A non advertising competitor to Google is set to launch in the United Kingdom.
This comes amid allegations that the Silicon Valley tech company’s online search tools are “actively getting worse.”
Sridhar Ramaswamy, former head of Google’s $200 billion (£177 billion) advertising division, claimed that Neeva did not sell advertising or track its users.
Instead, it makes money by charging a subscription fee.
This package includes additional privacy tools and features and costs $4.95 per month in the United States.
This is used by 600,000 people in the United States. On Thursday, it will launch its free tier in the United Kingdom and Europe.
According to Mr. Ramaswamy, who joined Google in 2003 before founding Neeva in 2019.
The search tools at Google were “less and less about users and more and more a product for advertisers.”
Neeva disables online ad trackers and does not allow paid advertising. It also lacks a shopping tab and does not provide shopping suggestions.
Neeva’s results are more personalised because account holders can tailor their search results to their preferences. The UK paid-for tier is expected to cost £5 per month when it launches.
Users have increasingly complained about Google’s cluttered browsing experience and excessive recommendations that are actually paid for advertising..
He also claimed that Google was abusing its dominance in search. In response to new laws requiring it to pay for news snippets, Google threatened to withdraw its search engine from Australia.
Mr. Ramaswamy said: “To have that controlled by a single company should be terrifying to everyone,”
Google has a market share of more than 90% in some markets, while rival search products such as Microsoft’s Bing or Russia’s Yandex have only a few percentage points.
Google has several small competitors, including the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo and the browser Brave.
Mr. Ramaswamy added: “The ad-supported internet has created vastly misaligned incentives that have made Big Technology monopolies and advertisers richer while exploiting users’ privacy and personal data. It’s time for a new approach to search that puts people first.”
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In some markets, Google has been forced to provide alternatives to its Chrome search browser. In the European Union, it was fined €4 billion for abusing its Android smartphone operating system to benefit its own search engine.
A Google spokesman stated that the company’s advertisements “help businesses of all sizes grow and connect with new customers.”
Source: The Telegraph