Blockchain Based Search Engine
Oct 22, 2021by, Abil Manoj
There isn’t a single day in our life without searching for anything in Google. It has become an integral part of our life. Although these systems are perfect from a functional level, the privacy issues that surround these centralized systems are a concern for many people.
Blockchain-based search engines are a method to overcome this issue. Unlike central search engines, no central agency has authority over your personal information since they are distributed across multiple networks.
The data is stored in the blockchain by encrypting data. Some search engines also provide the users with a private key and its corresponding public key is used to encrypt data related to a particular user.
How does it work?
The basic building block of a blockchain is the distributed ledger. The beauty of this is that this ledger is not fully controlled by a centralized system/person. The control or the authority to make a change or log details into this ledger is spread across peer networks. So when new data has to be fed into this ledger, all peers must give consent or in other words, this action takes place with the knowledge of the systems connected to this peer network.
In the case of BBSE, when someone searches for something in the BBSE, it scours the ledger to check for the searched data. The details of the search are also encrypted and stored on the ledger.
Since the ledger is maintained by a network of computers, each of them contributes to the searching and distribution of ledger results.
What are its benefits?
- The main advantage of BBSE is that your data is not being “sold” in contrast to what happens in the current scenario. The anonymity of the users using this system is one of the key highlights.
- Also, it is neutral in nature. This means the data that is being displayed as a result of your search is primarily based on the query that is being searched instead of the n-number that depicts which results are to be displayed to the user in the centralized search systems.
- This is a transparent system. Hence anyone in this network can witness what exactly is going on, like what is being searched by people and all. But the anonymity of the user initiating the search will still remain anonymous.
- With BBSE, the focus is on the community’s overall interests only. There are no large corporations with selfish motives for running search engines.
Case Study: Presearch
- Presearch is a decentralized search engine that compensates users for searching on their platform with a cryptocurrency called Presearch coins (PRE Tokens) which is an ERC-20 Token.
- Presearch takes a non-traditional approach by utilizing an open-source, decentralized blockchain index that is curated primarily by the community similar to Reddit, and supported by machine learning algorithms.
- Presearch provides the option to search using their custom build search engine or choose between different search engines(including Google). But inorder to get PRE Tokens, one has to use their custom search engine.
- When a person makes a search in Presearch, he is rewarded with PRE Tokens. For each search, a person gets 0.25 PRE Tokens.
- 8 PRE Tokens is the maximum threshold that a person can get in a single day.
- The current value of PRE Token is $0.05.
- The tokens can be withdrawn to any ERC-20 supported coin via community build exchanges.
- One has to earn at least 1000 Tokens in order to withdraw/sell them.
- These tokens can be purchased by advertisers. These advertisers need these PRE Tokens to be able to post an ad in Presearch. An advertiser can publish 4 ads using 1 Token in Presearch.
- Presearch shows users advertisements based on the keyword or content that they have currently searched for instead of displaying ads based on studying the interests and likes of a user and by creating a digital fingerprint of the user like what Google does.
What to expect?
BBSE’s in the future can pose a big threat to some of the major search engine players. But that future still remains obscure. Inorder to make a big impact, BBSE’s has to find ways in order to compete with some of the benefits offered by central search engines.
One such thing is monetary incentives. Monetary rewards for publishers and users were at the heart of the growth of Google, Bing, and Yahoo. So they have to find some way to overcome that.
Plus another reason for the big success of search engines giants like google is their upper hand in AI. The quality of content that google delivers with the help of their AI and deep learning mechanism is the major reason for their success and for BBSE’s to compete with Google and all, they need to find ways of providing content with that level of quality.
A properly-managed BBSE can challenge Google with time because it will have access to consumer data and specific preferences but will not need to store or own them exclusively to deliver personalized search results.
Another great way for BBSE’s to take on central systems is to keep the option of paying the users for viewing ads. It will make users much more comfortable while they view ads while also ensuring high-quality results for publishers.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Dexlock.