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Say hello to Brave Search, search that respects your privacy

Brave is best known for their Chromium-based Browser that is faster and more private than Google’s Chrome Browser, but now Brave has expanded into Search with a new beta that aims to deliver a fast and private browsing experience that doesn’t track users, their searches, or their clicks.

Today users have a new option for search beyond just Google, Bing and DuckDuckGO. Even if you are using another browser you can expand your online privacy protection with Brave Search that puts users first, and fully in control of their online experience. “Brave Search is built on top of a completely independent index, and doesn’t track users, their searches, or their clicks.”

Brave Search is available in beta globally on all Brave browsers (desktop, Android and iOS) You can find it in your search options alongside other search engines, and will become the default search in the Brave browser later this year. It is also available from any other browser at search.brave.com

“Brave Search was announced this past March when Brave acquired Tailcat, and since then there have been over 100,000 users who signed up for preview access and testing. Brave recently passed 32 million monthly active users (up from 25 million last March), and Brave Search is the latest product offered by the company in its suite of privacy-preserving tools as millions of users are turning to alternatives to big tech. Brave already offers privacy-preserving Brave AdsBrave News, and a Firewall+VPN service.”

Brave Search is different from other search engines because it uses its own index and follows different principles:

  1. Privacy: no tracking or profiling of users. 
  2. User-first: the user comes first, not the advertising and data industries. 
  3. Independence: Brave has its own search index for answering common queries privately without reliance on other providers. 
  4. Choice: soon, options for ad-free paid search and ad-supported search. 
  5. Transparency: no secret methods or algorithms to bias results, and soon, community-curated open ranking models to ensure diversity and prevent algorithmic biases and outright censorship.
  6. Seamlessness: best-in-class integration between the browser and search without compromising privacy, from personalization to instant results as the user types.
  7. Openness: Brave Search will soon be available to power other search engines. 

“Brave Search is the industry’s most private search engine, as well as the only independent search engine, giving users the control and confidence they seek in alternatives to big tech,” said Brendan Eich, CEO and co-founder of Brave. “Unlike older search engines that track and profile users, and newer search engines that are mostly a skin on older engines and don’t have their own indexes, Brave Search offers a new way to get relevant results with a community-powered index, while guaranteeing privacy. Brave Search fills a clear void in the market today as millions of people have lost trust in the surveillance economy and actively seek solutions to be in control of their data.”

Brave says its Search uses its own index that ensures fully anonymous search. Brave also says it is transparent in how search results are ranked, which has been a point of contention with Google search and antitrust regulators all over the globe. Brave Search integrates with a privacy-preserving Brave browser on desktop and mobile for a mix of independence and privacy that currently is not offered.

“Brave Search is also introducing the industry’s first search independence metric, displaying the ratio of results coming exclusively from Brave’s index. It is derived privately using the user’s browser as we do not build user profiles. Users can check this aggregate metric to verify the independence of their results and see how results are powered by our own index, or if third-parties are being used for long tail results while we are still in the process of building our index. “

For example, Brave says its Search will typically be answering most queries, reflected by a high independence metric. However, for some features, like searching for images, Brave Search will fetch results from Microsoft Bing. Brave says this will not result in any tracking of users but will be reducing the independence metric.    

According to Brave transparency is a key principle and “there will also be a global independence metric for Brave Search across all searches, which we will make publicly available to show how we are progressing towards complete independence.”

Brave Search Independence Metric

“In order to present a true independent alternative to big tech, Brave decided to build its own index rather than rent it from Google or Microsoft”

Brave

“In order to present a true independent alternative to big tech, Brave decided to build its own index rather than rent it from Google or Microsoft, as other smaller search engines are currently doing.”

Brave also says Brave Search includes anonymized contributions from the community, that its says improves and refines results. Brave may not be able to handle al queries currently like image search and their “results are not relevant enough yet, and in those cases we are using APIs until we are able to expand our index. The Brave Search independence metric is a progress bar, and our goal is to achieve greater independence and better quality without compromising the privacy of our users.”

Brave will eventually display ads but will not during its beta phase and will “offer options for both ad-free paid search and ad-supported free search later.” Brave even plans to bring “private ads with BAT revenue share to search” like they have on their Brave browser.

Who’s going to try Brave Search in their browser and who is going to go all in with the complete experience with Brave Search on Brave browser? Let us know in the comments below.

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.

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