Neeva search engine launches in Germany, France and the United Kingdom

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 6, 2022
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Search engine Neeva announced today that it launched officially in the three European countries Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

neeva

Neeva is one of several search startups that is taking on the heavyweights Google Search and Bing. Founded by two former Google employees, it is an attempt to move away from the current advertisement-influenced search model towards one that is more user-friendly and useful.

Not only is Neeva promising an ad-free search environment, it is also guaranteeing that users are not tracked and that search results are not biased. Other features that set it apart from traditional search engines are options to customize the search experience, by prioritizing or downgrading certain sites or sources, or link to accounts on sites such as Dropbox, Figma or Slack, to include personal files in search results.

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Neeva, like its rival Kagi, is available for free. Both finance search through premium accounts, which add functionality to the search experience.

The main idea behind both services is to finance operations solely through paying users. Currently, Neeva Premium is offered only in the United States, but the company announced plans to launch the premium option in the future in Europe as well.

Premium users gain access to new search engine features first, and get to use a VPN and password manager next to that.

Users from Germany, France and the United Kingdom get local search results for certain search topics, including stocks, weather, restaurants and more. French and German language versions of the interface are available as well.

Neeva uses its own index and Bing to deliver search results to users. The service supports image, video, news and maps searches, and search suggestions.

The search engine stores a "limited amount of information" about its users to "make the product better" for the individual user, according to the service's FAQ. The information is deleted after 90 days by default.

Closing Words

It remains to be seen how ad-free search engines like Neeva or Kagi fare in the coming months and years. There is certainly a market for unbiased and ad-free search results, but it is not clear how many Internet users are willing to pay for that privilege. Both services need paying customers in the future to finance operations.

For now, Neeva is set on expansion and less focused on revenue generation.

Now You: would you pay for unbiased ad-free search results?

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Neeva search engine launches in Germany, France and the United Kingdom
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Neeva search engine launches in Germany, France and the United Kingdom
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Search engine Neeva announced today that it launched officially in the three European countries Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Cynical Cyril said on October 6, 2022 at 2:02 pm
    Reply

    It’s hardly “not tracked” if you are linked to an account with an email. Give this a while to maybe get some users & traction, then watch the owners sell out to Big Corporate.

    1. Klaas Vaak said on October 6, 2022 at 5:14 pm
      Reply

      @Cynical Cyril: You don’t need to create an account. If you have the extension installed you can use Neeva without an account.

      1. Anonymous said on October 6, 2022 at 7:46 pm
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        @Klaas Vaak
        and then you can get tracked through the extension and be more “unique” which means a page can fingerprint you based on having the extension installed. How are you sure their extension is doing what it says is doing and it is secure and private like they say?

        So the point still stands… they talk about privacy and tracking and all that, always talking about the marketing scheme (scam) called privacy, yet you always need an account connected with personal information like billing information, emails, phone numbers… how can it be private if you have to provide information like that? How can you ensure their servers will never be hacked and they don’t have stuff in plain text.

        People always give the lamest excuses to justify a company talking about privacy and then be like make an account!

      2. Shadow_Death said on October 7, 2022 at 2:22 am
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        That’s not really any better. If you sign up with an account they track your searches by your account. If you install the extension what’s to stop them from tracking you internet wide instead of just on their site?

      3. Klaas Vaak said on October 7, 2022 at 5:34 am
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        @Shadow-Death: in the chrome web store it is clearly indicated what the dev does with your info.

  2. Tachy said on October 6, 2022 at 4:31 pm
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    All the services we’ve come to take for granted split up and each trying their hands in our pockets by claiming they are offering something that is not theirs to give, our privacy.

    That’s called “extortion”.

  3. Klaas Vaak said on October 6, 2022 at 5:15 pm
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    Search results: only U.S. and a few UK MSM outlets. Bah!

  4. Tom Hawack said on October 6, 2022 at 5:26 pm
    Reply

    Neeva Search relies extensively on Bing, in particular for its image search.
    You have to accept 3rd-party connection to Bing.
    I avoid Microsoft servers and Bing is no exception.
    Therefor I’ll avoid Neeva.

    You have several privacy dedicated search engines available, free moreover.
    searX and SearchXNG metasearch engines are a good reference, though as always with tools available through several instances those apart from the main one require caution:

    Searx & SearXNG instances : [ https://searx.space/ ]

    Personally I prefer SearXNG engines.

    1. Sprank said on October 6, 2022 at 7:58 pm
      Reply

      So you mean like most search engines? what a surprise one more search engine just using Bing API.
      I mean, I wouldn’t care about the images source because even Brave search relies on 100% on Bing images for now, since they probably want to build the normal indexer first and then take care of images.

      But yeah Neeva is using 100% Bing API like DDG, Qwant and the others, they usually present the same search results.

      It is incredible how many Search engines use Bing API and how many promote privacy even if they have to share information with MS.

      And about Searx, it is a nice concept but let’s be honest, it’s rare to find a good quality searx instance, one that will not want to track you or has weird custom scripts or css, that has good defaults (if you use Tor or InPrivate window), it works but sometimes it just doesn’t and hunt for a good instance tends to be boring, unless you host it yourself but then you are just making things more complicated. One day they work, the next they don’t, sometimes they update the next day an update is pushed, and sometimes they never update for months or ever.

      1. Tom Hawack said on October 7, 2022 at 10:26 am
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        @Sprank, indeed many search engines rely on Bing, but some retrieve the results ‘internally’ whilst some others via the user’s device. Sorry for the lack of correct English technological terminology but what I mean is this : if you check connections established by your search engine you’ll notice connections to Bing (and other servers) or not. If I run DDG or Brave, no connections to Bing servers on my part, if I run Neeva and several others : connections are factual : if I refuse them with the uBO extension or system-wide with a dedicated blocklist I nevertheless get full search results with DDG, Brave Search, SearXNG but not with Neeva and others.

        searX and SearXNG are more than a concept, they are a powerful and efficient search tool.

        – Of course quality may differ from one instance to another, some stay up to date with the latest engine development, others no, some will block when retrieving Google results for instance and others will handle all search results’ retrieval flawlessly.

        – Regarding confidentiality of users’ search requests, whatever the engine, whatever the instance I have no knowledge of any way to be sure of what is done of our queries. I do know that major engines (Google, Bing among others) are known for their deliberate inquisition in user’s privacy, yet I ignore what may be a whatever other search engine’s privacy policy ‘in the facts’. Personally I happen to contact via email the developer/user of a lesser known search engine (be it within its instances) and consider my ‘psychological profiling’ based on the replies as a component of my confidence in the moral reliability. Only a component. But i see no way, whatever the tool, whatever the source, whatever the environment (on the Web as in life) that would grant a 100% reliability of honesty or dishonesty. But this is how life goes : at one point you have to choose more or less blindly… or stay stuck in your cave with a no-risk no-gain no-loss mentality. Most of us choose the ‘calculated risk’ option. All depends how you calculate :=

  5. kalmly said on October 6, 2022 at 5:44 pm
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    My biggest complaint is about search engines is search results. In the 80s and 90s, searches reaped scads of pertinent websites. Now, it’s a jackpot to glean one. I don’t know, maybe it’s because so many decent sites went away after Google’s “algorithms” grabbed the internet by the throat.

  6. John G. said on October 6, 2022 at 7:00 pm
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    Only available in three countries? Oh, come on guys, we all are in the XXI century!

  7. Leo said on October 6, 2022 at 7:07 pm
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    Why would an entrepreneur introduce a product that lacks innovation and expect to compete with the denizens of that genre? Also, it is naive to rely on user discontent, in regards to how Google does its conjuring. Users who do not use Google (or Bing-oh) already have access to several free-to-use, privacy and security based search engines. User friendly/business friendly algorithms are like mixing oil and water – one floats and the other sinks. Then there is the obvious…you have to provide an abundance of value if you want people to pay for it. Neeva may end up being Never.

  8. DontBeEvil said on October 6, 2022 at 7:50 pm
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    When it was in beta, I used it. This awful UI/UX appears to have been designed specifically for mobile devices. Everything has excessive padding and is too round. I failed to locate what I was searching for.

    1. ali said on October 7, 2022 at 12:20 am
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      dribbble syndrome !

  9. Benjamin said on October 6, 2022 at 8:48 pm
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    Again it is Bing being rented out. The only alternative would be 100% own indexing and algorithms controlling the flow…

    1. ali said on October 7, 2022 at 12:22 am
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      how to have a data without being a “spy”?

      1. Anonymous said on October 7, 2022 at 1:57 am
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        Searching the internet is not spying.

        Collecting information and data of users, and tracking users of a search engine is spying. What Google, Bing, and Facebook do. They track you outside of their search engines even if you do not consent or use their products.

  10. chesscanoe said on October 6, 2022 at 10:28 pm
    Reply

    I have been running the Neeva Search + Protect for Chrome (desktop) extension Version 1.2.86 updated September 29, 2022. I assume it is intended for US use and is available from the Chrome Web Store in Free and Fee form. I choose Free and Registered form. I do not yet fully understand how it works but I think it is worth installing and testing to find out. This is no simple thing to find out.

  11. Jon Milker said on October 7, 2022 at 1:25 pm
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    I’m happy with Brave Search. The layout and quality of the results have gotten better over time.

  12. John C. said on October 8, 2022 at 1:08 pm
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    Google and Bing both almost completely ignore common Boolean logic and flood the results with garbage which obscures what you’re looking for. Maybe Neeva will actually provide the results a person is looking for.

    The home page for the Neeva Search engine is here: https://neeva.com/

    On that page, there’s a button that takes a person to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/neeva-for-firefox/

    I’m going to check this thing out, because it can’t be any worse than Google or Bing, both of which behave so badly that they’ve become all but unusable at this point.

  13. GGmaS said on October 8, 2022 at 9:07 pm
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    Tried to download Neeva on my Brave browser but keep getting Error Occurred msg…download Failed – Forbidden.

  14. Anonymous said on October 12, 2022 at 12:29 am
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    “Founded by Sridhar Ramaswamy (ex-SVP of Ads at Google) and Vivek Raghunathan (ex-VP of Monetization at YouTube)”

    These are the guys who want to get rid of the ads and spying ? It’s like they are trying to expiate their own sins. And it’s likely that not so many know better than them how sinful exactly that was. Let’s see how credible that looks.

    “Neeva enables users to connect personal applications like email, Dropbox, Slack, Figma and others making it easy to search across the most important personal documents while maintaining strict privacy controls.”

    While I am not 100% sure of what they imply here, that part looks like giving away to Neeva access to lots of potentially very personal data like private documents, only for search purposes, associated with an account with email/phone number and not destroyed until the account is. Even if it’s optional and if one trusts that those two will only use that for search purposes (should we really ?), I don’t think that it’s a good idea to get people used to giving away such data for so little in exchange when local searches could be performed instead. Keeping in all cases search terms for 90 days possibly connected to an IP address (which other ad-supported “private” search engines emphatically try to avoid typically) pales in comparison with that problem.

    Another way to look at that is that it’s like if they tried to secure access to as much sensitive personal data as Google or even more, and all that for what, a search engine ? Yeah “private” search !

    “We are the world’s only ad-free, private search engine. Although there are other private search engines, they are still ad-supported products. We believe that being completely ads-free and customer-focused allows us to create a superior search product while simultaneously giving you the privacy you deserve.”

    This is what I’m trying to explain a lot about “private” ad-supported search engines like Duckduckgo and Startpage that monetize search terms but I usually fail to be understood. Maybe now that a business profits from saying the same thing people will start to listen.

    I haven’t looked at the private search engine landscape lately but their statement about being the only one is not fully honest. My favorite suggestion SearX is an example of an ad-free, surveillance-free, (actually) entirely pro-user developed search engine. Sure it’s more exactly only a meta-search engine and it may be why they dishonestly didn’t mention it at all but it doesn’t really make a difference for the user. In fact it’s much more trustworthy than a business like Neeva, especially from former ad/monetization people at Google… Full features are also available for free, and the choice of source engines is controlled more by the user than by Neeva’s business deals, among examples of what a “completely customer-focused” engine (even better here, completely user-focused) should really look like contrary to Neeva. And it won’t ask access to your personal documents because it wouldn’t even cross the developers’ mind that it’s a smart thing to do.

  15. Osine said on October 13, 2022 at 7:50 am
    Reply

    Yes it would be better to not use Bing API but data is encrypted so is it really a risk for our privacy?

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