This month saw the release of a brand-new search engine called Yep. Created by the search engine optimisation (SEO) tool Ahrefs, it has ambitions of locking horns with Google while offering greater privacy and a fairer deal for content creators.
I’m always excited by the idea of a new search engine. Yes, Google is the best search engine, but I don’t think it quite deserves the market share it has. I think it would be a positive thing for the internet if Google had a serious competitor, so I thought I would give Yep a go.
Yep, which is still in beta mode, instantly strikes me as having a clean yet arty interface on its home page. The makers describe it as a search engine built “from the ground up”, and it has that feel of an independent and creative search engine put together by passionate and inventive people. It looks equally smart on a mobile, so that’s a good start in my book.
However, the second aspect I notice is that Yep is really quite slow. A single-word search like “BBC” or “weather” only takes a fraction of a second, but when I did a search for “what’s the best way to cook a steak”, it took over four seconds. This wait is emphasised by a loading bar flashing across the screen every second. Internet users are notoriously impatient, so Yep will need to work on this.
The search results page could politely be described as “clean”, but in truth it’s a little bare at the moment. While Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and co. offer specific search pages for news, images, maps, videos, shopping and so on, Yep only has ‘All’ and ‘News’ at the moment. The main search results page (All) is entirely text-based, which gives it a bit of a 1990s feel, although there is an information panel on the right. Meanwhile, the news search seems a little off the pace – I searched for “Ukraine” and the most recent story on the first page was from three days ago.
By going into the Yep settings, there is a choice of eight languages to search in, but as far as I can see, there is no option to change your location. Results are therefore heavily US-biased by default – one example of this is that a search for ‘York’ directs to results about New York, whereas Google and Bing work out that a UK-based user is more likely to be looking for the North Yorkshire city. I also found Engage Web almost impossible to find on Yep. I had to search for “Engage Web Ellesmere Port”, and even that took me to our page on Ellesmere Port Town FC rather than our home page or any landing pages.
At the moment, Yep gets a ‘nope’ from me, but it is still in beta mode and these are early days. The idea of protecting privacy and rewarding content creators is noble, so let’s hope it can improve.
For now, Google remains very much the top dog among search engines, and we can help with your rankings, website traffic and sales. Speak to the Engage Web team to find out more.
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