If you have heard of Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, then chances are you’ll have heard of blockchain. It’s the technology that enables Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies to function and exist. The technology is on the path to disrupt many industries, as it allows users to conduct transactions without a costly middleman in a secure and transparent format.
However, whether you’ve heard of blockchain or not, it’s important that you don’t underestimate its potential impact on digital marketing and advertising. Below we discuss what blockchain is, and how it can shape the face of the search marketing industry.
What is Blockchain?
In basic terms, blockchain is like a Google Sheet that is shared with the public, which displays transactions and is tamperproof. To help explain it further, let’s consider how it works:
1. A wants to send money to B
2. The transaction is known as a “block”
3. This block is then shown to every party in the network
4. Those within the network then approve that the transaction (block) is valid
5. Once validated, the block can then be added to the chain which provides a transparent and uneditable record of transactions
6. The money moves from A to B
How does this impact search engine marketing?
In the digital marketing sphere, there are many central authorities, such as Facebook and Google, who connect website owners with advertisers. Take Google, for example, it’s a central authority in programming ads, where it helps advertisers to run ads on a website via the Google Display Network. This essentially makes Google a middleman that helps website owners and advertisers trust each other. However, if they already trust each other, they would not need Google in the middle taking a cut of the profits.
If we introduce blockchain into the mix, it can verify that every user is genuine with 100% accuracy. Then, the website owner needs only charge the advertiser for actual, validated clicks through to their website. This means the advertisers and website owners don’t need a costly middleman to verify their agreement, which of course would save both parties money. Ultimately then, blockchain could be a big threat to Google’s Display Network revenue.
Also, consider the impact blockchain can bring to fraud reduction. The fact that it is unhackable makes it a ledger that is going to help reduce online fraud. It provides transparency for everyone involved in a transaction without the need to reveal personal details, while proving those involved are real people.
Impact on SEO
Blockchain will also impact the SEO industry. As companies begin to adopt blockchain, they will be required to integrate it into their website code. This involves the web developers as well as the SEO marketers if they are trying to display the information from the blockchain transactions alongside gaining organic search benefits. This, of course, will present new challenges and opportunities and will require both web developers and SEO marketers to work together to resolve issues.
As more and more blockchains expand and develop, and more and more people use them, it will certainly disrupt the search marketing industry in a variety of ways. Right now, it’s important that search marketers pay close attention to blockchain as it continues to soar.