Ahrefs has invested almost $60M to build Yep, a new search engine that plans to support the creator economy by sharing 90% of ad revenue with creators. Yep is still in the early stages of development, but aims to improve the quality of search results and respect users’ privacy to compete with industry leaders like Google.
Although it’s still in beta, we did take a look at the new search engine to see what it got to offer today. For now, here’s a peek at the main features that make it so attractive for the creator community.
What is Yep?
Yep is a user-friendly search engine that plans to support content creators and pay them for their unique work. They want to compete by offering great content and privacy throughout the search experience.
Ahrefs has its own crawler and indexer to stay away from Google and Bing’s APIs. The AhrefsBot is the Second most active after Google, crawling 5 million pages per minute. So, you can imagine they already have the data needed to build a robust search engine. But, how can they compete with the giants?
The Yep team states a clear mission: to be the answer to “a search model that’s arguably unfair”.
They want to support high-quality content by giving 90% of their profits to the creators of such content, while also offering private and unbiased searching.
How does Yep support unique content?
This project is exciting because it gives quality content a chance to rise to the top. The team sees it as an investment in content creators who can produce unique, user-friendly content aligned with search intent.
“There would be no more need for paywalls and affiliate links, so publishers who’ve had to resort to chasing traffic with clickbait articles and filling their pages with ads would be able to get back to doing investigative pieces and quality analysis. “
In this ideal scenario, creators could now focus on providing the highest value to users and helping Yep become an accurate search engine.
How do creators get paid?
“As a user of Yep, you’re automatically contributing to the community and thanking knowledge organizers and creators with actual dollars”is what the profit share page says.
It looks like Yep will work like YouTube, with creators receiving a share of advertising earnings. We saw how this worked well for the platform and for creators who can now make a living from content creation. However, a key difference between Yep and other profit-sharing models is that Yep plans to share 90% of its ad revenue with content creators.
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The Yep team is now working on improving the search results and building their team in public, so chances are that we need to wait until the official launch to know more about profit-sharing.
Considering that the algorithm is still in diapers and the new Ahrefs search engine has not yet been released, it is too soon to fully understand how this creator-centered system will work. But it is clear that they want to contribute to creators by paying them for their work.
The Ahrefs team is committed to differentiating from its competitors by respecting users’ privacy more. They don’t use third-party search indexes and don’t save information that can be used to identify users. They state they don’t collect personal information, search history, or IP, and don’t work with cookies by default. Yep works based on your search query, browser language, and geographical approximation deducted by your IP.
This means they look at your IP to estimate the region where the search has been made, but they don’t store your IP or search history to improve their search results. Only non-personal data is used.
Will Yep be able to improve search results without storing personal data? It’s probably too soon to know, but it’s definitely a great approach to building trust and sharing company culture from the ground.
Take a look inside the Yep search engine
Yep is still in the beta stage, but we did take a look at the main features that have to offer to us today. Apart from the fact they’re still building it and still need a lot of work, we can see they are working on building their own structure to highlight results:
It seems like it pretends to work as a sort of featured snippet. For this particular query, the information on the box on the right comes from a Wikipedia page that was found in the second position. Results are similar for queries that include “directory”.
You can expect to see big differences with competitors’ SERPs, but the results on Yep seem promising if you keep in mind that this is a pre-release version. The Ahrefs team says this is a “progress report“, and not an “official launch” of the search engine they announced last year.