Will pay-for-privacy be the future of search?

Will pay-for-privacy be the future of search?

25 March 2021 |

Data, Insights, Privacy

With a cookie-less future in near sight and first party data on the rise, the search engine market is at a critical turning point. Following threats from Google to abandon its service in Australia, an alternative platform by ex-Googlers has entered the market. The new search engine, Neeva, revolves around prioritising user’s privacy and data. Comparative to other search engines such as Bing, DuckDuckGo, Firefox and Google, Neeva offers a platform with no ads.

According to Neeva, “… we want to help you experience the Internet in a new way – free of distractions, prying eyes and frustration.” Neeva wants the users to see search results based on user relevance and not through advertisers. Co-founder Ramaswamy mentioned that other search engine focuses too much on ad revenue compromising the quality and usefulness of search results. This was the main reason they created Neeva, a pay-per-play competitor of Google.

How is Neeva different from other search engines?

Similar to other platforms, Neeva collects user information. Instead of selling it to advertisers or 3rd parties, it uses the collected data to improve user experience. Neeva is also extremely transparent with how and what information are shared and collected. Users can access their personal data, make updates and add restrictions as needed. User’s search history is automatically deleted after 90 days, compared to Google which is set to 18 months by default. But privacy comes with a cost, a monthly subscription of $5-$10. According to Neeva, the goal is to lower the price as more subscribers join the platform.

Neeva is scheduled to roll out later this year with thousands of people on its waiting list. With a kickstart of $40 million in funding from investors, the company’s launch is making headlines throughout the digital media community. Transparency and mistrust are both recurring themes in today’s tech industry, and the success of Neeva could signify a shift in how we will interact with search in the future. Users wanting a rich experience like Google but concerned about their privacy may make the move to Neeva. With a plethora of developed search engines already in market, is there space for this new, paid platform?

Let your ADMATICian know what you think!