Ahrefs has unveiled its new search engine: Yep
What exactly is Yep?
Yep is a generic web search engine. Yes, it will soon be available in all countries and in the majority of languages.
Ahrefs is positioning itself as a competitor to Googe. However, over the last two decades, we’ve seen a slew of Google competitors and “killers” come and go. So, for the time being, let’s just call it a Google alternative.
So, what is Yep counting on to become a true Google competitor? There are two issues:
By default, Yep will not collect personal information (e.g., geolocation, name, age, gender). Your Yep search history will not be saved. According to the company, aggregated search statistics will be used to improve algorithms, spelling corrections, and search suggestions.
“In other words,” said Ahrefs CEO Dmytro Gerasymenko, “we do save certain data on searches, but never in a personally identifiable way.” “For example, we will track how many times a word is searched for and the position of the most clicked link.” However, we will not create your profile in order to target advertising to you.”
Yep will make use of a searcher’s:
- Keywords were entered.
- The browser’s language preference was received.
- At the scale of a region or a city, the approximate geographical area at the start of the search (deduced from the IP address).
Ahrefs’ search engine is designed with a 90/10 profit-sharing model, in which Ahrefs shares 90 percent of its advertising profits with content publishers. The reason for this is that Google displays content in its search results without requiring the user to click through to the website. This means that websites are losing visitors. Less traffic means less revenue for many websites.
“Creators who enable search results deserve to be compensated for their efforts,” Gerasymenko said. “We saw how YouTube’s profit-sharing model boosted the entire video-making industry.” We want to encourage the search industry to treat talent fairly by splitting advertising profits 90/10 with content authors.”
Here’s what Yep has to say:
“Assume the world’s largest search engine earns $100 billion per year. Consider what would happen if they gave $90 billion to content creators and publishers.
Wikipedia’s content would most likely earn a few billion dollars per year. They’d be able to stop asking for donations and start paying decent wages to the people who polish their articles.
There would be no need for paywalls or affiliate links, allowing publishers who have been forced to resort to chasing traffic with clickbait articles and stuffing their pages with ads to return to doing investigative pieces and quality analysis. A citizen journalist uncovering corruption while working full-time could be compensated without having to spend time attempting to monetize content.
And the best part? It is not necessary to be an expert to benefit.
Assume you adore pancakes more than anything else in the world. You now have an incentive to pursue your passion – imagine being fairly compensated for sharing creative recipes, publishing photos of your creations, and teaching the rest of the world how to make the fluffiest pancakes ever. Independent creators everywhere will be able to thrive for the first time.”
In theory, all of this sounds great. But Yep is still in its early stages.
DuckDuckGo, which debuted in 2008, receives the same number of searches per year (15.7 billion) as Google does in about two or three days. Even Microsoft Bing, which is owned by Microsoft, the world’s third-largest company by market capitalisation, has failed to significantly reduce Google’s search market share since 2009.
How Does Yep Work?
What really matters is the quality of the search results. That means Yep will have to cater to searchers’ wants and needs. So, how are they going about compiling those search results?
Yep uses AhrefsBot to collect website data. Ahrefs stated that AhrefsBot will be replaced by YepBot in the “near future.”
According to Ahrefs, AhrefsBot visits more than 8 billion webpages every 24 hours, making it the second most active crawler on the web, trailing only Google.
AhrefsBot has been crawling the web for 12 years. They were only using the AhrefsBot data to power their link database and SEO insights.
Every 15 to 30 minutes, the Yep search index is updated. Every day, the company adds 30 million new webpages and removes 20 million.
Other technical information
According to Ahrefs, its Singapore data centre is powered by approximately 1,000 servers, which store and process 100 petabytes of web data (webpages, links between them, and the search index). Each server makes use of at least two 100GB connections. To train large transformer models, some servers employ multiple GPU cards. Ahrefs intends to open a data centre in the United States before the end of the year.
What is Ahrefs ultimate goal?
Gerasymenko stated in 2019 that the goal of its then-hypothetical search engine was to attract the attention of a larger company (e.g., Microsoft) that could afford to scale the idea.
“Given that the platform only accounts for a small portion of the company’s $120 billion in revenue, the organisation could easily revamp Bing under a profit-sharing model.” My prediction is that the positive public sentiment alone will generate a higher ROI than existing ad revenue. If we are successful, Google will finally face some long-overdue competition in search.”
Dmytro Gerasymenko, CEO of Ahrefs, “Investor money vs. public interest: Did Google fail to build a non-evil platform?”
Yep, search results
Yep’s search engine result pages (SERPs) are simple. It isn’t quite at the level of the old days of ten blue links, but it’s close.
You have the option of using web or news results. On the right side of some SERPs, there are also “knowledge” boxes with content about your search pulled from Wikipedia.
Yep also allows you to try your same search on other search engines such as Google, Bing, Mojeek, and DuckDuckGo.
Notably, unlike Yep, the first organic result for all four other search engines is Apple’s official WWDC page. That is a failure. And, with the exception of Mojeek, Yep’s results are significantly worse than those of its competitors (which are pretty atrocious).
The [Apple WWDC] search results for Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo are much more recent, with links to news stories published in the last few minutes or hours by CNN, CNBC, MacRumors, TechCrunch, and others.
Bottom line: Yep’s simplified search results aren’t a deal-breaker. And if you don’t care about new results, these may suffice – especially since this is a broad search term. However, Yep clearly has some work ahead of it before it can be considered a serious alternative and persuade searchers to use it instead of Google – or help any creators earn more than pocket change.