Finding information that is important to us—weather, jobs, sports, that
strange headache symptom—is a basic and deeply personal human need. In
less than twenty years, we’ve gone from looking up information in
encyclopedias to being able to find almost anything with a tap on our
I was fortunate to be part of the early engineering team that built
Google Search, which democratized access to knowledge for millions of
people around the world. It was, and remains, a vitally important
service, made free for everyone through online advertising.
As the leader of Google’s advertising products until 2018, I truly
believed in the benefits of an ad-supported search experience. And
indeed, there are aspects of online advertising that I still very much
believe can bring benefits to users and advertisers alike. However, I
have come to believe that ads detract from a good search experience and
have also had many unintended side-effects that have large social
First, the very existence of an online ad right on top of the search
results pushes down and deprioritizes the information we are searching
for. After all, when most of us are searching about flu symptoms, we
want to know the symptoms—not see an ad for cough syrup, and certainly
not an ad for cough syrup that will then follow us across the Internet
for the coming weeks.
Second, ad-supported search engines face the daily pressure of returning
value to their shareholders by prioritizing advertisers and ads revenue.
This has several unintended consequences, including ever-increasing
ad-load, ads driven misinformation and harmful content, and practices
that value profit over user privacy.
These problems are further exacerbated by the fact that there tends to
be only one or two viable search engines in most countries. A lack of
competition in the search space is bad for innovation and bad for users.
We need more search engines, offering different kinds of experiences and
preferences, to fit people’s individual needs.
Enter Neeva, our vision for a private and ads-free search engine that
truly puts you first. Whether you’re looking for general information, or
something deeply personal—like an important email, a calendar invite, or
a copy of your passport—you can be certain that your information is your
own, and not sold on to advertisers as a means of targeting you with
Neeva isn’t just about privacy, it’s also about simplicity. Most of us
are overwhelmed by the vast amounts of information competing for our
attention 24/7. Neeva lets you easily find just what you want, either on
the public web or in personal accounts you choose to connect.
As an example of how you can use Neeva, if you’re upgrading your study
(since we’re all spending a lot of time at home these days), we can help
you find the best standing desk and home monitor. Neeva prioritizes
quality review sites and brands you trust instead of flooding your
screen with paid results. We can also help you save and organize your
research so you can come back to it easily.
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. Moreover, we strongly believe
that you, the customer, have inalienable rights online: we published our
manifesto in a consumer
Digital Bill of Rights.
We are currently in limited beta testing. Please
sign up here
to get early access. We’re still in the early stages of building our
company and our product, and we’re excited to build it with you.