Privacy-focused Brave Search exits beta to challenge Google, nifty feature in tow

Brave is probably best known among hardcore geeks as one of Chrome’s challengers. But for awhile now, the company has offered more than just a privacy-minded browser. A year ago, it launched the beta for a search engine, too—and now, on its first anniversary, Brave Search has hit a milestone of 2.5 billion queries, with a peak of 14.1 million queries in one day.

For a nascent search engine, these numbers are big. As Brave claims in a blog post, it’s won this achievement faster than Google (who took over a year to meet the same goal), plus run circles around DuckDuckGo. Its privacy-oriented rival took four years to cross the same threshold. Brave Search is now the default search engine for the company’s Brave browser.

In addition to exiting its beta phase, Brave Search is also launching a new feature called Goggles. (Cue many future typos.) It joins another recently announced feature, Discussions, to provide a larger swath of information available online. But while Discussions are supplemental search results that show posts from forum sites like Reddit, Goggles hands users direct control over search results. You can apply your own rules and filters to queries for more flexibility and better tailoring of what gets served in response.

For example, you can narrow the scope of what’s searched or influence the order of the results—you’re not bound by Brave Search’s algorithms. In theory, Goggles should help when performing niche searches that can be overrun by general, popular results or when intentionally isolating content with certain tones (e.g. left- or right-leaning news sources).

Brave's sample Goggles
Brave’s initial set of Goggles, which will be deleted once users begin creating and contributing their own.

PCWorld

This feature could bolster Brave Search’s appeal among people who’d normally never go beyond Google. It offers a broader, more independent look at what exists on the web—after all, what a search engine serves you is based on its opinion of relevancy, as dictated by its algorithms. Just as you might solicit multiple opinions on a topic, the ability to manually seek different takes on search results via Goggles can help you gain a wider range of perspectives. Brave Search also provides a sense of higher quality, more curated results—you don’t need to learn the little search term tricks that force Google to filter out SEO garbage or to actually pull in Reddit posts.

But you can see it for yourself—just pop on over to https://search.brave.com, run a search, then click on “Goggles (Beta)” at the top of the results to apply a filter. You can also read more about the Brave Search’s approach to indexing the web and its anniversary milestone in its blog post.

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