Thursday, September 21

“We’ve found that building a search engine is not the same as convincing regular folks to choose a better alternative.”

Neeva, which for a time seemed to be one of the companies that had a genuine potential to challenge the preeminence of Google Search, said on Saturday that it would be discontinuing its search engine. According to The Information, the firm has announced that it will be shifting its focus to artificial intelligence (AI), and there is a possibility that Snowflake may purchase it; nonetheless, most employees seem to feel the venture was unsuccessful.

In a blog post announcing the closure of Neeva, co-founders Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan noted, “Building search engines is hard.” Neeva has been in operation since 2010. (As the longstanding leader of Google’s ad business, Ramaswamy is one of the few individuals more suited to know how to construct and monetize search than he is. This is one of the reasons why Neeva appeared promising.) But they maintained that Neeva was the one who did it. It developed into a robust search engine that can compete with others. It was quite a little ahead of Google in several aspects, such as exchanging ten blue links for a page with more visual content and placing greater emphasis on material that humans provided.

Constructing the search engine, however, turned out to be the simple part. Ramaswamy and Raghunathan proceeded by saying, “Throughout this journey, we’ve discovered that it is one thing to build a search engine, and an entirely different something to convince regular According to Ramaswamy and Raghunathan, users must switch to a better solution.

Search engine construction was simple.

I’ve had many conversations with Neeva’s co-founders over the last couple of years, and their complaints over this situation are extensive and well-founded. They have had to cope with the multi-billion dollar agreements that Google strikes to become the default search engine on devices throughout the globe; the massive “Are You Human?” campaign; and the many “Are you sure you want to change?” popups that appear whenever you try to set a new default browser or search engine; the difficulty of finding those settings in the first place; the chaos that is the Chrome Web Store; and so on. Anyone interested in developing a new search engine will have a steep uphill struggle.

Neeva was also a paid offering since the firm was trying to demonstrate that there was another economic model for search besides adverts and surveillance. “Contrary to what is often believed, the co-founders noted in the blog post, “Getting customers to pay for a better experience was a more challenging challenge than getting them to pay for a better experience. them to try a new search engine in the first place.” Add to it the challenging state of the economy, and it was clear to Neeva that there was no way her company could go ahead.

The timing of this situation is intriguing. Neeva is going out of business at what may be the most favorable time in the last twenty years for new search engines to launch. AI chatbots such as Bing and ChatGPT have upended everyone’s concept about how to interact with the internet. Users are becoming more frustrated with the ad load and substandard results they receive from Google, and AI chatbots such as these have caused Google to lose market share. Neeva also waged on this, producing a vast language model-based system called Neeva AI. This system is more valuable in many respects than the results you will receive from using Bing or Bard. However, even it was not sufficient.

Bing is making significant efforts to increase its market share, and Brave announced not too long ago that it is now operating entirely on its search stack. Of course, the competition to unseat Google is still alive and well. AI is being used by businesses such as and DuckDuckGo in their efforts to rethink how search engines function and improve their results. However, based on what we’ve seen so far, it seems like Google’s sole serious opponent is… Google.
On June 2nd, Neeva’s search engine will be turned down permanently. Moving ahead, Neeva will be “shifting to a new area of focus,” this new field will probably be LLM-based and connected to the Snowflake purchase. Users will get a credit for the unused part of their Neeva subscriptions, and the firm will delete all of the user’s personal information. “We are truly grateful to our community,” the company’s co-founders said, “and we are truly sorry that we aren’t able to continue to provide the search engine that you want and deserve.”


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