A handful of search engines dominate the market. There’s Google Search, which dominates in most regions, Bing, Baidu, and Microsoft’s Yandex.
Core functionality is shared between search engines. You can perform searches, use certain filters, or browse only specific content type results. All these search engines have in common to generate income through advertising.
Privacy-focused search engines began to gain popularity following 9/11 and the Snowden revelations. Search engines like DuckDuckGo or Startpage have appeared, promising no user tracking and less advertising. These search engines use indexes from major search engines, for example, Startpage uses Google’s index and DuckDuckGo Bing.
Only a few search engines use their own index, the European ones Qwant search engine being one of them.
Now it seems that another type of search engine is gaining popularity. Search engines that are not free, but require a monthly subscription. Although this may not seem like a good deal at first glance, since all other search engines are free to use, using these search engines has its advantages as well.
Therefore, search results pages display only search results and no advertisements. Neeva claims that 40% of the results are filled with advertisements on major search engines.
Both of the services mentioned offer a limited free plan in terms of the number of searches. Neeva offers 50 free searches per week, Kagi 50 free searches per month. These limits are removed for paying customers.
Kagi and Neeva support additional features that users may find useful. Kagi, for example, supports changing the weight of individual websites in search, displaying discussions or lists in relevant results, targeted searches through lens features, or website information that includes the use of ads or trackers in search results.
Neeva also comes with a set of features, including search result customization and options to prioritize news sources and retailers over others.
The omission of advertising comes at a cost: Neeva Premium is available for $4.95 per month ($4.16 if paid annually), Kagi for $10 per month.
Neeva uses data from a variety of sources, including Microsoft Bing, and its own search engine and indexer to populate its results. Kagi pulls its data from Google, Bing and others.
Would you pay for search engines without ads?
Search engines that are not ad-supported offer several advantages over ad-fueled competition. Search results focus on content, while search engines like Google have added more and more ads to search results. Sometimes all users see when searching Google are ads above the fold.
Commercial search engines fund operations through subscriptions. The question is, how many internet users are willing to pay a monthly fee to get ad-free searches?
Now you: would you pay for a search engine without ads?