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This article was published on June 30, 2021


Ex-Googlers hope you’ll pay $4.95/month for their search engine

Neeva's services will cost you $4.95 a month

Ex-Googlers hope you’ll pay $4.95/month for their search engine
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Google has a tight grip over internet search and there’s not much to argue over there. Data from Statcounter suggests that close to 90% of internet users in the US use the Big G, followed by Microsoft’s Bing at 5.43%.

While Google‘s dominance on the search market will seemingly continue for at least a few years, there have been questions over the company’s privacy-related practices. Now, two former Google execs, Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan, have launched a new search engine called Neeva. Its claim to fame is that it’s private and ad-free — but you’ll have to pay for it.

The company just launched its product in the US at $4.95 per month after a three-month trial period — that’s almost the same price as Apple TV+. So, what do you get in exchange for your money?

Apart from offering ad-free search results, Neeva’s browser extension will block all trackers for you. Plus, the company promises to never share your data with anyone.

Neeva’s in-built tracking blocker

You can also customize your search results by manually assigning a preference to a particular site you trust. What’s more, you can get recommendations for products through sourced reviews on reputed sites. To search through your emails, documents, and files, Neeva lets you connect your Google, Slack, Office 365, Dropbox, and GitHub accounts.

Connect your existing accounts to Neeva search engine
Connect your existing accounts to Neeva search engine

The search engine’s launch comes at a time when the Department of Justice has extended a probe on Google’s ad business. Neeva’s confident that without affiliate links or ads it can provide great personalization in search. However, in an interview with Bloomberg, Ramaswamy admitted that Google has spent many years on perfecting search, and Neeva’s still a work-in-progress.

Apart from personalized search, the firm’s also promising content partners a 20% cut of its topline revenue when their posts show up in search results. Plus, it’s exploring ways to subscribe to newsletters directly from search.

While Neeva’s claims are boisterous, it’ll be a challenge to attract millions of users who would be ready to pay for the search.

You can learn more about Neeva here.

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