Blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Crypto, Alt Coins, Dogecoin, Cardona, Steemit etc.. etc… If all this internet talk is getting a little too much for you, we hear you. To say the internet is in raptures over cryptocurrency, would be an understatement. Without getting too deep and hyperbolic, isn’t it great to have a potential revolution at play given the current state of the world? It, in some ways allows us here at SEO Company Melbourne to sleep a little better at night, knowing that a more open internet is on the horizon. Potentially a web3.0 // hopefully*. So how will cryptocurrency, decentralisation, or at a deeper level open protocol affect SEO and search strategy?
I think before we dive into this new open protocol technology and its effect on Google and thus SEO its important firstly to understand a few concepts. Then from here we can make some future predictions around where the SEO industry and the future strategy is heading.
Blockchain (base level technology behind cryptocurrencies) at its fundamental level is an open protocol system that can allow internet functions to exist be verified and executed upon the say so of the community. The community being a series of computers running mathematical equations to come to a secure conclusion. Rather a closed protocol system requires a tight gateway and interface to enable internet functions to exist be verified and executed, if at all. Usually the power in this closed protocol gateway is housed and executed, if at all, by a single entity.
So a very simple example of an open protocol system would be http:// https:// or Open Data Protocol in simple terms ie: the way a webpage’s data is edited and presented on the internet. We see, use and edit this everyday when we browse the internet and edit websites. We do not need to pay or seek permission to do so (i hear you say, but I pay, yes, yes you do, please read on). The internet was built on this base layer of internet code, it allowed the developers and innovators of the time to contribute to a communal technology for the greater good of society. It was free and open. We do however now need to pay if we use a service provider to deal with our open protocol http:// eg: a hosting provider or if we don’t want to set up our own internet network. The key here is that no one is stopping you from setting up your own server and connecting using the open http//: protocol.
Closed protocol systems depressingly for many, are the majority of the darlings of the internet with which we frequent today. Google, Facebook, Uber etc.. They all house closed protocol systems, chances are if you use a payment gateway for a e-commerce store you too are housing a closed protocol system. Why? Well simply put companies like Facebook and Uber use their own systems to provide you with a service, facebook provides you with an identity service and Uber a location service. Your information is stored on Facebook and Uber’s databases and is at the will of what Facebook or Uber choose to do with it. It’s private to them (unless hacked of course) and they control, verify it and execute that information where and when they choose ie: its closed to the community.
There is no effective mechanisms or open API’s put in place for people to be able to manipulate versions of facebook or Uber to suit the user/community, this is up to the corporation to decide not the free market like you and I. One example of what an open protocol identity service (performing much like Facebook) would look like would be to imagine being in control of your own identity. Being in control of your own identity? (yes who would have thought). Being able to sell your own information/identity to whomever you want or to not sell your information as you rightly should be able to choose, would be a direct derivative of an open protocol identity platform. But, this is not the case under these closed protocol landscapes we use today. The information and system as a whole are closed. If you so wish to change it, a gateway in the form of a corporation is presented and good luck with scraping back your rights or executing free market change by any contemporary means.
Lost you yet? Hope not. This is important. So, Blockchain is an open protocol base layer of the internet in which many new open protocol systems can be built. Cryptocurrency’s like Bitcoin and Ether are simply ways to monetise these open systems so that they do not fold into an already closed protocol system ie: THE GOVERNMENT. Blockchain will work within governments but will by its very nature disrupt it immensely for the better. A story for another day.
Once we understand the difference between open and closed protocols above we can then start imagining how this will effect Google and SEO. Google is a closed protocol system which gathers and sells your information to advertisers. It makes its money by being a intermediary between advertiser and user. What would an open version of this be like and then how would this effect our SEO best practice? Well if you can imagine a world without Google, then thats the first step. Then imagine an open protocol decentralised internet, whereby a blockchain search engine/protocol arrives. It then provides a base layer open system for various search companies to develop and innovate. These search companies would use this protocol to create new and improved ways of finding digital information, based around artificial intelligence (AI). These new search companies would provide new and unique ways to present advertisements. Less in your face, more naturally presented and far more effective. These search companies do not drop cookies or collect your data. Its an open market of search providers and this can only mean more innovation of which over the last 10 years there has been minimal. This is in large part due to the monopoly of Google. Monopolies stifle innovation.
How would search work within this new open protocol framework? Lets imagine we are happy in a world where our voice’s are listened to by AI. Assuming we are now happy because our identities are secure and verified by the “community” (blockchain), then due to this new found security we are then willing for AI to present us with search options based upon an advertising algorithm. Perhaps your kettle overhears you talking about wanting to go camping in northern New South Wales in Australia and presents you with options on your iPad on your way to your office in your driverless car. How would this system and search algorithm work? The various IOT (internet of things) devices within your home take in your verbal content ie: your conversations with your partner and family (remember we are more willing for this to occur because we feel secure that our identities and privacy are secure within the blockchain). Once it hits a threshold of perceived interest based around camping in New South Wales by logging your conversations, it triggers a search. This search would be performed within the blockchain open protocol which then verifies with your chosen search provider what the best options are for you based upon your personal AI. The blockchain verifies that this search is in fact relevant to your secure online identity and verifies that the search result presented to you is relevant and secure. Once the blockchain verifies these smart contract triggers, the ad is served and the advertisers are charged. At present some of the cryptocurrencies are providing contract/transaction histories via a simple website that references ledgers eg: Ethereum like so. Etherscan’s presentable data is limited publicly but may in the future be a building block for a search platform.
At present these large closed corporations, behemoths even; house closed systems.They are simply honey pots for hacking breaches and avenues for manipulation through advertising eg: facebook – US elections. This is not the way forward. People need to be able to trust when they give out content and personal information and a closed protocol system does not lend to progression in society it leads to its erosion. The blockchain by its very nature is a base level protocol in which a new and secure internet can be built via the power of community. SEO like many industries will be completely disrupted. How far off? No idea. However we are already seeing green growth in digital advertising by decentralised startup’s like Basic Attention Token or BAT. BAT’s vision for a decentralised advertising network through its Brave browser is presented below. Well worth a look.
- Google’s monopoly in search will be completely disrupted by blockchain, via a new searchable base layer open protocol.
- A series of new search companies are created, spawned directly from this new blockchain search open protocol.
- The internet of things combines with a personal AI to deliver ads without a user actively having to search, based upon conversation and perceived interest triggers.
- Smart contracts are built into SEO campaigns and trigger contract extensions and bonuses based on performance.
If you wish to learn more about similar topics, check out SEO Company Melbourne for expert advice and fantastic services for all things SEO!