Cryptocurrencies are making headlines on a daily basis. Spectacular twists and turns of this decentralized market have brought to the limelight not only the problems of inherent volatility, but also the underpinning blockchain technology. When it comes to this topic, buying and selling digital coins is only the surface level. Possible applications are much more far-reaching than those we observe on a financial market.
Namely, this underlying infrastructure is nothing short of a revolutionary, disruptive influence that sends ripples across industry sectors, including digital marketing and SEO. Some hail it as the biggest innovation since the introduction of the internet back in 1990. Skeptics are leery of even entertaining the notion of getting involved in it. But, we want to focus on what really blockchain is and how it affects the already tumultuous SEO world.
A true game changer
Blockchain lays the groundwork for the whole cryptocurrency ecosystem to exist, function, and grow. It allows users to conduct transactions without any sort of middleman getting involved in the process. But, what exactly it is at its core? Well, in a nutshell, it represents an incorruptible and transparent digital ledger of economic transactions. Pieces of data, called blocks, are transmitted across the network, after which a process of confirmation commences. Once the nodes validate data, the money can be moved.
You might be wondering what this has to do with SEO. Well, the key thing to note here is that blockchain can be programmed to record any type of data, not just cryptocurrency transactions. Think of it as Google Docs spreadsheets that are tamper-proof and easy to share with the public. The main difference with the great outdoors of the internet is that there is no central authority such as Google calling the shots and manipulating the data.
As you probably know, search engines act as middlemen between websites and advertisers, as well as the two parties and the internet users. They take cut of the profit and guarantee predictable outcomes. But, if we translate blockchain into search engine realm, intermediaries arbitrating agreements become redundant. Technically, blockchain can verify that users are genuine and that clicks generating revenue are “real”. This is likely to lead to higher transparency (which breeds trust) and less online fraud.
Baby steps before leaps and bounds
Yet, in the wake of the sudden and widespread adoption of the blockchain, the internet order would fall down like a house of cards. In other words, the institution of the peer-to-peer network that bestows power onto consumers would mean the destruction of search engines as we know it. It is clear that such as scenario poses a clear threat to Google’s display network revenue scheme. Due to these apocalyptical consequences for major entrenched players, we deem this chain of events implausible, at least in the foreseeable future.
Instead of a global-wide dismantling of present powers that be, we are poised to see a gradual and selective implementation of blockchain principles. One of the areas of priority is ad fraud, a problem that costs advertisers a great deal of money. Digital giants like Microsoft are already working on blockchain-based identification systems, which is a step in the right direction. It should prompt organizations to also start working on solutions for blockchain certificates and user ID profiles.
Pace of adoption
As more and more companies embrace blockchain, they are faced with one challenge: integrating this technology with websites. This is both a technical issue and an amazing opportunity, something that web developers and SEOs need to work together on. Their efforts will revolve around resolving incompatibility of blockchain with different content management systems (CMS) and website platforms. This investment of time and money should pay dividends for early adopters and propel them forward.
Conversely, those who struggle to transition will have to partner up with more seasoned organizations to avoid lagging behind. They will look up to top digital marketing agencies that waste no time capitalizing on soaring trends and leading the race to the future of SEO. Along the way, businesses will also be pushed closer to upholding corporate social responsibility and public accountability. One mechanism that could facilitate higher transparency is using blockchain to create digitized contracts that public can view.
Reaching new heights
Furthermore, let us consider possible implication for an SEO staple, the keywords. Right now, it is extremely hard to accurately assess the position of any given search term. This is the result of so many moving parts influencing it, including location and device type. Blockchain, on the other hand, is capable of tracking average keyword position across a variety of factors. It can gather results from a myriad of different nodes and do it rather quickly. Such a system would incentivize participation and fair dealing.
Along the similar lines, blockchain holds immense potential to change the way data is analyzed and processed. In the near future, we should full-scale digital analytics suites mounting it. These novelty solutions will provide better and faster access to data and harness more value from it. Signs that something big is brewing are already here. Kochava has developed a blockchain for ad insertion orders, while other startups experiment with blockchain-based ad networks.
You can rest assured that this is just a beginning. There are numerous other burning issues that can be solved with the help of blockchain. The only question is when and how that will happen. I do not have the crystal ball, but it is safe to assume that we are witnessing a revolution in the making. It will unfold in the years to come.
A disruptive force to be reckoned with
Blockading technology has a dramatic impact on the internet marketing and SEO. It is expected to change the very equation behind value exchanges over the internet. Hence, everyone involved in search marketing has to pay close attention to how it will develop and evolve in the following years.
Blockchain could give birth to a radically different landscape, where middlemen are obsolete and frauds much harder to pull off. There would be decentralized communication between parties and everything would be recorded and verified. We can already see signs of blockchain improving transparency and trust and giving control of sharing their information back to consumers. It might be wise to brace for change sooner rather than later.