April Fool’s is a day when the internet is full of gimmicks and announcements made by brands to let people know that they do have a sense of humour.

In the SEO community too, we see such tricks and treats. This week we came to know about Ahref’s announcement to compete with Google Search. First, we took as yet-another April Fool’s prank but when it was too much detailed to be a prank.

Ahrefs Plans To Take Google By Horn With Its Own Search Engine

On March 27th, the CEO of Ahref, Dmitry Gerasimenako announced on his Twitter account that his company is working on a search engine to compete with Google. Although he knows it sounds crazy, he justified his action with these two reasons:

  1. DuckDuckGo is already doing it and working on the same principle he wants a search engine that respects privacy and does not use private data of users to benefit from it.
  2. To share 90% of the profits made by them from the search engine with the publishers, whose content will be indexed and showed in the result.

We really appreciate Gerasimenako’s move to and do think they might have the potential. The company already uses a lot of tech to crawl the web, discover links, index content and evaluate links for their Ahref SEO tool.

That being said, Google is a mammoth and its machine learning, ranking algorithm, etc. operates on an entirely different level. Think of how many other search engines tried to compete with Google and had failed. AOL and Yahoo are the two most relevant examples of where search engines lack. Bing is only closest competitor which is backed by Microsoft but it is still miles and miles away from being any real threat to Google. DuckDuckGo is not even close to Bing let alone Google.

But still, we hope for the best for Ahref’s endeavour.

Moving on to another general discussion from Google, the 301 redirects you for your web properties do not count as links. According to Google’s John Mueller, the 301 redirects are primarily used for canonical purposes by Google. Here’s what he has to say in his tweet:

“No, we wouldn’t count that [a 301 redirect] as a link.” “It’s more a helper with picking the canonical URL across a set of URLs,” he added.

He further added, “However, links to the redirecting URL could be seen as links to the redirection target.”

So, if you still count the 301 redirects as backlinks, then its time you ditch them altogether.