When we discuss blockchain, conversations usually surround the tech’s association with cryptocurrency, security and investing. In reality, this new tech is multifaceted and shows major implications for nearly every industry. When it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrency, news outlets can’t stop reporting on the potential promise. That being said, now people are asking big questions like could blockchain actually be the developments needed to create a search engine capable of overtaking google?
Google dictates much of our online searches with “nearly 80 percent of desktop and 95 percent of mobile searches” taking place on the program. That being said, a plethora of alternatives exist. The problem, of course, is that while some people use these tools, most cater to specific niche audiences, because Google has become a Goliath that many of the Davids of search engines aren’t ready to conquer. Enter blockchain. Given its clout in the tech field, many think it could be the answer to building a search engine capable of overcoming Google.
In terms of basic rising user trends, more people results in more reported problems, and Google users experience their fair share of flaws. Privacy remains the primary point of contention with centralized search engines. As BitClave describes, “With centralized search engines, your search data is recorded, your IP address is logged, and tracking cookies are used by centralized search engines to create a digital profile of you so they can target you with ads. Even worse, there’s no way to voluntarily opt out of this invasion of your privacy, and every time you type a keyword into a centralized search engine, you’re giving up information that puts you at risk.” Blockchain acts as the poster-child for privacy and discretion though. While heavily regulated given its infrastructure, the system manages to maintain a level of anonymity for its users.
Now the question becomes, how do we combine blockchain’s private network with a computing system that has the strength of Google? One program still in beta testing called Presearch, thinks they may have found the answer. As Shivdeep Dhaliwal explains, “Using Blockchain technology, Presearch plans to enable users to personalize their experience while staying in control of their data.” The company also incentivizes the switch, rewarding users who change from Google to their program with cryptocurrency coins based on their use. Of course, this still isn’t a perfect system. Questions have arisen about whether hackers may take advantage of the rewards and hack into other user profiles in order to gain more coins once they max out since users are limited to 8 coins a day.
The Presearch program focuses on decentralizing the search engine model, rewarding users for their contribution. As a result, they hope to build a more transparent and unbiased ranking, a problem that Google has made headlines for, for years. Of course, the idea of using blockchain to create a more effective model is one thing and actually doing it another thing.