September 2021

This new search engine wants to knock Google off the throne (and has a chance!)


At first glance, large and ingenious companies seem to be the contenders for a sparkling future. However, it is precisely those unwieldy companies that often lack something crucial: adaptability. The company that can best adapt to the changing wishes and needs of the target group survives.

And so, at upMention we are not only concerned with the secret of Google, but also with possible contenders to dethrone Google. We follow all kinds of webinars, crowdfunding campaigns and introductions of start-ups that want to make Google smell a poo. And so, Google alternative Neeva came our way. And for the first time, we think we're dealing with a contender! We share 7 reasons with you.

Who pays at Neeva determines

Where we pay a few euros per month on all kinds of streaming services to not get tired with commercial messages, >60% of Google users still scroll down with every search to click on a non-commercial result. And we also agree that we have little or no influence on what is served.

Neeva's basic idea is in line with this need. The search engine believes that search results are there to provide the best answer and not to serve commercial interests. Consumer first - and consumer only, that's what they call it at Neeva. So, users are going to pay for usage, rather than advertisers for pushing marketing messages.

Neeva doesn't follow you

One thing is no secret from Google: profit comes before privacy. Neeva, on the other hand, never sells or shares your data with anyone. That is part of the privacy promise. When you search on Neeva, that data is only used to provide better results. In addition, there is also an incognito mode where even the results are no longer improved based on your previous behaviour. Also, no location history is kept.

Neeva was founded by former Google management

A salient detail is that Google has invested in Neeva. During lunch walks and at the coffee machine of Google itself, the first conversations arose between founders Sridhar Ramaswamy (ex-Senior Vice President Google Ads) and Vivek Raghunathan (ex-Vice President Revenue at YouTube). An extra reason for us to follow them closely and to assess the opportunities more positively. First, because this former management of Google gives us an insight into how Google works. Also, they are not the first to start a new search engine. And of course, ex-Googlers also do well in the marketing message.

Neeva is loyal to local and gives you more influence

Now, Google determines which (local) retailers come into your picture. You will soon be able to choose the retailers you like to do business with in Neeva, so that they are given priority in the search results. So, it is more in line with real life, where not only the price, but also your personal relationship with the person behind the counter is a factor. You will also be able to set up news sources that you know you trust. And you can keep track of things like the status of your packages sent to you immediately.

Experts can influence the result at Neeva

Neeva says she can objectively assess whether someone is an expert and whether a review is reliable. This allows users to discover the very best products in one place based on real recommendations and read reliable reviews from reputable sites and verified customers in the same place.

They give the example that when you search for headphones you will mainly find information about the trade-offs you can make and - unlike Google - not >50% of the result is an overview of manufacturers who are outbidding each other.

With Neeva you search the web and your private data

As an extension of the search engine, you will soon be able to link all kinds of other data sources, so that you can also search private data such as agenda items, e-mail, photos and the like. So, you are looking in a combination of the public web and your private data (which in turn remains really private). Suppose you search for the name of a customer or relation, you will not only get social media profiles, but also the latest emails, photos of this person from your own collection and the like.

Neeva has started its own indexing of the internet

You still read in many places that Neeva is based on the databases of Bing, but last week we learned in a webinar that that, is definitely about to change. And that also makes it much more interesting: (1) the brand is no longer associated with the unsuccessful search engine Bing, (2) the privacy-oriented search engine DuckDuckGo is also based on Bing and not very successful and (3) it is fully in control of what is indexed without relying on a third party.

What's next?

At the moment, the Neeva search engine is still under construction. In addition, no qualitative result can be expected in Dutch for the time being. We did hear from one of the founders this week that they will come with big news in October 2021. And all in all, the feeling with our team remains: it could just become a big boy! We'll keep you posted.

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