What is the purpose of SEO? It’s to get indexed and ranked high when consumers search for products, services, or information. And the purpose for a high ranking? To get visitors to your website who will then purchase your product or service.
What is the purpose of blockchain? It is to create a secure, trusted, and immutable record of transactions, documents, and data. The technology is new but is obviously already disrupting many sectors of the economy (healthcare, insurance, governments, financial services, travel, education, logistics/transportation, and more.).
So how does blockchain, a technology that secures transactions, relate to SEO?
Right now, marketers and other business SEO’ers are focused on keeping up with Google algorithms, scientific keyword research, backlinks, and rich content. And a part of any marketing campaign is usually related to a strategic digital ad campaign. After all, when visitors click through to a website and stay there for a while, search engines notice and use that as a part of their indexing and ranking.
So, how will blockchain technology impact SEO? At first glance, it does not seem to be related at all. But it is, and it will indirectly impact SEO more than marketers currently realize.
Here are just a few ways that the disruption will occur.
Digital Ad Campaigns
Pay-per-click ads are the mainstay of most business digital ad campaigns. These are handled by what are known as “central authorities,” giants like Google and Facebook. Google, for example, assists advertisers and website owners to “hook up” through its Google Display Network. It verifies the identities of both – the reputation of the website and the history of the advertising for paying as charged. This establishes the trust factor that is necessary, considering that advertisers lose as much as $7 billion to fraud each year.
Google acts as a middleman between advertiser and business, their contract, monitoring the click-throughs, and, of course, taking a cut of the profits.
This is how a typical ad campaign works today. But what if the middleman was no longer needed?
Blockchain can effectively eliminate that middleman. Here is what it can do:
Verify that every user is legitimate
Verify the contracts between advertisers and websites, and store them securely.
Verify that the business housing the ad is only charging for actual click-throughs to the advertiser’s website.
Reduce online advertising fraud, because it is unhackable and immutable.
Verify that the ads have been viewed by a real person, not a bot. This use of bots has become commonplace and is a part of advertising fraud.
Trust Comes From Transparency
Here is another indirect benefit of SEO that comes from blockchain. Trust between advertisers and the companies with whom they do business is only one part of the trust factor inherent in blockchain technology.
When consumers decide to do business with a company for the first time, they don’t always have the level of trust they would like. They can read online reviews but even these are often not genuine. When a company provides transparency in all of its actions and transactions through blockchain, however, there is a new level of trust.
And when there is a high level of trust, customers talk it up among their communities, bringing more traffic to the site.
Trust From Accountability
Counterfeit products are rampant in internet sales. And consumers are constant victims of such transactions. Legitimate online merchants fight this lack of trust all the time, and the “bad guys” continue to operate with impunity.
But blockchain can change all of this. Its ledger system that cannot be altered will allow customers to check the origin of a product, its legitimacy, from where it was purchased (actual store or auction), and its journey from merchant to them.
Search engines will eventually have to access blockchain records to determine the legitimacy of merchants and use this data as a part of their indexing. This will be especially important as global e-commerce continues to increase. E-commerce websites will be set up and localized for countries all over the world, utilizing a translation service company, of course, and consumers will demand that their searches provide trusted results.
Ultimately, the bad guys will be weeded out and will not be given a prime spot on search engine results. In fact, search engines will severely punish them, once they have the truth that blockchain technology provides. Only those merchants who can demonstrate legitimacy will be indexed and ranked well.
Blockchain technology is not going away. While it may not be understood by many businesses and consumers yet, it is a secure and transparent method by which businesses can establish trust. Whether it is used by marketers for ad campaigns or by consumers to determine the legitimacy of an online retailer, blockchain will impact SEO in new and significant ways.
Margaret Reid is a freelance writer who is seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth. Currently, she`s working in the company The Word Point and trying to improve herself in the blogging career. Margaret is an experienced and self-driven specialist who cannot imagine her life without writing.
Double Your Growth.
We curate the best of inbound marketing news and send over the top 10 we know will contribute to your growth - once a month.