Brave takes on Google with a search engine focused on privacy
In case you needed another search engine to choose from, Brave, the company behind the browser of the same name, has launched a search engine that’s ostensibly focused on privacy. The launch of Brave Search follows after Brave had announced that it intended to take on Google using technology developed by Tailcat, a search engine that the company recently acquired.
“Whether they are already Brave browser users, looking to expand their online privacy protection with the all-in-one, integrated Brave Search in the Brave browser, or users of other browsers looking for the best-in-breed privacy-preserving search engine, they can all use the newly released Brave Search beta that puts users first, and fully in control of their online experience” the company said in a blog post. “Brave Search is built on top of a completely independent index, and doesn’t track users, their searches, or their clicks.”
The company says over 100,000 people have signed up for beta access to Brave Search, and that Brave Browser has recently passed over 32 million active users. The company also says that its search engine adheres to the following principles, which it says sets it apart from competitors:
- Privacy: no tracking or profiling of users.
- User-first: the user comes first, not the advertising and data industries.
- Independence: Brave has its own search index for answering common queries privately without reliance on other providers.
- Choice: soon, options for ad-free paid search and ad-supported search.
- 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.
- Seamlessness: best-in-class integration between the browser and search without compromising privacy, from personalization to instant results as the user types.
- 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.”
The company says it is using its own index, including anonymous contributions from the community to refine and improve its search results, and abstaining from renting its results from Bing or Google. The company admits that currently, certain queries and image results are not relevant enough for general users and that they use APIs from other services to return search results in these circumstances. They’re pitching the service as a Google and DuckDuckGo alternative, offering what they say no other competitor can offer.
Brave Search will not display ads during this early part of the beta phase but will offer options for both ad-free paid search and ad-supported free search later. It will also explore bringing private ads with BAT revenue share to search, which is how Brave user ads currently work. The search engine can be accessed online by pointing any web browser to search.brave.com, or it can be accessed from within the Brave browser app for PC, Android, and iOS.