Hey, fellow lawyers. Let’s talk about Neeva, a new search experience that is promising “ad-free, private search.”
There’s currently a waitlist. I’m on it.
Today I got a nice message from them saying that all I had to do is take a short quiz and I’d get at least 3 free months of use.
The irony is not lost on me that I’m giving them personal info in order to have a private experience. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.
I promptly answered that, yes, I’m in the US. I use Chrome as my primary browser. And no, I don’t want to spend 30 minutes onboarding… just give me the freaking thing.
And with that little downpayment of information, and blissfully ignorant of what Neeva will require from me in the future, my hope for brighter tomorrow (where I’m not a commodity) waxed ever so slightly.
It’s exciting to me. I don’t want to see ads.
And I don’t want to be tracked.
And neither do you or your clients.
I’ve gone to great lengths to not see ads. I use an ad blocker on my browser. I ignore websites that make me turn it off. I’m not your product (at least I don’t want to think of myself that way).
You and your clients do this too.
Maybe you don’t use ad blocker software. But I guarantee you that you’ve developed browsing strategies and psychological habits to ignore ads. And, in doing so, you’ve helped keep a lot of smart people over at Google, Facebook, and many other tech and media companies trying to stay a step or two ahead of your ad-avoidance strategies.
How much would you pay for a completely private, completely untracked, completely ad-free search experience that produced results on a par with (or dare I say even better than) Google? Off the top of my head, I’d pay at least $50/month. Maybe more if it reliably produced the information that I needed. And if the privacy were real, and not just a marketing ploy.
I’m not sure Neeva will be able to pull it off. Enough revenue? (Surely Neeva investors will want a return on their capital.) Enough information/feedback to make search truly great without tracking? A reliable browser to do it in?
If Neeva pulls it off, here’s what I think will happen:
- People who can afford it will use it instead of Google.
- Paid ads, especially paid search, will cater to a lower income or less sophisticated audience than they already do.
- Answering potential clients’ searches for information about detailed and highly specific questions on your firm’s website will become more important than ever. (It’s already extremely important.)
To sum it up:
If (and it’s a big “if”) Neeva works, firms that collect legal fees directly from clients will find that their best potential clients will only see them if they earn their attention, as their attention will not be so easily bought through pay-per-click and other ads. This means that if you’re a business lawyer, immigration lawyer, criminal or DUI lawyer, divorce lawyer, or any other lawyer with clients that pay for flat or hourly fees — and your firm is dependent on pay-per-click ads — your reachable market may soon shrink.
If you’re not yet a LawLytics member, schedule a demo to learn how our website platform will help you Neeva-proof your firm’s revenue.