Google Ad King Assembles Ad Free Search Engine

April 5, 2021

The heart of Google’s revenue is targeted ads. Despite the tech giant’s code of conduct, the company became a profit-driven corporate beast. Sridhar Ramaswamy was once Google’s advertising king, but he became disillusioned with the corporate beast. His biggest qualms were how Google’s obsessions with growth affected everything in the company, including user privacy and search quality.

Maybe Ramaswamy was inspired by DuckDuckGo when he decided to build a new search engine without ads and data tracking. Forbes details Ramaswamy’s career move in the article, “After Building Google’s Advertising Business, This Founder Is Creating An Ad-Free Alternative.”

His new search engine is called Neeva and his fellow Google cofounder Vivek Raghunathan invested in the new search startup. Instead of relying on ad revenue, Ramaswamy wants Neeva to be subscription based. His plan is for users to pay $5-10 a month to see non-sponsored search results.

Privacy is a major concern for users and the current Internet of things is hardly secure. Neeva comes at a time when users are demanding better regulations and better technology securing their information. There could also be a growing demand for unpolluted search results. Larry Page and Sergey Brin even wrote in their famous Stanford research paper that search engines driven by ad revenue will not ultimately meet consumers’ needs, because they will be biased by advertisements.

Neeva already has many investors, but tech experts doubt it will do much damage to Google:

“Search engine experts doubt Neeva will be able to do much damage to Google, at least in the short term. Some say Google’s gravitational pull is too strong for users to leave. Arun Kumar, CTO at Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. a New York-based advertising holding company, says while Neeva might ‘find a few takers, but you’re not going to shake the kingdom.’”

Money is the driving force behind Google and user’s needs. Why pay for something when it is free in other places-biased or not?

Whitney Grace, April 5, 2021

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