Google is simply the closest thing to a true monopoly in our time. Sadly they have monopolized and subsequently weaponized the most desirable of modern resources...information. Any step away from this dystopian reality is a step in the right direction. The only thing more ubiquitous than googles hold over the instruments of communication and information, is the belief that their hold has grown too tight.
Presearch represents a platform that can dent this grasp. By incorporating a multitude of search functions, keyword staking and decentralizing the flow of information, Presearch stands above many competitors in the Holy work of dethroning Emperor Google. By slowly building the search functionality on the blockchain, a real attempt to communitize this wealth of information is underway, and it can all be done whilst utilizing Googles algorithm rather than fighting it; Bing and Yahoo are good cases in point of why approaching the problem that way round may be the most fertile solution.
Having this all rewarded with crypto should be seen as the cherry on top...That said, the PRE token and the rewards/distribution system seems to be far from perfect at this stage and the recently introduced PRE Levels seem one obvious bone of contention amongst the community.
I have been a Presearch user since January 2021 – In that time I have amassed 402.25 PRE at a current level of 5. I have seen the dizzying heights of levels 8, 7, 6 and the doldrums of 4 and subsequently have been at level 5 for some weeks now. Again I stress, I would use Presearch over Google even without rewards, but seeing as they are there, I have noticed some problems with its functionality.
My slide down from level 8 to 4 happened in quick succession. The PRE levels were put in place to stop people only using the engine for rewards and not searching for genuine results, but given the mixed reviews, and my own personal experience, it seems like a system with more than a few kinks.
For myself, a day spent trying to desperately remember the name of a 1990's late night music quiz show on British TV led to an unusually high volume of me searching similar terms over a couple of days. It wasn't long before Monday rolled around and I received a message on my Presearch page declaring that my searches have been flagged by the algorithm as potentially a misuse of the engine and my level has dropped to 4 and I need to be careful as tokens are only withdrawable at Level 5 or above. Incidentally I have not remembered said TV show and it still haunts me a bit (I think ITV hosted by a British-Greek guy with glasses and frizzy black pony tail. Was super budget and was like two music stars having a drunk quiz against each other – name something like: 'turn on, tune in, drop out' – or some similar corruption of Timothy Leary's famous quote...If anyone knows please let me know!)
A brief glance at Presearch Reddit pages or Twitter accounts will lead one to notice many seemingly genuine reports from users of the engine have had their levels changed, often when nearing the point of having 1000 PRE for withdrawal. This is no doubt for genuine reasons and borne of a system finding its feet, but it has led to feelings of animosity in some, and I feel is an over-complication of the system that has the potential to solve a great many problems we face.
The algorithm is learning, as we all are, and hopefully this process will get less restrictive. I can understand why Presearch felt the need to add this layer of protection. If bots, fake accounts and things of this nature run rampant then PRE will not reach its potential and will become a scalping sh*tco*n....and nobody wants this! That said, I feel that with the minimum withdrawal of 1000 PRE, the limit of 8 tokens per day and the recent halving of rewards from 0.25 pre to 0.12/0.13 provides some good layers of security to the token and the project.
The main and worrying upshot for me has been that when I really need to find something online, and its going to take some rooting around, I use Duckduckgo at the moment as I don't want Presearch to think I'm scamming it with a series of quick and similar searches...and obviously this is counter-intuitive to the exact kinds of searches that should help Presearch's algorithm improve and one day provide us with a tool to stand alongside Googles. I am more conscious and less natural in how I use Presearch because of the levels and this is an unhelpful direction of travel.
I would be more inclined to see the amount of PRE I get per search to lessen with my level, rather than access to the tokens themselves. With high gas fees on the Etherium chain, Presearch has, no doubt, sought to protect itself. With ETH 2.0 and proof of stake around the corner or perhaps even a move to the Binance chain as a possible option to lessen the costs of the exploitation of the token, I do believe this problem can and will be rapidly solved.
Either way, this is a needed and welcomed resource that we all must support and feed...Search on Pilgrims...Search on!