A couple of former Google employees will soon roll out Neeva: an ad-free search engine that might take a bite out of their former employer’s market share.
And not only will they offer a search experience without ads, but they’ll also enact strict privacy protections to keep your personal data away from prying eyes.
According to a statement released by the company: “Search is the gateway to the world’s information, and with Neeva, we want to help you experience the Internet in a new way—free of distractions, prying eyes, and frustration.”
So what’s the catch?
It comes with a cost. Neeva will set you back somewhere between $5 and $10 per month.
In this article, I’ll explain what we know about Neeva before its official roll-out later this year.
Lots of Ex-Googlers
I mentioned at the beginning of the article that a couple of former Google employees will launch Neeva. But I was just referring to the founders.
There are at least a few other former Googlers who went along with them.
In other words: these people know something about how to create a successful search engine. So you can expect them to deliver an outstanding product.
Neeva’s Data Collection
Neeva will still collect user data. It’s just that it won’t pass that data on to advertisers or third parties who have no business knowing anything about your interests.
Remember: you have to subscribe to the service. And whenever you subscribe to anything online, you generally need to fill out a form with lots of details about yourself and your contact info.
That’s all going into Neeva databases.
Specifically, you can expect the company to collect the following details about you:
- First name
- Last name
- Email address
- Phone number
- User settings
- IP address
- Payment info
- Snail mail address
- Browser type
- Pages that you visit
Neeva can learn a lot about you from that info. But other search engines also collect many of those data points as well.
Also: if you participate in an online forum or social media page, Neeva will likely harvest some deets about you from those channels as well.
In fact, the search engine will also collect your profile photo.
So yeah, it’s going to know a lot about you.
But What Will Neeva Do With That Data?
Other search engines tend to collect info about your page visits to help third-party advertisers target you with ads that will likely get clicks.
If you visit a lot of sporting goods sites, for example, then you can expect to see ads from sporting goods e-tailers.
But Neeva doesn’t play that game. Instead, the company uses your personal info to:
- Develop, operate, and improve the services it offers.
- Provide access to specific features.
- Communicate with you about your account.
- Enable you to share content with others.
- Improve your experience with the search engine.
- Protect against malicious, deceptive, or illegal activity.
- Begin research for technical development.
- Enforce terms and policies.
- Comply with legal obligations.
- Use it for purposes you consent to.
Neeva will share your info with service providers that handle:
- IT and related services
- Payment processing
- Customer service
How Is Neeva Different From Other Search Engines?
First of all, you can access your personal data, make updates, and add restrictions.
Secondly, Neeva deletes your search history after 90 days. Google’s auto-delete is set to 18 months by default. But you can change that to 90 days.
Keep in mind: the company will hold on to your payment info “as long as necessary to fulfill the purpose(s) for which it was collected, comply with applicable laws, comply with audits, and enforce our Terms of Service.”
Also, like Facebook, Neeva has a minimum age requirement. The services offered aren’t intended for children under 13.
Will An Ad-Free Search Engine Fly?
It looks like Neeva is poised for success. The company has already raised more than $77 million in capital on a $300 million valuation.
Furthermore, tens of thousands of people have already signed up to the waiting list.
Wrapping It Up
Neeva is scheduled to launch sometime later this year. Right now, it’s in beta-testing.
People who are concerned about privacy but also want a richer experience than what’s offered by other search engines such as DuckDuckGo will likely flock to the pay-to-play competitor.
And that could change our search strategies significantly.
Keep an eye on this one.