Neeva’s ‘FastTap Search’ function presents direct hyperlinks as an alternative of a outcomes web page

Neeva, the ad-free, private search engine, is launching a feature that allows searchers to type queries directly into their browser’s URL field or to display a drop-down menu with direct links on the Neeva app, the company said on Wednesday .

FastTap search examples. Image: Neeva.

Called FastTap Search, it enables users to bypass traditional search engine results pages and go straight to a website using the list of links generated based on the query.

What is Neeva? Announced in June 2020 and officially launched about a year later, Neeva was founded by Sridhar Ramaswamy, the former SVP of Ads at Google. Unlike public search engines (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.) that generate revenue by showing users ads, Neeva works on a subscription model where users pay $ 4.95 per month. In return, Neeva offers an ad-free, customizable search experience.

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FastTap is made possible by Neeva’s unique business model. “A feature like FastTap Search cannot coexist with a search platform that relies on advertising revenue,” Ramaswamy said in the announcement.

This is because most search engines rely on advertising to generate revenue: keeping users on the results page – for example, by adding search features that make it unnecessary to click on a result to find the information you want – usually means that search engines can show more ads and bring in more advertising revenue in return.

Since Neeva does not show ads and the users directly support the search engine, Neeva is free to create such functions without affecting the bottom line.

Why we care. This feature can become important if Neeva can increase its share of the search market or if Neeva is popular with your particular audience. While this is a reinterpretation of the search results page, it is still a results page and there is still a top position, which means algorithms have to determine relevance and assign that position to a page, just like other search engines. However, because FastTap Search shows few results, the brands or publishers that can achieve this top spot gain significant visibility, which can be important when you’re in a highly competitive sector.

At this time, it is unlikely that this feature would affect our workflow or challenge the leading search engines in any meaningful way. However, FastTap Search introduces a new, simplified way of looking at how users search and how results are displayed. Google tried something similar with the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, which takes users straight to the top result for their search query, but the company’s strategy now seems to be on the other end of the spectrum. Search On’s MUM-related announcements in September gave us a preview of search results pages that lead to even more search results, with featured snippets that can resolve queries without users clicking through. If the two search engines had a similar market share, we could figure out whether users would prefer a simplified experience like the one offered by Neeva’s FastTap or a more robust search results page like what Google seems to be.

About the author

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George Nguyen is an editor at Search Engine Land, specializing in organic search, podcasting, and e-commerce. His background is journalism and content marketing. Before entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host, and public school teacher.

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