Yesterday, Dmitry Gerasimenko the CEO of Ahrefs – a beloved SEO toolset provider, announced on Twitter his company will be building a search engine to compete with Google. He knows it sounds crazy, he said that, but he said he wants to do it for two reasons.
(1) The DuckDuckGo reason, to provide a search engine that values your privacy and doesn’t use private data to benefit them.
(2) To share 90% of the profit they make directly with the publishers whose content they show and use in their index. Now that sounds cool!
First one is obviously privacy and it was discussed so much that I will switch to the second one – profit share.
Google is making $100B from its search service. Imagine they suddenly implement 90/10 profit share model sending $90B per year to publishers who create content.
— Dmitry Gerasimenko (@botsbreeder) March 27, 2019
When I wrote about this at Search Engine Land yesterday, I was thinking, wait April Fools Day is right around the corner. But it is too far away to be an April Fools joke, right?
So I posted a poll on Twitter asking if you think Ahrefs can do it? I mean, they have a lot of the tech already. They already crawl the web, index content, discover links, evaluate those links. But they are missing a lot of the tech also – including ranking factors, machine learning, etc. But Dmitry seems earnest about building it out and building it out the right way.
Can they compete? I mean, we saw lots of companies both large and small, well funded and bootstrapped, all try. The only one coming close is Bing, backed by Microsoft, and heck, they are still miles and miles away from being a serious competitor. IAC’s Ask.com failed. Yahoo failed. You can see the full list here. DuckDuckGo is trying but not even close to Bing. Is there room for another player? Can Ahrefs really compete?
Take my poll on Twitter – you may have to click through:
Can @ahrefs build their own search engine that seriously can compete with Google? Take my Twitter poll after reading more at https://t.co/ll7pexPEDF
— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) March 27, 2019
Forum discussion at Twitter.