On 27th March 2019, Dmytro Gerasymenko, Ahrefs CEO, announced that they were working on a general-purpose search engine to compete with Google. He claimed that their search engine would fix the major issues that Google leaves unresolved.
He continued to elaborate on the issues in the comments, addressing two main concerns.
He proceeded to explain with a live example of Wikipedia, a content website. Wikipedia, a top player, still has to request its readers to contribute to its cause. Imagine a world in which Google had a profit share model. Since Wikipedia ranks 7th on the top websites worldwide, it would have made a killing from the deal.
Google users like having their questions answered through the snippets, especially if it means they don’t have to go through the complete content. But this means the users will read those solutions off Google and not visit the website where the content originated. It means fewer website visits and reduced revenue for the website creators.
In the past 3 years, Ahrefs has invested around 60 million USD into its search engine. It is known as Yep. Yep Beta is now available in most regions. It will soon be available in all countries and in multiple languages.
There was a time when Yahoo! was ahead of Google in all ways. But Google caught up to Yahoo with careful planning and sound technical knowledge. It won the race of being the superior search engine. Since then, Google Search Engine has been a victor that no one has managed to beat.
Although Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo are still in the picture, they are rarely used. Users favour Google for several reasons, including its continuous drive to offer visitors relevant results and the familiar user interface.
On June 4, Ahrefs CEO stated that it won’t be using Google or Bing API. It will use its own Ahrefs Bots to crawl and index websites to promote a secure and private search experience.
While Yep Beta has been made available to the internet, it still has a long way to go. A simple search for yep.com provides no results. Instead, it prompted the user to try searching on other search engines.
On the second go, the search engine does not include its own website in the search results. Compared to Google, which lists Google.com on the top.
A search for the keyword: iPhone generates the following results with a quick informative knowledge panel on the side.
At this point, Yep has a very simple interface and provides minimal results. It has a long way to go before it comes and delivers on the promise of being a strong competitor against Google.
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