Many have tried and many have failed, or barely succeeded – but could never overthrow the all-powerful Google. However, today, the time is ripe – for true competition. Former Google Ads boss Shridhar Ramaswamy is all poised to launch Neeva – a subscription based search engine.
Ramaswamy formerly led Google’s ads business and was succeeded by Prabhakar Raghavan when he left Google in 2018.
Google has been around for many decades now, and it’s no secret that while the search feature is free, the main sources of earnings are the ads. Neeva however claims to not use ads. It will work on a subscription based model. Further, it has also come to light that it will not track users data and will be able to accomplish personalization for each user without data mining. Ofcourse, there is no need for Neeva to reinvent the search wheel, but, will sit on top of the existing content and data sources such as Bing search results, Apple Maps, weather.com and such other data sources.
Is Neeva different?
Ramaswamy intends to create a search engine that can focus of returning useful search results to users than squeezing more and more ads that generate revenue. The revenue generation will be taken care by the subscription paid by the users. Ramaswamy suggests that the subscriptions will be less than $10 per month. Users do not have to worry about being bombarded with ads and can get quality search results. Initially, Neeva will be free and the subscriptions will be reduced as the userbase grows. Against all common notion that subscription model is a non-starter and does not capture too many users while starting out.
But, in order to succeed, Neeva will have to deliver on its promise of search quality, credibility and personalized results, given that Bing with Microsoft’s massive resources at its back wasn’t able to accomplish it. Neeva however, seems to clearly take things differently and introduce a new model of working for search engines – there’s a first time for everything!
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