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The Search Engine Journal Show

Dec 3, 2021

Neeva is a new search engine that promises a private and customizable experience, without ads. Think about it as an HBO subscription service - premium media without ads. 

How will a paid search engine, with an ad-free experience, change SEO and the search landscape?  

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Chief Executive Officer of Neeva, joins Loren Baker to discuss the impact this may have on users and SEO professionals.

Neeva is all about reimagining search, which means creating a product that takes customers’ personal preferences into account. Their goal is to focus on their customers and the content they want to see, not what advertisers want them to see. 

If you approach your marketing with this model in mind, you could uncover new opportunities to strategize for your brand and clients. Listen to this podcast to learn more.


We wanted to create a product that was just simply about users and giving them access to high-quality information. To a certain extent, this is like a throwback to how things were 20 years ago. Neeva is completely ads-free, no affiliate links with a small subscription fee.–Sridhar Ramaswamy, 01:18

About search being free -  if anything is free, you may not be paying for it from the money from your wallet but you're paying for it in other ways. With Google, we’re paying with the data that we're giving.–Loren Baker, 02:23

There is a big part of us that is really all about technology that needs to be much more focused on the customer, on the people. It should not be about exploiting them - it should be low-cost and worry-free.–Sridhar Ramaswamy, 47:05



[00:32] - What led to the launch of an alternative search engine.

[03:16] - The ethical concerns of showing ads & the difference at Neeva.

[09:33] - What it means to reimagine search.

[12:22] - Neeva’s average user profile.

[19:03] - The problem with personalized ads.

[20:47] - Why an increase in Google competitors?t

[25:25] - How hard is it to build a search engine?

[29:06] - The systems that power Neeva.

[30:24] - The funding behind Neeva.

[31:09] - How many of the Neeva team comes from Google?

[31:55] - Where Sridhar sees the subscription model going.

[33:01] - Costco: the most amazing subscription business ever.

[34:23] - The magic of offering bundles.

[36:41] - How Neeva can partner with publishers.

[39:07] - Where Sridhar sees SEO going if Neeva succeeds with its mission.

[41:22] - The fun element of discovery on Neeva.

[42:42] - Other advantages to the subscription model of Neeva.

[45:48] - The story of how Costco’s hotdog keeps that 91% retention.

[46:44] - More about the Neeva mission.



For us it's a little bit about just giving control back to you by having you look at the sites that you care about, giving you additional context.–Sridhar Ramaswamy, 10:44

I actually see more opportunity for a diversity of sites to thrive in a model like ours where it is more about taking the needs of individual customers into account as opposed to the current winner-take-all model for the important keywords that there are.–Sridhar Ramaswamy. 40:21

It was that aha! moment of “Everything that I put in Google is not anonymous,” so I think you're definitely filling a void that's needed in this space.–Loren Baker, 17:24


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Connect with Sridhar Ramaswamy:  

Sridhar is passionate about translating data into revolutionary tech businesses. Currently, he is the CEO and co-founder of Neeva, a consumer-focused, ad-free search service built with privacy at the forefront.

As the former head of Google's advertising business, Sridhar has unmatched expertise in transforming data insights into new infrastructure, and he is eager to work with entrepreneurs for the next generation of software solutions for individuals and enterprises.


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