How’s this for a lofty business goal? Take on Google and win. That is what startup Cuil, pronounced “cool,” plans to do as it launches its competitive search engine today. The company, which is composed of former Google employees, claims its search engine covers more than three times as many Web pages as Google.
Based on Menlo Park, Calif., the startup has a daunting task that many companies such as Microsoft haven’t been able to crack the code on. In fact, Microsoft has been in a months-long struggle to acquire Yahoo! or at least Yahoo!’s search engine business so that it could compete more effectively against Google.
Many search engine startups have struggled against the mighty Google because they can’t search more Web pages than Google. Cuil claims to be able to search for results across 120 billion Web pages compared with Google’s estimated 40 billion thanks to a new way of indexing Web pages.
Some of the challengers include Mahalo; Powerset, which was acquired by Microsoft; Snap and Vivisimo. Cuil has raised $33 million from venture capital investors. But eventually, the startup hopes to make its money through advertising. The company is still hammering out the details of who and how to approach for advertising.