Ahrefs reveals his new search engine: Yes


Did you forget that the SEO toolkit provider Ahrefs announced plans to build its own search engine 2019?

If you answered “yes”, you are not alone.

Ahrefs has been busy over these three years, investing $ 60 million of his own money to launch a new search engine called Yep.

What is it?

yes is a general purpose search engine. Yes, it will soon be available in all countries and in most languages.

Ahrefs positions it as Google’s competitor. However, we’ve seen a lot of Google competitors and Google “killers” in the last two decades. So, for now, let’s just call it Google’s alternative.

So what is Yep counting on to become a true Google alternative? two things:


Yep will not collect personal information by default (e.g. geolocation, name, age, gender). Your Yep search history will not be saved anywhere.

What Yep will rely on is pooled search statistics to improve algorithms, spelling corrections and search suggestions, the company said.

“In other words, we store some data when searching, but never in a way that could be identified,” said Ahrefs CEO Dmytro Gerasymenko. “For example, we’ll track how many times a word was searched for and the position of the link that received the most clicks. But we will not create your profile for targeted advertising. “

What Yep will use is the seeker:

  • Keywords entered.
  • Language setting received from the browser.
  • Approximate geographical area at the source of the search within the region or city (derived from the IP address).

Profit sharing

The Ahrefs search engine plan is a 90/10 profit sharing model where Ahrefs shares 90% of its profits from advertising with content publishers.

Reason: Google displays content in its search results without actually having to click on the site. This means that sites are losing traffic. And for many sites, less traffic means less revenue.

“Creators who make search results possible deserve to be paid for their work,” Gerasymenko said. “We’ve seen how the entire video-sharing industry has thrived on YouTube’s profit-sharing model. By sharing the profits from advertising 90/10 with content authors, we want to encourage fair treatment of talent in the search industry. ”

Here’s what Yep says:

“Let’s say the world’s largest search engine earns $ 100 billion a year. Now imagine giving $ 90 billion to content creators and publishers.

Wikipedia would probably make a few billion dollars a year with its content. They could stop asking for donations and start paying decent wages to people who polish their items.

There would no longer be a need for paid walls and associated links, so publishers who had to resort to catching traffic with click-to-call articles and fill their pages with ads could return to investigative work and quality analysis. A citizen journalist who detects corruption on the side of regular employment could receive compensation without having to spend time monetizing content.

And the best thing? You don’t have to be an expert to benefit.

Let’s say you love pancakes more than anything else in the world. Now you have the impetus to develop that passion – imagine being paid fairly to share creative recipes, post photos of your creations, and teach the rest of the world how they too can make the most fluffy pancakes ever. Independent creators everywhere will finally be able to flourish. “

All of this sounds nice in theory. But Yep is just beginning.

Launched in 2008, DuckDuckGo receives as many searches per year (~ 15.7 billion) as Google receives in about two or three days. Even Microsoft Bing – owned by Microsoft, the third largest company on the planet by market capitalization – has failed to significantly reduce Google’s market share since 2009.

How Yep works

The quality of the search is really important. This means that Yep will have to meet the wishes and needs of searchers. So how will they put these search results together?


Yep collects site data using AhrefsBot. Ahrefs said he intends to replace AhrefsBot with YepBot in the “near future”.

AhrefsBot visits more than 8 billion websites every 24 hours, making it the second most active spider on the web, behind Google alone, Ahrefs said.

AhrefsBot has been crawling the web for 12 years. They just used AhrefsBot data to power a database of links and insights into SEO,


The Yep search index is updated every 15 to 30 minutes. The daily company adds 30 million websites and drops 20 million.

Other technical details

Ahrefs said his data center in Singapore is powered by about 1,000 servers that store and process 100 petabytes of web data (web pages, links between them and search index). Each server uses at least 2 x 100 GB connections. Some servers use multiple GPU cards to train large models of transformers. Before the end of the year, Ahrefs plans to open a US-based data center.

Ahrefs the ultimate goal?

In 2019, Gerasymenko said the goal of his then-hypothetical search engine was to attract the attention of a larger company (e.g. Microsoft) that could afford to expand the idea.

“Given that the platform generates only a fraction of the company’s $ 120 billion in revenue, the organization could easily revamp Bing on a profit-sharing model. I anticipate that only a positive public opinion would have a higher return on investment than existing ad revenue. If we succeed in our efforts, Google will finally get long-outdated search competition. “

Ahrefs CEO Dmytro Gerasymenko, “Investor money versus public interest: has Google failed to build a platform that is not evil?

I search results

Yep’s Search Results (SERP) pages are minimal. It’s not quite at the level of the old 10 blue links, but it’s not far from that.

Your options are the results of the web or news.

To the right of some SERPs are also “knowledge” fields that contain content taken from Wikipedia about your search.

Here is an example of a search [apple wwdc]:

You will notice that the Apple Events page gets six links to websites. Many other results also have additional links below the search snippet.

And news results for [apple wwdc]? Well, something seems to have gone wrong:

Yep also gives you the option to try the same search with other search engines – Google, Bing, Mojeek and DuckDuckGo.

Note: The first organic result for all four other search engines is Apple’s official WWDC site, unlike Yep. This is a failure. And Yep’s results are much more subdued than all the competitors it points to, except for Mojeek’s (which are pretty awful).

By comparison, they look like this:

The [Apple WWDC] The results for Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo are much more recent and include links to news in the last few minutes or hours published by CNN, CNBC, MacRumors, TechCrunch and others.

Bottom line: Yes, a scaled-down version of search results is not a violation. And if you’re not interested in new results, these results may be acceptable – especially if it’s a broad search term. Clearly, however, Yep still has some work to do before it becomes a serious alternative and convinces searchers to use it through Google – or helps any creator earn more than just a penny.

More is coming

I turned to Ahrefs to answer several questions about their search engine. When these answers arrive, I will update.

New to Search Engine Land

About the author

Danny Goodwin is the senior editor of Search Engine Land. In addition to writing daily about SEO, PPC and more for Search Engine Land, Goodwin also manages a list of Search Engine Land experts. It also helps program our conference series, SMX – Search Marketing Expo. Prior to joining Search Engine Land, Goodwin was executive editor of the Search Engine Journal, where he led editorial initiatives for the brand. He was also an editor at Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at a number of major search conferences and virtual events, and has gained his expertise from a number of publications and podcasts.


Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!