Brave has announced an update to its privacy-centric search engine that it believes will give users a way to overcome bias in results.
To mark the full public launch of Brave Search, the company has released a new experimental feature called Goggles, which allows users to define a set of rules that can be applied to their search results.
Effectively, the tool allows the results to be reclassified according to the types of content the user wants to access. In an example provided by Brave, results for the search term “politics” were set to prioritize content from tech blogs that might otherwise be excluded by mainstream media.
“Since launching a year ago, Brave Search has prioritized independence and innovation to give users the privacy they deserve. The web is changing and our incredible growth shows that there is demand for a new player that puts users first,” said Josep M. Pujol, head of research at Brave.
“Today, we are launching Goggles to change the way search is traditionally done and to finally put users in charge. The world is too diverse for a single ranking, so Goggles opens the search ranking and filters it transparently for everyone to use, share and improve.”
Brave Search exits beta version
Released in beta precisely one year agoBrave Search has enjoyed impressive growth to date, supported by the growing popularity of web browser.
In its first year, Brave Search served more than 2.5 billion queries; a milestone reached in a quarter of the time of direct rival DuckDuckGo. The comparison isn’t entirely fair, because attitudes towards privacy have changed considerably since DuckDuckGo’s release at the end of the years, but the numbers look promising for Brave nonetheless.
The official launch also coincides with a period when DuckDuckGo (whose search engine is built on top of Microsoft Bing) is experiencing something of a fall in fortune after the company’s mobile browser emerged. does not filter Microsoft trackers by an agreement with the Redmond giant.
On the other hand, Brave presents its search engine as the only privacy-first alternative on the market that is truly independent of Big Tech because it is powered by its own proprietary web index.
In this writer’s experience, the quality of Brave’s search results is also quite high, although it is sometimes necessary to turn to Google for complex queries. Abandoning Google entirely for Brave Search would require a measure of compromise.
However, Brave believes it can close the gap between market leaders without resorting to intrusive monitoring practices, through mechanisms that allow users to send feedback and anonymously donate their browsing data.
“Of course privacy, independence and innovation are good. But the search lives and dies in precision. From the beginning, we set out to build a search engine that offered the quality, nuance, and depth that people have come to expect from Google and Bing.
“To ensure free access to information, it is imperative that we have multiple search providers – no choice, no freedom. Search engines that rely heavily or exclusively on Big Tech are subject to its censorship, bias and editorial decisions. Brave is building an alternative, not a skin over what already exists.”