Former Google Staff Start a New Ad-Free Search Engine New Search Engine Neeva Already Valued at $300M

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

After leaving a company, many former employees will branch off and start their own venture. But what happens when the employees in question worked for the biggest internet company in the world and are attempting to create a brand-new search engine to compete with Google? That’s what two former Google employees are on a quest to find out.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, who ran Google’s ad division for 15 years, partnered with Google’s former VP of Monetization at YouTube, Vivek Raghunathan, to create their own search engine called Neeva.

Based in Mountain View, California, which is only three miles from Google’s headquarters, Neeva has recruited several other former Google employees to work for the company.

According to Search Engine Journal, what sets Neeva apart from Google is that the platform runs without any advertising. In order to earn revenue, Neeva will operate on a subscription basis, charging users between $5 and $10 per month.

Neeva’s goal is for users to see search results that aren’t dictated by advertisers.

A description of the new search engine on Neeva’s website says:

“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.”

While Neeva doesn’t promise not to collect user data, user privacy is a big priority.

Neeva not only adheres to the Google API Services User Data Policy, but doesn’t share user information across accounts or apps, or with advertisers or third parties.

Users also have a lot of control over their data. When using the search engine, users can:

  • Access their personal data

  • Update or correct any information

  • Request restrictions or deletion

While it may seem incomprehensible that any search engine could ever rival Google,  Neeva is actually one of many alternative search engines that are gaining popularity among internet users due to growing privacy concerns.

For instance, DuckDuckGo is an increasingly popular search engine with privacy protections in place.

Even still, Google remains the most popular and most trusted search engine according to a recent survey.

Neeva is currently in beta testing and has not yet been launched, but is expected to be rolled out sometime this year.

In the meantime, tens of thousands of people are already signed up to Neeva’s wait list and the search engine has raised $40 million to help accelerate the launch. To date, Neeva has generated over $77.5 million in funding and is valued at $300 million.

Once it is formally launched, it will be interesting to see if Neeva is able to build the same level of trust and popularity as Google.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

Google Updates Its Guidelines for Search Quality Raters


Google has finally updated its Search Quality Raters guidelines this week after a year without any updates.

For those who are unfamiliar, Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines offer insight into how Google assesses the quality of online content.

The last update took place on October 14, 2020, and was 175 pages. The latest update saw three of those pages removed, reducing the document to 172 pages. However, according to Search Engine Round Table, 3,635 changes were made – 807 replacements, 812 insertions, and 356 deletions.

Here is a quick summary of what was changed:

  • The definition of the YMYL subcategory ‘Groups of people’ has been expanded

  • Direction on how to research reputation information for websites and content creators has been revised

  • The ‘Lowest Page Quality’ section has been restructured, updated, reorganized, and refreshed

  • The definition of ‘Upsetting-Offensive’ has been simplified and redundancy in the Lowest Page Quality section has been removed

  • Other minor changes have been made throughout the document, such as updated screenshots and URLs, wording, and examples for consistency removed outdated examples and fixed typos.

Here’s what the ‘Groups of people’ section looks like now: 

“Information about or claims related to groups of people, including but not limited to those grouped on the basis of age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, immigration status, nationality, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, victims of a major violent event and their kin, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.”

Along with reporting from Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table, SEO consultant Glenn Gabe also took to Twitter to share some of his insights on the new document.

Check it out below:


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Google Caps off Volatile Week With Another Algorithm Update


What in the world is going on with the internet this week? It was only Monday that we reported that Google had rolled out a massive unconfirmed update, and the following day, Facebook experienced a colossal outage affecting billions of people around the world. Now, Search Engine Round Table is reporting yet ANOTHER unconfirmed update appears to be happening. And yes, this all happened in the span of a week. What a wild ride it’s been. 

While this latest update doesn’t appear to be as big as the one that took place last weekend, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Round Table is reporting that tracking tools seem to show that an update began rolling out on October 6th, peaked on October 7th, and is now starting to slow down.

This time around, there is way more industry chatter going on in the SEO forums. Here are some interesting snippets posted in WebmasterWorld around October 6th:

“Seeing a return of the drop in USA traffic in the middle part of the day again. Starts in the morning and traffic remains very low for hours. Back to the old June patterns…”

“For me traffic has fallen off the cliff edge today with hardly any multiple page view visitors.

Over the last few weeks I have also seen many, many visits by Singapore, Huawei Clouds.” 

“Yesterday was my worst traffic day in years. Gulp!” 

“All competitors I am tracking are down today with only one exception, me lol I am in the same position as I was yesterday but the biggest volume keywords were targeted and pushed down the serps. Some low volume keywords improved. The algorithms constantly target high volume keywords.”

Tracking tools aren’t showing a ton of volatility, mostly just a shift in the Google search results. Overall, things look pretty calm compared to the update last weekend. Still, we’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Check out the screenshots posted by Search Engine Round Table:


SEM Rush tracking 

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitive SEO report


SERP Metrics report

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