Blockchain is not just another tech buzzword. It’s a pivotal innovation that aspires to reshape and revolutionise the way people transact with each other. It is believed that Blockchain is the new internet and has already disrupted a variety of industries. Blockchain is closely linked with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and this blog examines how Blockchain technology could disrupt search marketing in the future.
First things first – what is Blockchain technology?
Blockchain is a decentralised, distributed, public ledger which records economic transactions (anything of value), underpinned by a peer-to-peer network of computers. Each block stores several transactions and the chain links all blocks together in chronological order, making it impossible for someone to change the data retrospectively. Instead, a new block is created and added at the end of the chain, showing the new change(s).
Due to the decentralised nature of this technology, all the information is stored and distributed across a large network of computers. This makes it impossible for hackers to attack and steal information as they must bypass all the computers’ networks.
Blockchain technology can – in theory – effectively:
- build trust in transactions
- reduce fraud
- increase transparency
- eliminate intermediaries
Blockchain and its effect on search marketing
Various financial institutions have already invested in resources to adopt this technology, but what is the potential impact of blockchain on SEO and search marketing?
In the search marketing world, Google is the middleman that connects advertisers with website owners. As an intermediary Google establishes a relationship of trust between those involved and takes a share out of the profits. The penetration of Blockchain into all facets of digital marketing could – in time – diminish the need for intermediaries, as the decentralised technology allows all sides to develop and grow their trust in one another.
Without the need for Google as a middleman, advertisers and website owners could save more money. This could – in theory – be applied to something like the Google Display Network, where advertisers could skip intermediaries and pay publishers directly to serve their ads.
The integration of Blockchain could also assist in the elimination of digital ad fraud. Statista estimate that the global annual cost of digital ad fraud could be as high as 19 billion dollars, with this total estimated to surge to up to 44 billion dollars in coming years; mainly due to non-human, fraudulent traffic.
Using the digital ledger model, Blockchain would be able to track clicks and impressions in a more transparent way as all the transactions would be recorded in blocks, making it available for Joe Public to view. This could subsequently provide digital marketers with more accurate data to inform marketing spend and strategy.
The impact of Blockchain in SEO
The penetration of Blockchain technology in the digital marketing space will undoubtedly disrupt Search Engine Optimisation too. Organic SERPs have become highly dynamic, providing keyword data based on local, national, worldwide and devices criteria and algorithm updates. This has made SEO specialists’ life extremely difficult when it comes to tracking keyword changes and evaluating organic performance.
Blockchain could assist SEO experts in tackling this issue by tracking keyword performance across a variety of criteria (location, device etc). Such a system could help SEO experts to gain more accurate data, informing content strategies and overall organic strategy.
As many businesses start to adopt Blockchain technology, the next challenge will be integration within existing website structures. The wider schema community has already moved towards the creation of Blockchain schemas and user ID profiles. This project is still in its infancy but provides an insightful glimpse of the near future.
To summarise, the future of SEO and digital marketing will likely be intrinsically linked with the development and implementation of Blockchain. Its infinite capabilities could help SEO and search marketing redefine their strengths, eliminate ad fraud, harness better data and deliver better results – as long as the digital marketing community prepares to embrace Blockchain without fear or prejudice.