Challenge of the Search Engines

Google is the giant of search engines. Yes, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Bing also operate on the World Wide Web, but not on the same level as Google. Why then, would a new web browser—and one that requires a paid subscription—try to enter the search engine arena? Introducing Neeva, a challenger to Google.

What is Neeva, and what does it have to offer?

Late last month, Harry McCracken published an in-depth article for Fast Company describing Neeva and—dare we say it—the challenges this up-and-coming search engine present to Google. What could Neeva offer that Google does not? And why would anyone pay for a search engine when Google is free? Neeva’s two selling points:

      • Placing the user’s privacy first
      • It is ad-free

The capability to have privacy when searching online and not being inundated with ads indeed has a lot of appeal, especially when we look at the issues Google has been facing recently.

Google’s ad targeting and privacy dilemma

In March 2021, Google announced that it would, over time, discontinue third-party ad tracking technologies that target potential customers. This decision arose out of increased complaints regarding privacy. Marketers therefore need to find alternate ways to reach customers, with the building of first-party data foundations as a logical solution. While the plan was to eliminate third-party tracking by January of 2022, Google is extending this deadline to the end of 2023. Yes, marketers have more time to adapt—but more customers will grow increasingly irritated by being tracked and presented with ads they have no interest in seeing. This poses the question:

Could the privacy-first and ad-free benefits provided by Neeva tempt these users to switch from Google?

It is too soon to predict an answer, but Neeva has a competitive edge, because its creators know search engines—very well.

Meet Neeva’s founders—Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan

The co-founders of Neeva are Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan, who—significantly—held high-powered executive positions at Google for many years. Their combined knowledge and talents, complemented by a deepening disillusionment for Google’s priorities of placing ad revenue over providing a satisfying user experience, inspired them to create this new search engine. Also worth noting is that many staff members are former employees of Google.

Where Neeva stands now

Mr. McCracken, who is the technology editor for Fast Company, tried out an early test version of Neeva, and stated that while it delivers on the promise of keeping the user top-of-mind, there are some technical glitches to be worked out. (As an example, the ability to search for a store, restaurant, or any other place with “near me” included in the search bar may return very inaccurate results.) Aside from the technical issues, Mr. McCracken was impressed with how Neeva worked and its organization of organic results that appears at the top of the search page—ad-free.

Will Neeva be the worthy challenger to Google?

While it is too soon to tell if Google should worry about competing with Neeva, the fact that this new search engine promotes itself as “customer first” could be a powerful game changer. If users place a high value of searching online—knowing their privacy is safe and with the freedom from seeing countless ads—the subscription price of $4.95 per month (after a free three-month trial period) may well be worth paying for.

EGC believes in matching the right ads to the right audience. Contact us today, and we will ensure that your ads are seen and appreciated by customers who want to know about the products and services your brand has to offer. In short, your ads will be the ones that potential customers will want to see.