What is SEO?
SEO (search engine optimization) helps your website to be indexed by search engines like Google or Bing when someone types something into the search bar on the Internet. It optimizes your website to help it increase in the rankings so that more people can access it and use it more than your competitors.
The Problem with SEO in Web3...
Other Blockchains like Ethereum, etc. have made developers rely on centralized servers and service providers for almost all of their architecture. This involves cloud storage like Pinata for storing NFTs and other digital collectibles, as well as hosting Dapps on traditional website hosting platforms.
However, this goes against the true meaning of decentralization. There happen to be various problems with this dependency on traditional Web2 providers, the big ones being SEO and discoverability. This undermines the true meaning of decentralization; that is, data privacy, protection, transparency, and trustlessness. To enter a new era of decentralization, Web3 apps running 100% on the chain itself are essential. This requires a fast and scalable blockchain like the Internet Computer.
How the Internet Computer is fixing this:
With the new protocol released in October 2022, The Internet Computer has enabled developers to build and run their Web3 apps entirely on the chain itself while being discoverable on traditional search engines with SEO. This means that dApps being made on the Internet Computer can operate with zero reliance on centralized cloud providers like Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud.
On-chain Dapps running on the Internet Computer are now:
- Being hosted on identifiable and not raw Blockchain URLs:
One of the drawbacks of being 100% on the chain is that URLs are not simple looking and can be very complex and not easily searchable. While these complex URLs are very transparent and provide important details about the website like Canister ID, etc. it is difficult for people to remember them. The IC has now introduced a feature where any complex Blockchain URL can be simplified to look like a normal one all while being 100% on the chain. A great example of this is Openchat which is discoverable on traditional search engines but still 100% on chain.
2. Discoverable on traditional search engines like Google.
The Internet Computer has introduced support for web crawlers. This means that Dapps running fully on chain can now be indexed by search engines like Google. This was not possible earlier because search engines would try to load content from IC-hosted smart contracts and fail due to the service worker. However, now it functions as a traditional Web2 frontend when it comes to SEO.
3. Visible on social media previews.
Social media previews help in distributing and advertising that are helpful for discoverability for new users. Creating a preview for social media websites like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc from a Blockchain website address is not easy, but the Internet Computer has made it possible and now supports social media previews as they do for Web2 websites.
Due to this new launch, on-chain platforms like OpenChat, distrikt, DSCVR and many more can now be discovered with a simple Google search. This is despite the front ends of these websites being built using Blockchain technology rather than a traditional IT stack. This new feature is perfect for Web3 developers to remove themselves from the shackles of centralized Web2 providers and allow them to build actual decentralized Dapps entirely running on the Blockchain. This will allow developers to stay true to the root idea of decentralization, while still making use of platforms like Google and Facebook for visibility and marketing features.
If you want to configure your Dapp for SEO and Social Media Previews, you can go through this article which goes in-depth about this topic.
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