When you use a typical search engine to learn about the world, it stores your search results and information to help them understand your personality and provide more accurate and personalized search results.
This works great in your favor, as over time, the time you spend trying to find the correct search result is drastically reduced. However, there is a catch.
A top search engine platform like Google processes 3.5 million search queries every day and controls almost 84% of the search engine market.
With information like your age, gender, marital status, income, personal interests, pages you interact or visit, and other data points, the company also leverages this information to provide targeted ads. It can even sell this information to brands.
This makes traditional search engines prone to privacy concerns and data ownership issues.
Blockchain can provide a solution, offering a new paradigm for search engine providers to help users take control of their data.
Using a decentralized search engine, users can easily control the information getting captured and get greater flexibility on how it is used. This blog will explore how web3 and blockchain explorer can be used in the search engine game.
How Blockchain-based Search Engines Work?
To understand blockchain-based search engines, we must first understand how blockchain works. A blockchain is an open and distributed ledger that records each transaction in real time.
To ensure that the information shared in this ledger is immutable and protected, it is handled by a peer-to-peer network. Records are spread across the system instead of being recorded in a single place. Thus, every device or block connected to this network contributes to the information being added.
Blockchain-based search engines work by leveraging this decentralized nature of the blockchain, which is a distributed ledger maintained by a network of nodes worldwide.
When someone searches for a particular keyword on this blockchain-based search engine, the algorithm scans through all the distributed ledgers to show the results to the user. These details are then encrypted and stored in the distributed ledger.
Since the key usage of the blockchain has been in the cryptocurrency space, the first use of this mechanism for search engines was focused on helping users find specific transactions and blocks on the blockchain.
Called the blockchain explorer, the tool allowed users to view and interact with the contents of a blockchain, including blocks, transactions, and addresses.
Users would typically gain information like the current state of the blockchain, number of blocks, number of transactions, specific details about the transaction, such as the amount transferred or the sender and receiver, and other data around the blockchain.
This cryptocurrency search engine can also be expanded to other use cases and create a secure, private, and accurate platform similar to traditional search engines.
Advantages of Blockchain Search Engines
Using a blockchain-based decentralized search engine has several benefits, such as:
1. Higher Privacy and Better Data Security
Traditional search engines continuously collect and track user information to provide contextual results and use it for advertising purposes. Unfortunately, users are often unaware of this and cannot fully control the data stored and tracked with these search engines.
Blockchain-based distributed ledger technology allows data to be stored and managed by the user themselves. This makes it impossible to be tampered with or manipulated, while users can protect their private data.
2. Exceptional Transparency
Since a central authority does not control decentralized search engines, users can receive accurate and unbiased information.
Traditional search engines often provide results based on higher bids on particular keywords, which is impossible on the blockchain. Hence, search results are authentic and untampered, and without any manipulation.
3. Offers Incentivization
Blockchain-based search engines also offer rewards to users for contributions to increase user contribution in improving search results. This can include verifying the quality of a search result or helping add context to a search term.
This helps make the results more efficient and improves the quality of the search results over time.
Current Challenges in Blockchain Search Engines
Despite its numerous benefits, blockchain search engines are not without any challenges that can hamper their widespread adoption. Some of the key challenges include the following:
1. Lack of Scalability Options
The key challenge of blockchain search engines is their limited scalability options. As more users join the network, the size of the blockchain becomes increasingly prominent and, thus, complex to manage and maintain.
As a result, developers will need to implement sharing, layer two solutions, side chains, and other means to handle these queries more effectively and be scalable to allow for a larger audience to use them.
2. Complex Usability
Using a blockchain search engine is not as easy as creating a simple search query and generating the results. In addition, it is difficult for a non-technical user and needs some understanding of the technical aspects of the blockchain to use.
This challenge makes it a barrier to adoption, and developers need to implement user-friendly interfaces that are easy to navigate and understand.
3. Gaps in Search Quality
Traditional search engines are way ahead in the game regarding a contextual and clear understanding of user queries, given that years of innovation and upgrades have gone in to give us the results we get today.
Blockchain-based search engines are relatively new and are nowhere close to having the kind of data and algorithms that traditional search engines have. This creates gaps in the quality of search results, as there is no central authority to verify the accuracy and quality of the results.
To solve this challenge, developers will need to improve on using reputation systems, use AI, and require a variety of historical data points to improve the accuracy of the results.
Conclusion: How Blockchain Technology Can Disrupt the Search Engine Industry?
To conclude, the benefits of a web3 search engine are hard to ignore, and we can look forward to a future where blockchain will revolutionize the search engine space.
With their decentralized networks, blockchain-based search engines offer greater transparency, security, and better control of their data. This ensures that the issues pertaining to organizations and tech companies snooping into the user’s personal data are resolved.
However, this technology has drawbacks like scalability, usability, and search quality issues. Therefore, developers and tech companies planning to leverage this opportunity must evolve and work on these challenges and build a more user-friendly blockchain explorer that can keep pace with the efficiency and ease of use of a traditional search engine.
With this, the industry is ripe for disruption, and the best blockchain explorer is sure to usher in the next wave of digital innovation in the search engine space.