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 Updated Performance Max Campaigns


Performance Max campaigns in Google Ads have been updated with three new features, Google announced earlier this week. Among the additions are New customer acquisition goals, new Performance Max insights reports, and a one-click upgrade tool for Smart Shopping. Let’s dig right in and see how these features can help drive your business!

New Customer Acquisition Goals

You can now use your data to help Google identify (and target) new customers with PMax campaigns. This feature should help you identify who’s a new sure, who’s an old one, which will definitely help with the strategy. There are a few options available:

  • Customer Match Lists – When first-party data is uploaded (name, email, phone, country, postal code), Google gives a match rate that shows how many of your customers have a matching Google account that can be used for targeting. Much cooler than third-party cookies, eh?
  • Conversion Tags – using them might help the new feature cut out people that aren’t new
  • Google’s Autodetection Method – Besides the previously seen Google detected purchase conversion tracking in Smart Shopping, Performance Max also has new machine learning models that predict whether a user is a new customer or an existing customer.

Performance Max Insights Reports

Photo source: support.google.com

If you’re looking for more information on campaign performance, you will be pleased with this new feature. There are two new additions to the insights page:

  • Asset Audience Insights – this will tell you how text, images and videos ‘resonate with specific customer segments’. That means you will be able to see what your customers engage more with, with what content.  Using those insights, you can customize your marketing strategy!
  • Diagnostic Insights – these insights will show you all the issues that might prevent your ads from showing. It will also give you some suggestions on how to fix it.

One-click Upgrade Tool For Smart Shopping

This will begin rolling out soon, Google said, and Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will no longer exist. You’ll get notified when the tool becomes available and after you upgrade it, a new Performance Max campaign will be generated and keep the information from previous campaigns.

Here’s how to upgrade:


Why Is This Important?

You already know that tracking everything is the key to success. Well, one of the keys. These additional insights will not only help you keep track of your customers’ engagement and preferences, but will help you develop and customize your marketing strategy. Like it or not, Performance Max is alive and kicking and adapting to it sounds like the smartest choice.

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TikTok More Popular Than Google In 2021


For the first time in the last 20 years, Google wasn’t the most popular web address in a year – the title now belongs to TikTok.

The social video app owned by ByteDance has been a key digital platform for a while now. Gaining popularity during the pandemic, TikTok is now an opinion-maker of its kind and a go-to solution for targeting the younger generation, Gen Z.

According to Cloudfare, TikTok gained (and remained) number one in the global ranking on August 10, 2021. Before that, it was a back and forth battle with Google, but since then, the video app has mostly taken the lead.

Even though Google managed to come first again a few times, it didn’t win for the holidays. On Black Friday, TikTok rose again – a key fact for e-commerce businesses that rely on Google during the holidays shopping spree.

In comparison, TikTok was number seven in ranking after Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Amazon in 2020.

The app now has more than 1 billion monthly active users and doubled down on privacy, ad measurement and commerce, so it isn’t surprising that brands and marketers are getting more comfortable with advertising on it. The fact that the number of consumers exposed to ads nearly doubled, going to 37% this year, also helps.

After managing to surpass the potential ban in the U.S last year, TikTok continued attracting users and gaining more downloads. It became the first non-Facebook mobile app to surpass 3 billion downloads.

While staying in touch with its users and adapting to changes such as the return of longer videos, TikTok might have the potential to become a leader in the advertisement in the future.

The Year’s Winners By Cloudfare

Top 10 — Most popular domains (late) 2021

  1.  TikTok.com
  2. Google.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Microsoft.com
  5. Apple.com
  6. Amazon.com
  7. Netflix.com
  8. YouTube.com
  9. Twitter.com
  10. WhatsApp.com

Top 10 — Most popular social media domains (late) 2021

  1. TikTok.com
  2. Facebook.com
  3. YouTube.com
  4. Twitter.com
  5. Instagram.com
  6. Snapchat.com
  7. Reddit.com
  8. Pinterest.com
  9. LinkedIn.com
  10. Quora.com



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