Well, this is straight from the “didn’t see it coming” file, but research motor toolkit company Ahrefs just informed me they’ve been working on their very own lookup motor on the sly, investing $60 million into its personal lookup motor, dubbed Yep. It is an exceptional offering, operating its own research index rather than relying on Google or Bing APIs.
What about the name? I dunno, Yep appears really ridiculous to me, but at the very least the name is one character less than Bing, the other important search engine I’ll only ever use by accident. Aside from the name, Yep is forging a new path in the world of internet marketing by pledging to provide 90 percent of its ad revenue to content creators. The pitch is really fashionable:
SEO tool Ahrefs invests $60M in building creator-friendly search engine, ‘Yep’ https://t.co/AwgKkzRm9V by @Haje
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) June 3, 2022
“Assume that the world’s largest research engine generates $100 billion each year. Consider what would happen if they paid $90 billion to content producers and publishers,” the business says, painting a picture of the future it wants to live in. “Wikipedia’s content is likely to generate several billion dollars every year.” They’d be able to stop asking for donations and start paying the people who polish their content well.”
The struggle for the bootstrapped firm Ahrefs is an impressively quixotic windmill. Its CEO elaborates on why this makes sense to him:
“Creators who generate research advantages are likely to be compensated for their efforts.” We witnessed how YouTube’s profit-sharing design helped the whole video-making industry prosper. We aim to offer a push to managing expertise substantially in the search sector,” says Ahrefs founder and CEO, Dmytro Gerasymenko, and proceeds to make the point that his research engine is designed to be closely privacy-ahead. “We do save specific query details, but rarely in an individually identifiable fashion.” For example, we will look at how many times a word is searched for and the position of the backlink with the most hits. However, we will not create your profile for the specific promotion.”
It may appear a little idealistic, but dang it, that is what got me enthusiastic about Yep in the first place. It reflects the faintest of echoes from a world wide web that is far more benign and promising than the social-media poisoned quagmire of turmoil and false information in which we frequently find ourselves nowadays.
I was surprised to learn that the company decided to set up its own data centers – it claims to have more than 1,000 servers up and running, containing more than 100 petabytes of data. It’s an unusual option, given that cloud-based solutions are typically more adaptable, but Gerasymenko has a strategy for that as well, claiming that they are significantly more expensive for this significant infrastructure, with a goal of hundreds or thousands of significant-close servers operating at full load 24/7.
Of course, the project did not begin with a search engine – the company already had a large dataset available from its day-to-day operations. For the past 12 years, Ahrefs has been crawling and storing information on the internet in order to provide its prospects with its main product: a suite of search engine marketing tools. The research findings are powered by its own crawler, AhrefsBot, which the company claims searches more than 8 billion web pages every 24 hours. The company guarantees that the new research engine will be available in all international locations and in the majority of languages.
So, $60 million without a decision on external investment? That’s a lot of money – where did it all come from? The company clarifies that its revenue from compensated subscriptions was reinvested. The organization claims it now generates $100 million in revenue per year from its more than 50,000 customers and has avoided considerable outside spending. The company employs 90 people and is headquartered in Singapore. The hunt for motor tasks features a team of 11 people, including details scientists, backend engineers, and front-end developers. According to the corporation, Gerasymenko is actively involved in the development of the research motor.