Web3 and the Future of Search Engines
A 2022 Review of Web 3.0 and What It May Mean for Search Engines and SEOs
Web3 and the Future of Search Engines
Search engines offer a key channel for content marketing based GTM strategies. Web3 is an emerging trend that poses many questions. How will the world search for information, answers, products and more in the Web 3.0 world defined around decentralized, autonomous, blockchain and tokens based world? Will existing search engines significantly adapt the algorithms to offer the best user experience for finding answers online or will it be a completely new crop of search engines and a period of search engine wars like we saw in the 90s with search engines like Excite, AltaVista, AskJeeves, Lycos, Yahoo, MSN etc.?
What will users gain from this shift and what will organizations gain from this shift?
What can we learn from the history of the web to answer if it will happen this year, this decade, later or never?
Let us start by understanding the basics of Web 3.0 and use that to imagine how web3 may change the future of search engines and content marketing.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 or Web3 is the third generation of the internet and the protocols that govern it today and it emphasizes a decentralized, autonomous and blockchain based architecture to finally deliver a true data-driven and semantic web. Web 3.0 is a rapidly budding movement and no less hyped than Bitcoin and NFTs. Yet, some of the ideas it is founded on date back to the origin of internet at CERN and as far back as 1989.
Web 3.0 Hype and Search Engines
The growing Web3 hype is clearly going mainstream and the search engine community is taking notice. So much that someone even asked if Web 3.0 will make SEO professionals jobless and managed to get an ‘official Google answer’ from John Mueller in a mono-syllable ‘No’.
How is Web 3.0 Different from Web 2.0
Web 3.0 aims to redefine the very fundamentals of how the internet works and hence if successful can indeed have far reaching implications on how the world’s web 2.0 information is organized and made universally accessible (Google’s mission statement).
Web3 fundamentals are different from Web2 primarily in that it is:
Built ground up from the principles of the semantic web
Transparent / Open Source
Built privacy first
There is certainly more to web3 and the truth is that what is web3.0 is still an evolving question and there is no perfect and firm answer for what is web 3.0 but it is clear that it will evolve rapidly from here and growth-driven brands are starting to pay attention.
What Will Search Engines Look Like in Web 3.0?
There is already a new crop of search engines built for Web 3.0 that are starting to emerge but adoption is in nascent stages like the search engines themselves. Cyber is one such search engine and Numbers is a search engine for NFTs.
Web 3.0 technology is still nascent and the foundational technologies like blockchain, NFT, DAO and Ethereum are themselves not yet truly mainstream and hence the infrastructure is still evolving. Major venture firms like A16Z are accelerating the evolution of the building blocks of Web 3.0 and 2021 saw the creation of a multi-billion dollar crypto fund and pitch Web 3.0 to builders and users as a new internet built around them.
Successful Web 3.0 search engines will aim to address the shortcomings of web 2.0 based search engines like Google. One of them will be a shift from URL based addresses to new and more universal ways to address resources on the web, such as what I proposed in my previous post on What is a Xeme. Secondly, they will aim to leverage tokens to create incentive structures that reward end users and builders. Most importantly, the search engine algorithms will likely be more transparent, crowd sourced and governed by open source and some decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
How Will Web 3.0 Change Go-To-Market (GTM) and Organic Growth?
There are still a lot of open questions if Web 3.0 will even go mainstream and if the shift will indeed create a meaningful change in what search engines billions of people around the world use to discover your brand. Maggie from A16Z has published a great thought provoking post on Web 3.0 and how it will change GTM and organic growth. Change and new technology adoption has greatly accelerated and the fundamentals of Web 3.0 and the metaverse do merit interest beyond the futurists and technologists. If we were to imagine that it does happen in the next few years, the key differences in go-to-market approaches will revolve around influencers, communities, data-driven and artificial intelligence based strategies that can continuously adopt to algorithms that will evolve rapidly and users that will gain more real-time and expanded influence on these algorithms.
Regardless of if, when and how Web3 evolves, the basics of organic growth around optimizing content, improving web page experience and making your content discoverable on the web are here to stay and critical to a brand’s GTM success.
In the meantime, Web 2.0 presents a great untapped opportunity for most brands. If you are responsible for driving growth for your brand’s organic channel, take a test drive of Quattr’s AI driven technology that evaluates a web pages like a search engine and provides guided optimization workflows for real-time optimization for your content marketing efforts.