TechCrunch: SEO tool Ahrefs invests $60M in building creator-friendly search engine, ‘Yep’

Founded by Ukrainian search engine toolkit company Ahrefs raised $60 million for its own search engine on the sly, called Yep. The company re-invested own revenues from its paid subscriptions.

  • It’s a unique solution, running its own search index, rather than relying on APIs from Google or Bing.
  • The company has more than 1,000 servers already spun up, storing more than 100 petabytes of data.
  • Ahrefs has been crawling and storing data about the web for 12 years to provide its customers with its core product: an SEO toolset. The search results are powered by its own crawler — AhrefsBot — which the company claims visits more than 8 billion web pages every 24 hours.
  • The company claims it currently has $100 million worth of revenues per year from its more than 50,000 customers, and has shunned external investment so far.
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. We do save certain data on searches, but never in a personally identifiable way. For example, we will track how many times a word is searched for and the position of the link getting the most clicks. But we won’t create your profile for targeted advertising. – Dmytro Gerasymenko, Ahrefs founder and CEO

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