Presearch (PRE) is an open, decentralized search engine that rewards community members with Presearch Tokens for their usage, contribution to, and promotion of the platform. Presearch has an innovative go-to-market strategy to target the most frequent searchers - web workers - and gain early adoption, on our way to releasing future versions of the open source platform that will utilize a blockchain-based index, curated by the community.
- Open and transparent ranking factors enable content creators to access a level playing field, and users the choice of which data sources to utilize
- Community-driven decision-making process ensures that everyone’s interests are aligned, and the best content is surfaced and displayed
- Ability to vote on and fund dev projects provides ability to influence and improve the platform, and earn tokens for contributing
- Tokens can be purchased during the Presearch Token crowdsale
- Tokens will be issued to early adopters to reward usage and promotion of the platform
- Token-holders will be able to vote on decisions, suggest / fund dev projects
- Devs will receive tokens for contributing to features / projects
- Advertisers will be able to purchase targeted, non-intrusive, keyword sponsorships with PREs
In the year 2000, 21-year old Colin Pape, Presearch Project Lead, had entered the web publishing world with the creation of ShopMidland.com, a local business directory. This site would introduce many in his home community to Google by featuring a search field that directed people to the innovative new search engine.
Like many of you, Colin was in love with Google’s quirky, friendly nature and superior, advertising-free search results. Now that they dominate the internet landscape, it’s hard to remember a time before Google, but back in those days, the site was relatively obscure and was spreading through word-of-mouth, particularly local techies who were setting their customers up to use this friendly search engine as their start page. Google grew rapidly and didn’t miss a beat on their way to capturing more than 90% of search traffic and becoming the gatekeeper to the internet.
In the early days, there was nothing but love for Google; they offered their service up for free and appeared to be totally impartial in their results. They opened up access to information in unprecedented ways, and exposed alternative viewpoints and data sources that would never have seen the light of day otherwise. Google appeared to be one of the best things that’s ever happened to humanity. And in many ways, that’s true. However, with time, more and more people have seen the dark underbelly of Google; whether it’s the potential for surveillance and ties to the CIA, their domination of media, or anti-trust concerns. Presearch was born from the realization that Google was simply becoming too powerful, and threatening both users and potential competitors with its overwhelming dominance. After competing with Google in the local space for a number of years as the CEO of ShopCity.com, Colin had one particular encounter that lead him to the realization that the world desperately needed an open, transparent and community-driven alternative to the search monopoly. On the morning of July 14th, 2011, Colin and his team woke up to find that their ShopCity.com network of local marketplaces was under Google penalty; searching for their sites, even by name — ex. ShopMidland.com — would return results on the 4th to 8th pages, where no one looked, instead of on the first page where they were before.
With this much power in the hands of one company, you’d think there would be a solid dispute resolution process in place to protect participants in the Google ecosystem, but it turned out that trying to get a resolution to an urgent problem was almost impossible. In a tense 60-day ordeal, with search traffic cut off, the ShopCity.com team scrambled to get a resolution from Google and in the process discovered that thousands of businesses had also experienced Google penalties, with many having to lay off staff or go out of business completely due to the loss of traffic to their website. ShopCity.com was fortunate to have the power of local communities behind it and to connect with a prominent lawyer who was contributing to an FTC investigation into Google’s anti-competitive practices. Colin and his team ultimately escaped Google’s penalty box, but others weren’t so lucky.
Around the same time a groundswell of companies were starting to complain about how Google’s tendency to enter and dominate more and more markets were limiting their ability to compete and invest in innovation. Frustrated with the prospects of a future that increasingly resembled the animated movie WALL-E, where a single company fulfills all of society’s needs, Colin was inspired to build a platform that would be a ‘Switzerland of search’.
In late 2013, Presearch was born as a proof of concept to level the playing field for all different search providers by enabling the user to have a single search field to easily search their favourite resources directly.
The response to the proof of concept was positive and for years it served as the start page for friends and family. Colin explored expanding the product’s reach over the years, but a growing business, new child and lack of viable go-to-market strategy kept it on the sidelines. In 2017, with the rise of token-based crowd funding, and a continued lack of search competition, Colin assembled a small team to explore the feasibility of launching Presearch as a blockchain-powered search project.