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Google Extends Its Web3 Search Reach, Adds More Blockchains and Ethereum Domain Names

Google’s search engine added Ethereum ENS support, indexes the balance and the last update time of the wallet addresses on Bitcoin and six other blockchains.

Google has started to do to Web3 what it does so well for Web2 - indexing everything.

The tech giant added functionality to its search engine, allowing users to quickly find the balance and last update time of wallet addresses across six blockchains: Bitcoin, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Optimism, Polygon, and Fantom.

The Silicon Valley company had already added support for Ethereum addresses in May 2023. Earlier last month, former Ethereum developer Brantly Millegan spotted Google had built a tool into its search engine that, by indexing data from Etherscan, provides their users an instant view of the wallet details of the human-readable Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains.

The inclusion of a quick results feature for the six networks was announced by Google’s VP of Engineering Rajan Patel on X and was mostly met with criticism. 

From a user perspective, it was pointed out that the increase in efficiency is minimal, as clients can almost as easily search for the wallet addresses on Web3 platforms such as Etherscan for Ethereum, for Bitcoin, Blockchair, Arkham Intelligence, Web3compass, and others.

Also, the new Google service is incomplete compared to other crypto-native tools. These original tools include more information on all tokens held by the wallet, further details on all past transactions, and an overview of the account balance.

When Millegan noted that the search engine was querying ENS wallet addresses, users reported inconsistencies with the functionality. The same problem persists when finding information on the other blockchain’s wallets, with some users being able to use the new function while others are not.

Apart from tool-specific objections, the tech corporation was also criticized for taking the traffic from the websites that put in the hard work to develop the tools’ tech. Co-founder of Foundation Digital, Greg Boser, replied to Rajan Patel's announcement with more than a little disdain: “Oh look. Another non-original idea designed to take traffic away from those who developed original ideas. #GoogleSucks."

Out of the 4.8 billion people using the internet daily, 4.3 billion use Google as their default browser, making it the preferred search engine over how knowledge is discovered online, and the lucrative data-collecting business it has made out of it, has drawn intense criticism over the years.

With the rise of blockchain technologies, several projects are trying to replace the services offered by Google, such as Presearch for search engines, with more privacy-preserving and community-centered alternatives.

The tech giant is one of the world’s largest corporations, with power more mighty than most countries’ governments, making it easier for it to incorporate tech it didn’t build than for potential competitors to take any substantial amount of users away from it.