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The Rise of Decentralized Search Engines
Google’s been setting the trends and expectations for online search for many years. This might change with the launch of a new generation of search engines: decentralized solutions that claim to give back control to end users.
That’s because, as people become more aware of how their search habits influence the content they get access to, they’re looking for alternatives that also protect their data.
While the odds of people quitting Google altogether to use alternatives that collect fewer data are low, it’s worth keeping an eye on emerging tools. This way, we can understand better what people expect from search engines and search results, and also be ready to adapt SEO techniques if necessary.
Let’s see what decentralized search engines do and why they could become popular among internet users.
Online Search Powered by Blockchain Technology
Decentralized search engines are powered by blockchain technology and enable internet users to perform online queries privately. Moreover, people who use such tools get rewarded for their activity and, according to developers, obtain better search results. It’s a different model from traditional centralized search engines.
Traditional search engines have full control
Google has built a $150 billion advertising business due to centralizing and controlling data resulting from online queries.
The traditional model has given the power to search engines that control how websites are crawled, indexed, and ranked. They indirectly decide what results we get every time we look for answers online.
Decentralized search engines have no single point of control
A decentralized search engine doesn’t collect and host all data in one place. With no central server to manage and keep track of all queries, actions like crawling, indexing, data mining, and query processing can only occur thanks to a network of peers.
Everything is decentralized, so there’s no one person who owns the end user’s data and sells it to the highest bidder without sharing the profits.
In plain English, decentralized search engines are powered by a community of people who help other people find information online without disclosing data. Whoever chooses to add value to the platform is rewarded accordingly.
What Is Presearch?
Presearch, a Canadian company, is one of the most popular decentralized search engines and aims to disrupt online search with a tool that empowers people with their data and rewards them for their activity.
Presearch provides search choice, quality results, privacy, and rewards to those who want to end the search monopoly and take back the web. They are aware of the risk of just “one company controlling 77% of the market”, which is shaping perceptions and spending habits.
Advantages of Presearch
That’s why Presearch’s ecosystem offers the following advantages over these traditional centralized options:
- Great search results from an open and community-driven search engine.
- Privacy protection as it neither stores nor tracks any searches. All queries are anonymous.
- Financial rewards for community members when operating a search node or referring new members.
- Unique opportunities for marketers and advertisers. Whoever “stakes” the most Presearch tokens on a certain keyword may run their ad against this search term.
Search results from a community-operated, decentralized search engine
Presearch was built on the blockchain and is a series of community-operated search nodes that bring together search results from multiple sources. This search engine’s mission differs from Google, mainly because it relies on people worldwide to function.
The network processes all online queries through a decentralized global index while “generating wealth, preserving privacy and building freedom.”
It also provides a transparent way to access information and protects privacy by fully anonymizing the user.
The system is powered by the Presearch cryptocurrency—a token called PRE. These tokens are rewards to incentivize users to switch to a new search engine and motivate token owners to support the network of nodes with the computing resources necessary to power the Presearch engine. Anyone can volunteer to turn their home computer or server into a node.
Presearch rewards Community Members with Cryptocurrency
Online users who use Presearch to find information receive an amount of PRE tokens per day—up to a cap of eight tokens in every 24 hours. These cryptocurrencies can be used to support the network or can be sold for other cryptocurrencies or USD.
It’s a fairly simple concept, from which users, advertisers, and node operators benefit.
Benefits of Presearch for Marketers and Advertisers
Presearch uses keyword staking to facilitate advertising. Marketers and advertisers can use PRE tokens to bid on keywords to have their ads displayed. Profits go back to the end users and the people who support the network with computing power.
It’s a more transparent approach to advertising that might change the way brands use ads and how people engage with content online.
“We are using blockchain to align the interests of advertisers and users while pioneering an entirely new compensation model for advertising,” stated Colin Pape, Presearch founder and CEO.
How does Presearch Work?
It’s a fairly easy process. Let’s say a user types in a search term into Presearch. Then, the following happens:
- This query is sent to a node gateway server.
- The user’s identifying data (IP address, tracking codes, etc.) is removed. The fully anonymized query is sent to the node.
- The node distributes the query to specific search indexes and other resources (e.g. APIs, databases).
- The search results come back to the node gateway server.
- The node operator gets PRE tokens as a reward.
- Presearch packages the final results, keyword ads, and ad settings.
- The web server receives this information.
- The user’s web browser displays the search result.
- The user receives a PRE token reward.
You can learn more about the process in this introductory video.
It’s still too soon to talk about SEO techniques to rank in Presearch search results. As we’re looking at a completely different search model, it might take a while to identify patterns that would enable a website to see “organic” growth with a decentralized search engine.
However, as we’ve seen above, PPC and advertising can easily find room for growth
Does Presearch Have a Future?
It’s a tiny fraction for now—Google averages 2 trillion global queries daily—but the number of users has been growing consistently.
Early adoption among users, marketers, and web workers has been encouraging.
On Sept 1, 2021, Presearch became one of the default options on the search engine list on Android for the EU, showing that there may well be a market for decentralized services around online search.
In May 2022, Presearch exited the testing phase and started to serve more search queries worldwide.
As of August 19, 2022, Presearch reported it staked 225 million PRE, 11,250 unique keywords, and 73,500 nodes.
This new concept might not endanger Google’s privileged position in the market. However, it may open doors for business opportunities and brands wishing to reach new audiences.
Especially cryptocurrency adopters could use this new platform to promote themselves and experiment with modern, decentralized PPC and advertising tools.
Interested in Investing? Check the Presearch Price Online
You can easily buy or sell Presearch tokens, or simply check the Presearch price chart and market cap online in real-time.
Similarly, you can read their latest news on their Medium blog. No doubt Presearch will be releasing future versions in due course. Watch this space!