There are a few search engines in the world that are responsible for how we view the World Wide Web. Between Bing, Yahoo, and of course the giant Google, you don’t have nor need anywhere else to scour the internet for the information you need whether it be sports, music, news, entertainment or anything in-between.

Even so, there’s still smaller search engines that try to compete and put their names in the ring but trying to gain notoriety in this industry when you’re not doing anything majorly different can be vastly difficult with such a big shadow over you from these companies, Google to be more specific. That’s what makes Yep so interesting. Not only is it looking like a soon to be possible contender with these giants but if they’re successful, Yep could change this industry at its core.

What is Yep?

Yep is a search engine that’s created by Ahrefs, one of the leading search engine optimization toolkit companies in the world. What’s the big deal you ask? Well this search engine, unlike other startups, doesn’t rely on any Google or Bing API. It’s a completely new and unique search index that’s looking to pay 90% of its ad revenue to the creators of the content on it.

Freelancers and companies alike are well-aware of the help Ahref gives when it comes to search engine audits and getting help with digital marketing campaigns but this was a huge surprise to everyone that they themselves would take their powerful toolset and create their own search engine.

For all the search engine optimization experts, we know this isn’t some small feat to create a search engine and want to compete for the content share. It’s amazing to hear a company is willing to share 90% of the audience it brings in but 90% of 1,000 users split between millions of content creators isn’t much. That’s why the idea that it’s being created by Ahrefs is interesting. Ahrefs has made its name in the industry for the data they hold when it comes to search engine analytics, they’ve been in business over 12 years and can proudly boast that the Ahrefs Bots search somewhere around 8 billion web pages a day. So it doesn’t seem too far-fetched that someone who’s constantly seeing the flaws in search engine’s would try to join the industry. They definitely didn’t skim the budget when spinning up this project either.

The $60 Million Dollar Gamble - or The 60 Million Dollar Calculated Reach?

$60 million dollars invested without any external companies or sources. That’s a big gamble in an industry that’s hard to be a part of. They have over 1,000 servers, more than 100 petabytes of data, one of the strongest and most resilient search bots on the web, and have no plan of failing, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see them succeed. But that’s also me wishing for an ant to beat Goliath. 

Fact of the matter is, Google controls over 90% of the search market worldwide and the next big competitor is Bing at a smidge over 3%. So finding the guts to follow your dream in this industry is quite difficult but Gerasymenko doesn’t seem to think he’ll fail and really you have to wonder what’s failure in this market. The search engine industry is estimated to be worth around 95 billion dollars, so even if Ahrefs gets to 2% and beats out Yahoo to be second to Bing, they’ll be raking in almost a whopping 3 billion!

They’ve Watched Search Engines Closely, Now They’re Looking To Expose The Flaws

 They’ve watched and studied for years and believe the idea of profit sharing will be what brings a change to the search engine industry and even if they never give Google a run for their money, it’s not crazy to think that search engine’s like Microsoft’s Bing or Yahoo shouldn’t be worried that Yep is the next big thing that creators use simply because they’re valued more there.

The creator and CEO of Ahrefs, Dmytro Gerasymenko said “Creators who make search results possible deserve to receive payments for their work. We saw how YouTube’s profit-sharing model made the whole video-making industry thrive. Splitting advertising profits 90/10 with content authors, we want to give a push towards treating talent fairly in the search industry”. This of course is a very exciting thing to hear for the millions of people who are continuously creating content and hoping for click funnels to work or get a little money from audience targeting but giving this new search engine more of a structure like content creators for YouTube, Facebook, or TikTok can give users more reason to spread content on the internet and not just on social media.

With social media surfacing like TikTok and Snapchat, there’s a war going on for creators' attention and understandably that attention comes down to who pays more for what they’re giving. YouTube (which is owned by Google), Facebook, and Twitter are following suit and finding the optimal point of paying these creators so they have the majority of content and it looks like Ahrefs is going to take that same battle to the search engine market with an unbelievable markup at 90% for their content creators.

How do I start earning with Yep?

At the moment there isn’t a way to join Yep outside of a career to be on the team. They have shared a little on how they plan to pay creators on their platform though. 

As an example, Yep would be paid $100 and they’ll take $10 and then put $90 in a distribution fund that’s for the creators. Now they haven’t exactly spoken on the details but it seems like they’ll have creators signup with an account, so they can have an identity verification of some kind, and then have the creators put a tag of some sort on their web pages so they can track the analytics and pay the creators properly.

They’re not steering away from any creators either. Whether you’re an agency, blog, brand, publisher, or just a random creator, they’re looking to have you get paid for the content you put out into the world. An example from a Yep spokesperson is:

“We also consider the option when a content platform like Medium will be adding their users' revenue share ID to articles but also their own ID. For example, some platform X can be taking 20% of revenue share to themselves for hosting service and give 80% to the author. So they will put these rules in markup and we will follow.”


Only time will tell but the optimism that Gerasymenko and his team has is contagious and everyone’s watching and waiting to join and see just how great this will be or if it’ll just be a $60 million plunder that we try not to talk about.