The hype cycle now lasts less than a day. Take yesterday’s over-hyped launch of stealth search startup Cuil, which was quickly followed by a backlash when everyone realized that it was selling a bill of goods. This was entirely the company’s own fault. It pre-briefed every blogger and tech journalist on the planet, but didn’t allow anyone to actually test the search engine before the launch.
The company’s founders have a good pedigree, and have developed a unique way to index the Web cheaply and at massive scale. But creating a big index is only half the battle. A good search engine has to bring back the best results from that haystack as well. Here Cuil falls short, as we pointed out an hour after the site launched and we could actually check it out.
The story quickly turned from Google-killer to Google’s lunch (make that an amuse bouche). The results Cuil returns aren’t particularly great, and sometimes completely off the mark. For instance, a search for “Cuil” doesn’t even bring up a link to itself on the first page of results. (See screen shot at end of post).
And when Cuil tries to pair images with sets of search results, it often chooses seemingly random images to accompany a set of results.
I tried it. Interesting results in an odd interface blending results with thumbnails. I appreciated this one on an ego search:
“Freak flag..” heh.
One to watch. One to play around with. What do TTW readers think? I’ve only spent a few minutes reading TechCrunch and trying Cuil.