May 30, 2024

Everything About Brave Search

About 95% of internet users automatically think of Google when search engines are mentioned. Some people don’t even know that there are other search engines outside Google. This is largely attributable to the extraordinary strength and calibre of Google search, which has eliminated all other options for rivalry in the present and is probably going to continue to rule in the future. In the market for search engines, Google has successfully established itself in this way.

The fact that Google gathers and sells our information, including location data, to advertisers is known to anyone who is familiar with how Google search functions. Furthermore, issues connected to biassed search results and other similar problems have been brought up. Those who value their privacy highly,Google might not be your first pick. Are there any substitutes that can equal Google’s quality in such circumstances?

There is a search engine that is relatively new named “Brave” as an option. Its lofty objectives include giving Google search fierce competition. Let’s examine “Brave Search” and its attributes.

About Brave Search

Brave search is developed by Brave Software Inc and was released in March 2021 in Beta. Later in October 2021 it was made a default browser in “Brave” browser.

Finally in June 2022 it ended its Beta stage and was released fully.

“PRIVATE, INDEPENDENT and TRANSPARENT” is how it identifies itself. Let’s see what does it mean for Brave Search and evaluate if that was what it stands for.

Untraceability and Private Search 

Brave Search does not track you or your search or even your clicks. And it doesn’t even sell our information to the private advertisers because it does not track us in the first place. So we are like anonymous users searching the web which makes us Private. 

Independent Index

Brave Search has its own Search Index and does not rely on Google or other like any other  third party search engines. So even if Google stops providing its Index, it does not affect Brave search.  

Transparency 

Brave Search does not use algorithms and such to alter the search results, show biassed results or even censor the results. They rely on community driven ranking models to show the results and rankings to ensure diversity. 

                                              Brave vs Google vs DuckDuckGo 

Attributes of Brave Search

Ads and Premium Search:

Users generally see the “search ads” but are consistent with its trademark of anonymity and privacy. Also the ads are clearly marked.

If any one has opted for “Brave Rewards” then they will not be able to see the search ads as they are not eligible for receiving the “BAT” tokens. But Brave plans to bring it in future. 

Premium search:

If one doesn’t want to see the ads at all, they can opt for premium search experience. 

AI in Search

Brave has its own inbuilt AI algorithms and models for Search experience and does not  rely on any Large tech corporations. Hence Independent and following are the Features powered using AI:

Summarizer: 

Provides concise and to the point answers at the top of the search results based on user input and web results. Brave trained its Large Language model(LLM) to fetch information from multiple sources for a more uniform and concise description.

Summarizer is said that it does not fabricate the information like some chat bots etc. But if one wants to “turn off” the Summarizer they can do it from settings.

Featured snippets : 

The cases where only from a particular source of information would suffice, it gives a snippet of that text from that source. 

Bangs in Search

Like DuckDuckGo even Brave search also has the feature to use the bangs in its searches.

Bangs are shortcuts which allow users to skip the search totally. It in return takes users to that particular site for results. For example if I have used the bangs of “wikipedia” and search something it directly takes me to the wikipedia page for the results I have searched. In short it takes you to other websites directly. 

Some of the bangs are (!tw) for twitter, (!r) for reddit and many more………

For list of all the bags that Brave support go to https://search.brave.com/bangs 

Anonymous Cookies 

Brave only uses anonymous cookies and hence websites cannot track you and see your personal information and you are more private. If you have any preferences, you can set using the setting and these cookies brave remember them and give the results based on it. 

Like metrics like pound or kilo etc. 

Some of the examples of the cookies Brave uses are : 

  • Metrics : Users can set their preferred units of measurement.
    • US for imperial 
    • Metric for metric 
  • Safe search : filters out explicit or inappropriate content. Brave users have the option or choice for viewing.
    • Off : all adult results are shown normally
    • Moderate : adult results are show except multimedia
    • Strict : adult results are removed

Brave Search Discussions

Brave has a feature called Discussions that makes it simple to display discussion-based results next to searches that generate a lot of SEO traffic.

Instances where discussion boards might offer an alternative or complementary perspective to the organic search results are flagged by the Brave Search ranking system. This is accomplished by calculating a “discussion_worthiness” score that is dependent on a number of signals, including

  • Freshness of the subject (i.e., is the subject urgent?)
  • The topic’s popularity in discussion forums
  • The calibre of the conversations (i.e., user participation in these threads)
  • The relevance of the discussion to the user query is measured by the search quality score.

Shows mainly discussions from various discussion forums but most likely from “reddit” like you are seeing below.

Goggles

Most of the search engines have some intrinsic bias due to data or algorithms choices. But Brave is trying to counter that bias using a feature called “Goggles” which is currently in the BETA version.

What is “goggles”?

One can call it a “custom re-ranking setter” as it enables users or a community to alter the rankings of searches using filters and rules. One search can have multiple ranking options and users can be able to select from.

Where to find and How to use it?

Goggles is available below the search in the form of “tab” like All, images etc

To use goggles, click on the tab and select the available google or create your own. There is a discovery page where you can find available goggles to the public.

Fallback mixing

While Brave search is relatively new and still in its initial stage, it is obvious that it cannot provide search results in depth. In case we cannot find what we are looking for and to provide us the results, Brave added a feature called “fallback mixing”. 

Fallback allows the brave to browse other search engines anonymously. It provides results along with the brave results. For example if we select “google” it will return results from both google and Brave.

One has to enable “Fallback mixing” to use it.

 From the above image we can enable fallback mixing or directly search in google by clicking the below button. 

One has to remember that this is just a temporary arrangement in Brave until they have a strong index and search engine.

Anonymous Local results

If you want to search something like “best restaurants near me”, then search needs to know your location and hence asks to allow/enable the location. While most search engines associate your ip address, location and your personal information. 

But Brave, even though using the ip address of your device it does not store or use it to link with our personal information(as it doesn’t even collect this). 

Users have to enable it by going into the settings, then only their ip address is used and the results are shown.

Partner Integrations 

Brave search partners with some companies and integrates with them to show the results and improve user experience.

For Example Brave partners with Trip advisor, amazon api and kayak etc to show results like flights, amazon products, businesses etc using a widget. 

Proof of Work captchas 

Are you the one who cannot solve the captchas on the first try or thinks it is a waste of time or has difficulty in solving them? But it is used to prevent the bots from accessing websites. Even though it still takes time and effort for a user to access and in many cases users don’t even want to access the website when they see difficult captchas.

So using Brave search users do not need to solve the captcha but instead his computer solves them using a concept called “proof of work” inspired from Bitcoin.

Conclusion 

In conclusion we can say that Brave search is very different from the current available search engines. While it might stress on privacy it will be difficult to provide a deep personalization and while it is Independent it might take some time to be able to compete with google and many more. 

But the final word that can be said about brave search is, it is more user centric than any other engines and it might see a bright future when web3 and its application become mainstream.

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