Various search engines over time have tried to take on Google but largely failed including Yahoo Search and Microsoft’s Bing. To compete with Google, a former Google executive Sridhar Ramaswamy is working on a subscription-based Search engine Neeva with another former Googler, Vivek Raghunathan.
A major difference between Neeva and Google is that it will not be advertising-based and instead it will be subscription-supported. It will not track users and can be personalized. It will also be able to search personal files like email and “local” documents along with the web.
Useful search results get pushed down the search page to squeeze in more advertisements, and privacy was sacrificed for online tracking tools to keep tabs on what ads people were seeing, Mr. Ramaswamy said in a recent interview.
Google on the other hand shared that it did extensive user testing and found that people see “relevant ads and offer extremely useful.”
Ramaswamy was the Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce at Google. He left Google in 2018 and was succeeded by Prabhakar Raghavan, who now runs Google search.
To date, Neeva has so far raised $37.5 million and has 25 employees already.
But Challenging Google is no easy task. Google accounts for roughly 90% of all searches globally and competitors have tried unsuccessfully for years to make inroads. To succeed, Neeva will have to deliver on its promise of search quality.
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