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Google's Search Relations Team Explores Impact of Web3 on SEO

Google's Search Relations team discussed the potential impact of Web3 on SEO, including the challenges posed by Web3's unconventional domains and limited crawlability.

Web3, the decentralized internet that leverages blockchain technology, could present both a challenge and an opportunity for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google's Search Relations team, which includes John Mueller, Gary Illyes, and Martin Splitt, recently explored this issue in an episode of their podcast, "Search Off the Record".

Web3 aims to disrupt the traditional internet model, advocating for a more decentralized, private, and peer-to-peer interaction model. The core idea is to give individuals more control over their online experiences and protect their data privacy.

The Google Search Relations team discussed how Web3 might affect SEO practices. One of the central challenges identified is the unconventional structure of Web3's domains. Web3 domains do not follow the recognized format of traditional domains, making it difficult for search crawlers to index their content.

John Mueller, a member of the Search Relations team, explained this challenge in more detail. He said, “Even if you have a browser plugin installed that does something with that made-up top-level domain, Google doesn’t know what it’s trying to do. So, from that point of view, it’s almost like a– I don’t know, vanity name that people are just using and treating it as a domain name. But it’s actually not a real domain name.”

Despite the challenges Web3 presents to traditional SEO practices, the Google team identified several potential use cases for the technology that could revolutionize various aspects of the internet

Web3 enables the development of decentralized applications or dApps. These apps operate on peer-to-peer networks and are often underpinned by blockchain technology. Examples include decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces, and decentralized social media networks.

Web3 introduces the concept of blockchain-based domains, which diverge significantly from traditional domain names. They use decentralized naming systems, which give users complete ownership and control over their domain names without having to rely on centralized domain registrars.

Web3 also offers the potential to enhance digital identity and privacy. By leveraging decentralized identity solutions and cryptographic principles, Web3 allows users to have ownership and control over their personal data.

As the evolution of Web3 continues, it is clear that SEO practices will need to adapt. Martin Splitt from Google's Search Relations team stated, “I haven’t seen as much built on Web3 systems so far. I guess if it becomes a big thing, then we’ll figure it out and investigate further.”

In essence, SEO professionals and website owners will need to keep abreast of these developments and adjust their strategies to ensure optimal discoverability in a Web3 world. Whether it’s understanding how dApps function, navigating blockchain-based domains, or leveraging enhanced digital privacy tools, the Web3 landscape presents an exciting yet challenging new frontier for SEO.