Does Size Matter, Once Again?
Cuil has indexed a whopping 120 billion Web pages, three times more than what they say Google now indexes, Patterson said, adding the company has spent just $5 million,
Google itself preemptively responded to Cuil's arrival with a blog post on Friday boasting of the growing scale of its own Web search operations.
Sullivan said he puts no stock in either company's boasts about the size of their indexes, since it has only an indirect effect on the ultimate success Web surfers have in searching. And Cuil's privacy virtues are exaggerated, he adds.
Founded in late 2006, the Menlo Park, California-based Cuil has raised $33 million in two separate rounds: The first, for $8 million from Greylock and Tugboat Ventures, and the second for $25 million by Madrone Capital Partners.
Initially, Cuil is optimized for American English. Later this year, the company plans to enable Cuil users to perform searches in major European languages, Patterson said. Eventually, Cuil plans to make money by running ads alongside search results, she said, but provided no further details.
Cuil is one of a number of start-ups that are looking to introduce new technology that can change the competitive dynamics of the Web search market that Google dominates.
Earlier in July, Microsoft bought Powerset, a San Francisco-based search start-up that enables consumers to use semantic techniques--conversational phrasing instead of keywords--to search the Web.