Colin Pape, project lead at Presearch.org, plans to release what he calls a decentralized search engine where no one company controls the content and the data and community members contribute to building the tool.
The project will allow those using the search engine to build a custom platform that lets them query across Google, LinkedIn, ShopCity.com, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites from one location.
The beta for the site launches at the end of September, with the decentralized version still in the works.
To help build out the search engine on blockchain technology, Pape also has been talking with David, the son of Blekko founder Rich Skrenta, who now works at Watson after selling the search engine to IBM in 2015. The concept involves providing greater transparency for each action and transaction.
Calling David Skrenta the next Mark Zuckerberg, Pape says the company is working on a deal to hire the recent high-school graduate as one of the lead engineers on the project.
The connection from the search engine to ShopCity.com, a competitor to Amazon, involves the tokens people gain from searching and refining content on the engine. It's not such a grand leap as long as the merchants who sell stuff on ShopCity.com agree to exchange tokens for merchandise.
Pape founded Presearch with a small team in June 2017, and within 60 days generated more than $2 million in revenue, attracted more than 1,000 members to the platform and signed a team of world-class advisors to the venture.
But the story really dates back to 2011, after Pape, also the cofounder and CEO of ShopCity.com, experienced the "dark side of Google." The search engine penalized some sites on ShopCity.com, although the marketplace followed best practice SEO guidelines.
"There wasn't any real recourse and we were shut out," he said. "We kept on getting bumped to webmaster help lines. People were telling me Google is always right and you must have screwed something up."
The Presearch engine began as an internal project until he put together a small team in June 2017, and within 60 days generated more than $2 million in revenue.
Leveraging a blockchain token, Pape says he and his team are building the "next-generation search engine," which the community will power, but the grand vision will take a bit of time to accomplish.