Would you pay for an advertisement-free search engine?

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 18, 2022
Updated • Aug 19, 2022
Removed the 50 searches per week claim for Neeva after communication with the company.

A handful of search engines dominate the market. There is Google Search, which dominates in most regions, Microsoft's Bing, Baidu and Yandex.

Core functionality is shared among the search engines. You may run searches, use some filters, or browse only specific content type results. All these search engines have in common that they generate revenue through advertisement.

Privacy-focused search engines started to gain popularity in the wake of 9/11 and the Snowden revelations. Search engines like DuckDuckGo or Startpage appeared, promising no user tracking and less advertisement. These search engines use the indexes of the main search engines, e.g., Startpage is using Google's index and DuckDuckGo Bing's.

Only a handful of search engines use their own index, with the European Qwant search engine being one of them.

Now, it appears, that another type of search engine is gaining in popularity. Search engines that are not free, but require a monthly subscription. While that does not sound like a good deal at all on first glance, considering that all other search engines are free to use, using these search engines has its benefits as well.

Search engines like Neeva or Kagi promise to do things differently. These search engines earn revenue through subscriptions and not through advertisement. In fact, search results are advertisement free.

As a result, search results pages show only search results and no advertisement. Neeva claims that 40% of results are filled with ads on major search engines.

Both services mentioned offer a free plan. Kagi specifies that it limits searches to 50 per month. Neeva has no such strict limit, and the company informed us that the average user would not run into any limit issues. These limits are removed for paying customers.

Kagi and Neeva support additional features that users may find useful. Kagi, for example, supports changing the weight of individual websites in search, the display of discussions or listicles in relevant results, focused searches through the lenses features, or website information that includes the use of ads or trackers in the search results.

Neeva comes with a set of features as well, including search result customizations, and options to prioritize news sources and retailers over others.

The omittance of advertisement comes at a cost: Neeva Premium is available for $4.95 per month ($4.16 if paid annually), Kagi for $10 per month.

Neeva uses data from various sources, including Microsoft Bing, and its own search crawler and indexer to populate its results. Kagi sources data from Google, Bing and others.

Would you pay for ad-free search engines?

Search engines that are not financed through advertising offer several benefits over the ad-powered competition. Search results focus on content, while search engines like Google have added more and more ads to the search results. Sometimes, everything that users see when they run searches on Google are advertisements above the fold.

Commercial search engines finance operations through subscriptions. The question is: how many Internet users are prepared to pay a monthly fee to get ad-free searches?

Now You: would you pay for an ad-free search engine?

Would you pay for an advertisement-free search engine?
Article Name
Would you pay for an advertisement-free search engine?
Several advertisement-free search engines are now available that finance operations through subscriptions. Would you pay for these?
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Roebie said on September 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

    “the not so perfect search utility in XP”
    At least it worked. Both Vista and Seven take far too much time indexing and searching on networked drives.
    A search for all files with a certain string in the filename takes 3 times longer on Seven (and 4 times longer on Vista) than on XP.
    The indexing service takes too much memory too.
    I’ll stick to Copernic Desktop Search for now!

  2. Kari said on September 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    What a crap! My customers don’t find their documents with windows search function, even if it is almost in right front of you. Microsoft’s policy is to keep everything messy and protected, and the most stupidiest thing is to show different name for the folder than what it actually is.

    Is it too much to ask, if the search function would work like in XP? Yes it is…
    Good luck with Windows Search, third party software rules in this case… too.

  3. Fuddler said on October 18, 2012 at 6:13 am

    The term negation function doesn’t work.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.