The Brave Search engine takes on Google, promising to let users surf the web without leaving a trace
Brave, the company known for its eponymous web browser, has announced the launch of its own search engine dubbed Brave Search. The product, which is currently in beta and is built on an entirely independent search index, promises that it won’t track users, their searches, or their clicks.
Brave Search was announced in March of this year when Brave acquired the Tailcat search engine in a bid to offer a private alternative to Google. It has since been tested by over 100,000 users who have signed up for preview access. The global beta is now accessible for the desktop, iOS, and Android versions of the ad-blocking Brave web browser. However, even if you don’t use Brave, you can still test the search engine from any browser by punching in search.brave.com.
“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,” said Brave CEO and co-founder Brendan Eich.
To set itself apart from the competition, Brave Search claims to follow seven principles – privacy, user-first, independence, choice, transparency, seamlessness, and openness. To go into more detail, Brave Search will be a user-first platform, users won’t be tracked nor profiled, and in the future, they will be able to choose whether they’ll opt for a paid ad-free search experience or use ad-supported search. During the early beta, the search engine won’t be displaying ads; however, the ad-free and ad-supported options will be introduced later on.
Additionally, the search engine will be independent in that it will rely on its own search index for common search queries. It will also allow seamless integration between browsers and the search engine without undermining privacy in the process. In the spirit of transparency, Brave Search vowed to avoid using secret algorithms or biased results; to that end, it hopes to launch community-curated open ranking models in the near future.
The search engine still seems to be a work in progress since it isn’t able to process certain types of queries to get relevant results; in such cases, Brave Search will rely on APIs until its search index is large enough.
“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,” the company concluded. While there is no specific date set for the full release of the search engine, it should become the default option for Brave browsers later this year.