Is Presearch the future of search engines?
There’s no doubt that Google is a tough act to track, but one promising search engine to watch is Presearch, which resolves the age-old complaint that Google tracks your digital footprint so it can set you on fire with ads, and that it censor certain content.
Pre-search does not follow your footprint and may be the first of a new batch of decentralized, censorship-resistant search engines.
Presearch posts one or two ads based on your search query, but these are relevant and unobtrusive. But it will not skew its search results in favor of any particular political or politically correct direction.
It’s nowhere near Google in terms of size, but its growth is remarkable: traffic has grown by more than 2,000% since 2020, capturing nearly 5% of DuckDuckGo’s market share.
Presearch receives around four million searches per day, but can easily reach hundreds of millions. Still, that’s tiny compared to the nine billion daily searches on Google, which equates to around 84% global market share. Over the past two years, Presearch has averaged 36% quarter-over-quarter growth, albeit on a small base.
Presearch has over 70,000 active nodes, each of which contributes to the computing power of the network. Its growth is partly due to Google listing it as the default search engine on all new Android devices in the UK and Europe.
Node operators (those who use node software to help find the information needed to answer user search queries) earn crypto tokens in the form of PRE, which currently trades at around $0.05.
PRE token price (in USD)
Google’s dominance in the search engine market has grown from around 90% of all searches in 2010 to 84% in 2022, according to Statista. Microsoft’s Bing captured around 9% of the market, Yahoo around 2.5% and Russia’s Yandex around 1.7%.
DuckDuckGo and the Brave search engines have also gained a loyal following for presenting search results that don’t bombard you with ads and, in many cases, are more accurate. Both allow you to search without tracking your footprint.
Brave, which is both a browser and a search engine, was among the first to subvert Google’s business model of monetizing user data by rewarding its users with crypto tokens.
It filters ads and trackers that follow you everywhere you go online and lets you earn Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) if you decide you don’t mind seeing ads.
A new feature of the Presearch business model is that it allows advertisers to “bet” (lock) PRE tokens on specific words or search terms so that if a user searches for a particular term, the algorithm will present the ad containing the words with the most wagered chips.
Basic Attention Token (BAT) in USD
With curiosity, yandex seems less censorship-prone than many of its Western competitors and is preferred by many for its image search functionality.
Pre-search is still a work in progress, with some features still in development, as well as algorithm updates to improve latency.
For all the work behind the scenes, the user experience is what matters.
A nice feature is the ability to focus your search results on Twitter, for example, where you might want to limit results to “bitcoin bear markets” or “free speech on Twitter.”
You can use Presearch’s default search engine or switch to results from dozens of other providers and get an idea of the difference in results. Users can also earn PRE tokens just by using the search engine, and it has a browser extension that can turn Presearch into your default search engine.
Presearch was started by CEO Colin Pape and Thomas LeClair, who previously created Shopcity.com, a way for small businesses to expand their online presence.
The Chief Technology Officer is Trey Grainger, an experienced engineer and data scientist.
Brave and Presearch have entirely different business models, where users can earn rewards rather than handing them over to the company. This development was announced by George Gilder in Life After Google.
As Moneyweb previously reported, Gilder doesn’t see much of a future for Google, primarily because it’s lost sight of the Internet primarily as a means of communication that also allows information to be copied and replicated.
There is a huge backlash against Google and Facebook (Meta) for skewing search results and censoring views they find distasteful.
They have gone from the town square, a place where people interact online, to the town crier, where altering an algorithm can sway voters and potentially topple governments.
The likes of Brave and Presearch, and others likely to follow, will now begin to challenge the behemoths that have taken our data and enriched themselves, and they are doing so without wearing the hat of public censor.