services now attract may be enough to give them the edge in the race to create a truly real-time search engine that allows moment-by-moment trend analysis, but for now everything is still up to play for.