The new search engine looks interesting. Instead of making money on spying and ads, it uses money through subscriptions. I spent a little bit of time exploring it, and it works surprisingly well. The accuracy and detail of its results makes it something I'd easily recommend to others.

However, I have a few concerns, some practical and some more idealistic:

1. It's proprietary and SaaSS. There's no way to verify that they aren't spying on you. There's no true accountability.

2. It requires payment information after the trial. I'm not sure if it offers a way to pay anonymously. You shouldn't have to identify yourself to search the web.

3. It is run for profit. It's structured around profit and will seek out profit above all else. Above privacy, etc.

4. Those who can't afford it can't use it. They are locked out of a privacy-friendly alternative.

I am excited by a competitive alternative search engine, but I believe search is a precious thing, since it's our gateway to the World Wide Web. The community itself should run it. Corporate or government-run search engines will always serve their own agendas (censorship, paying to manipulate rankings, etc).

Subscription models are not the answer to the advertising and data-mining model. They only lock people out of useful information and tools.



I have used the free trial of Neeva for almost a week now, and I have some more practical thoughts on it:

First, you can't verify that it doesn't log your queries. You have to be logged in to use it, so it can identify you regardless of whatever proxy or VPN you are using. They can claim to not log your searches, but it can't be verified, and they have the means to do it easily. I can't get rid of the feeling that I'm implicitly trusting them even more than I do DDG or any other search engine.

Second, the search results are fairly good, and it has some helpful features for reading some results within the results page. This could be seen as EEE like Google's AMP, or a useful feature.

The results page makes me feel claustrophobic at times. Like there's not enough contrast and too much is going on at the same time.

Also note: it barely works without JavaScript. You must have JavaScript enabled to use it. That is a dealbreaker for many.

@josias I haven't heard about this search engine until today. Personally I don't intend to use it because it has too many dealbreakers for me. I'll stick to Searx, either my instance, or another one.

@getimiskon The only reason I'm using Neeva is to try it out and give some observations that others might find helpful.

I'm going to switch back to DDG or another soon.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
There's Life

A family-friendly social network (Mastodon instance) devoted to the new life found in Christ.