Search engine Neeva launches in Europe to compete with Google, without tracking or advertising

The Neeva search engine was launched today (October 6) in Europe with the aim of challenging Google’s dominance, giving internet users honest search results without tracking and without ads or affiliate links.

Neeva has already acquired over 600,000 users in the US, following its launch in 2021, and is now bringing its platform to the UK, with the aim of giving users greater control over search and providing honest results.

Founded by Sridhar Ramaswamy, former senior vice president of advertising at Google, and Vivek Raghunathan, former vice president of monetization at YouTube, Neeva claims to be “reinventing web search for good,” challenging Google’s dominance in web search. Neeva’s European expansion follows a successful $40 million funding round in 2021.

Neeva’s intention is to put users first and give consumers control to personalize their web search experiences. By avoiding ads and advertisers, Neeva eliminates the corporate bias that has increasingly plagued the traditional search experience over the past 20 years.

Neeva’s sole stated goal is to create a search engine that delivers the best and most transparent results as quickly as possible. Users can select their preferred news sources – such as news outlets, shopping, software engineering sites, travel and others – based on personal preferences and relevance, rather than what advertisers suggest. This is all done while respecting user privacy by blocking third-party tracking and never profiting from user data.

Commenting on the launch of Neeva, Ramaswamy, CEO, said, “Neeva is a user-centric platform focused on private searches and transparent to an advertiser-serving search engine. The internet should be your private corner of the web instead of a deluge of ads, SEO spam, and irrelevant information.

“We are reinventing search by giving users control over sources; providing accurate and transparent results as well as private and personalized experiences without the influence of corporate bias, tracked across the web.

Neeva offers a freemium model and will first launch its basic free, private and ad-free service in Europe, then launch its premium subscription model with additional features such as a VPN and a password manager. Neeva operates its own independent search stack, returning fast results with high levels of accuracy, tapping into an index of billions of web pages.

Neeva also allows users to connect personal apps such as email, Dropbox, Slack, Figma and more, making it easier to find the most important personal documents while maintaining strict privacy controls.

“Google has dominated the search engine market, retaining over 90% market share. Neeva will challenge this supremacy by creating a better search and browsing experience that will delight users,” Ramaswamy said.

“Users should be in control of their search and web experience rather than having one company decide what information they see. The ad-supported Internet has created vastly misaligned incentives that have enriched “big tech” monopolies and advertisers while exploiting users’ privacy and personal data. It’s time for a new approach to research that puts people first. »

To date, search alternatives to Big Tech have mostly offered greater privacy at the expense of reduced search quality. Neeva claims to be unique in building its own independent search stack (crawling, indexing, and serving at scale) and ad-free, ostensibly freeing it to design user-centric features with the sole purpose of delivering the best search results. the most efficient way possible, with the high degree of confidentiality expected and demanded by today’s Internet users.

Google has dominated the world of search engines since its first appearance in the late 1990s, its minimalist search interface in stark contrast to the bloated, cluttered designs of other companies’ search offerings. The company had the famous phrase “Don’t be mean” as an unofficial motto, also included in its own corporate code of conduct, although in recent years some people have wondered how much Google still holds to this lofty stated goal.

As the behind-the-scenes practices of Google’s advertising-driven business model for its search product became more widely known – coupled with the dubious rise of Facebook and its various social media offerings – other search engines are appeared as a counterpoint to this harmful culture. secret tracking and data collection.

DuckDuckGo is perhaps the best known of these search alternatives, with firefox and Opera other longtime privacy-focused Google rivals. Neeva now joins the ranks of alternative search engines, marking a return to the simple, user-centric philosophy of Google’s search origins.

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