At first, Neeva’s proposal may be surprising and even far-fetched. However, if we think about it a bit, might not be such a bad idea after all. Moreover, so much so that I think it is worth taking a look at the proposal of this alternative to the main search engines. However, I think it is a bit late, and I will explain why later. Although this is a subject that generates so many doubts that I am very interested in knowing your opinions.
But, let us start at the beginning. What is Neeva? Well, Neeva is a search engine (so far nothing new) but what It can only be used by its registered users, who will have to pay a monthly fee of 4.95 euros. Yes, you read correctly, a paid search engine that, at least for the moment, offers the first three months for free (although it is necessary to register) and, from there, will require a monthly payment to continue accessing the service.
In the first instance, many will think that it makes no sense to pay for a search engine, when we already have services such as Google, Bing, etc., that are 100% free and that offer a huge volume of results, in addition to organizing them by type, constantly updating and so on. . Free general-purpose search engines, that is, all but Neeva, strive every day to improve in a fierce competition. What could Neeva offer to improve that?
Neeva’s goal is sustain financially from the income generated by its users Or, in other words, it does not include advertising. And it is that far are the times in which Marissa Mayer, being vice president of search products and user experience of Google, affirmed that advertising would never reach the search results, because over the years it has been gaining positions on the pages of results. And Bing may not be doing it at the moment, but this can be extremely circumstantial.
A) Yes, Neeva proposes to offer ad-free results (not commercial content, as it can also be used to assess purchase options), thus putting the search at the service of the user, instead of having to do it with the user-advertiser binomial. And it is that there is something that we must not forget: the infrastructures are not free, like the workers. Today Microsoft can go “at a loss” with Bing to stand up to Google, but if the distribution of users were the reverse, we would probably see advertising in Microsoft’s search engine.
This is what Neeva offers, as we can read on their website:
No ads– Up to 40% of search results on major search engines are ads. We offer 100% ad-free real search results, allowing users to find what they are looking for, without ads getting in their way.
Browse safely and privately– Our browser extension, compatible with all major browsers, prevents trackers from following consumers. We never sell or share user data with anyone. It is part of our promise of privacy. And users can search anonymously in incognito mode.
Customize search results– Users can choose their preferred retailers and the news sources they want to see results from.
Expert recommended purchase results: We help users discover the best products grouped in one place and easily read reviews from reputable sites and verified customers.
Search the web and personal accounts– To make searching even more convenient, Neeva users can sync personal email, calendar, and documents so they can find everything they need in one search bar. Support Content Creators – We are committed to sharing at least 20% of our top revenue with content creator partners when their content is offered to directly answer a Neeva user’s inquiry. Not only are we committed to paying content creator partners, but we are also working on a set of features to make it easier for content creators to establish direct relationships with Neeva users. For example, Neeva users will easily be able to subscribe to email newsletters directly from a search results page. We are already working with Medium and Quora and in the process of establishing strong and diverse partnerships, from news to food to travel and more.
Looks interesting, right? Now I think Neeva faces two problems. The first, of course, is the absolute lack of payment culture in terms of search engines. It is true that there are paid search tools, and they are not exactly cheap, but they are very specific (such as those focused on finding IoT devices). Bringing the payment model to general-purpose search engines is an interesting bet, but a very risky one.
And sure, we could think of privacy lovers as their potential audience, but here comes the reason why I mentioned at the beginning that I am afraid that Neeva is a little late, and that is that just a week ago the Brave public beta debuted. Search, which also renounces advertising and, of course, also ensures the privacy of its users. All this, of course, being a free service.
Would you consider paying for a service like Neeva? Are you going to try it? Do you see a future for projects like this?