How Will Web3 Impact the Future of Search Engines?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Web3 search engines, powered by blockchain and AI, will prioritize privacy and decentralization. Users control their data, leading to personalized and transparent search results. The future of search lies in a more open, unbiased, and user-centric Internet. Web3 search engines like Presearch, YaCy, and Xayn are already advancing this vision.

Search engines have evolved significantly since the beginning of the Internet, from those that used simple algorithms to index and retrieve web pages (Web1) to more personalized search engines that included social signals in their algorithms (Web2).

Web3 search engines are still evolving, and they’re mainly focused on privacy, decentralization, and user control. Web3 search engines are driven by a vision of a more unbiased and open Internet and giving users more control of their digital identities and their data. As such, search engines will likely become more personalized and decentralized.

Blockchain technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are to play major roles in Web3 search engines, and decentralization will enable these search engines to deliver more trustworthy and accurate results as well as alleviate concerns about data privacy.

How Web3 Will Impact Search Engines

The next iteration of the World Wide Web, Web3 is a decentralized web that allows companies to create decentralized apps (dApps) and services. Web3 technologies are particularly well-known because they can use a variety of realities, and digital assets, such as NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

And in the future, search engine optimization (SEO) will include blockchain, the metaverse, and virtual reality to enhance the interaction between humans and machines.

Advent of Decentralized Search Engines

One of the main ways Web3 impacts search engines is through the emergence of decentralized search engines that operate via a distributed network of nodes (servers), the foundation of which is blockchain technology. Web3 search engines don’t rely on central servers to index and store data; rather, the search engines’ indexes are distributed across these decentralized networks of peer-to-peer nodes.

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As such, these search engines offer more security, transparency, and privacy than traditional search engines, and they’re also more resistant to censorship.

Web3 Works Well With AI

One of the most important factors shaping the future of the internet is artificial intelligence. Natural language processing (NLP) and similar technologies are making human-to-machine communication much easier. This makes intuitive search methods, such as visual search and voice commands, possible.

Additionally, since AI algorithms learn from the behaviors of users, they can provide personalized product recommendations. Also, integrating AI with blockchain solutions offers an improved Internet that safeguards user privacy without sacrificing the advanced search methods AI technologies provide.

More Personalized Search Results

Another way Web3 impacts search engines is by offering more personalized search results. Since users control their own data, they can share that data with search engines the way they want rather than have companies, such as Facebook and Google, collect it.

This could result in a more refined approach to search, with results personalized to each user’s preferences, interests, and search histories. It could lead to more emphasis on privacy as users decide what data to keep private and what data to share with search engines.

Blockchain-Based Advertising

Web3 could also affect search engines in terms of advertising. Decentralized networks, such as blockchain, make it possible to create a fairer and more transparent advertising environment. This could result in a move away from targeted advertising that tracks the online behaviors of users and collects their data.

Instead, advertising could be based on blockchain, where users who engage with ads in a fair and transparent are rewarded, resulting in an enhanced user experience and providing advertisers with an audience that is more receptive and engaged.

Increased Focus on Quality Content

Web3 could also result in a greater emphasis on quality content. With personalized search and decentralized networks, there will be more focus on creating engaging, relevant, and useful content. This could result in a move away from sensationalism and clickbait and toward content that is truly valuable and informative.

Web3 and Augmented Reality Enable Geo Search in Metaverse Apps

Web3 and the metaverse are related and immersive technologies, such as augmented reality, have key roles in the development of each. These immersive technologies are growing quickly and changing how users search visually. In addition, augmented reality is also especially suited for geo-based searches because it works based on users’ current locations.

Companies are currently using geo-based search to target prospective customers in real time. Using augmented reality in conjunction with blockchain technology will also enable intuitive and immersive searching based on location in future metaverse apps.

Do Web3 Search Engines Already Exist?

Yes, there are a number of Web3 search engines that already exist.

  • Presearch: Using blockchain technology, this decentralized search engine provides users more control over the results of their searches. Presearch operates on node servers run by community members and serves up better results while protecting users’ privacy. Users receive crypto tokens for searching and contributing to the community.
  • YaCy: An open-source search engine based on a peer-to-peer network that lets users search the Internet without having to rely on a central server. Rather, YaCy indexes and searches content using a distributed network of nodes, guaranteeing security and privacy.
  • Xayn: An AI-powered search engine, Xayn uses a decentralized network to give users more personalized search results. It uses machine learning algorithms to understand the preferences of users and customize the results of their searches while still safeguarding their privacy.

The Bottom Line

Web3 can significantly impact search engines as it creates a decentralized web that allows users to have more control over how their data is used.

Although it’s not clear precisely how search engines will adapt to this new model, there will be a shift toward security, privacy, semantic search, and user-generated content.

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Linda Rosencrance
Technology journalist

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer and editor based in the Boston area, with expertise ranging from AI and machine learning to cybersecurity and DevOps. She has been covering IT topics since 1999 as an investigative reporter working for several newspapers in the Boston metro area. Before joining Techopedia in 2022, her articles have appeared in TechTarget, MSDynamicsworld.com, TechBeacon, IoT World Today, Computerworld, CIO magazine, and many other publications. She also writes white papers, case studies, ebooks, and blog posts for many corporate clients, interviewing key players, including CIOs, CISOs, and other C-suite execs.