Adesoji Adegbulu

Decentralized Search Engine

You definitely know what a Search Engine is. Remember Google.com? That’s a search engine used for conducting internet searches. It is predominantly dependent on using either short-tail keywords (e.g. search engine) or long-tail keywords (e.g. what is a search engine?) when conducting searches. These are just basics. You can definitely do advanced searches using a combination of strings (e.g. AND, OR ~, etc). Anyways, what is a Decentralized Search Engine?

To start with, Google.com is a mainstream Centralized Search Engine. It is controlled from, let’s say, a single point – the company now called Alphabet Inc. Essentially, a Decentralized Search Engine does not have a single point of control. All the functionalities of Search (e.g. indexing, crawling, processing, etc) are distributed among and controlled by several peers in the network. So, basically, Decentralized Search Engine is a “better” alternative to Centralized Search Engine.

Why is a Decentralized Search Engine Better?

Decentralized Search Engines are predominantly more private than Centralized Search Engines.

Search Engines work with data or search information. When you use a centralized search engine, you make your data available to the search engine. The data, which gives an idea of your preferences, is then used to advertise to you on the search engine and on third-party websites. By this I mean, let’s say you search for “latest iPhone” on Google.com. If you then visit other sites, you may see adverts on those sites featuring images of the latest iPhones. With a decentralized search engine, no search engine company owns your data or search information. This is because the data you provide is encrypted and stored on a blockchain. In addition, you control access to your data with a private key. You can choose to share your private key with companies.

Do Decentralized Search Engines Exist?

Yes. An example is Presearch, which currently has more than 4 million users per day. These users search privately, earn rewards and in a way are contributing to the improvement of decentralized searches. Presearch is powered by Blockchain technology.

Presearch, founded in 2017, is a private, decentralized search engine powered by over 73,000 nodes operated by tens of thousands of node operators around the world. The nodes make Presearch work! See nodes as several points on the blockchain network. These nodes are owned by users. Nodes can be installed on any computer or server that can provide the computing resources to power the Presearch Engine. Presearch rewards node operators with tokens (PRE tokens) which can be used to make purchases. PRE is used as the unit of account and store of value within the Presearch ecosystem and is the way that value is transferred between stakeholders as they utilize Presearch.

Final thought

There are still a lot of things to know about decentralized search engines and the ecosystem making them work. It is definitely going to be used more often. You can choose to be a user starting from now on or better still, start your own decentralized search engine. Nothing is impossible.

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