What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (2023)

Brave Search

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Private search that puts you first, not big tech

Brave Search doesn’t track you or your queries. Ever. Private, independent, and transparent, Brave Search is the real alternative to Google. On mobile, desktop, and anywhere the web takes you. Search private. Search with confidence.

What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (1) What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (2)

Search without a trace

Brave Search doesn’t track you, your searches, or your clicks. It’s impossible for us to share, sell, or lose your data, because we don’t collect it in the first place.

What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (3)

Private search that’s user-first

Google tracks everything you do, sells your data to advertisers, and leaves you vulnerable to hackers. Brave serves the user first. Not big tech.

It’s your data, your choice.

What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (4)

Independent search

Even supposedly “neutral” or “private” search engines rely on big tech for results. Brave is different. We deliver results based on our own built-from-scratch index. We’re beholden to no one.

What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (5)

Real transparency

Brave Search doesn’t use secret methods or algorithms to bias or censor results. We rely on anonymous community contributions to refine results, and community-created alternative ranking models to ensure diversity.

What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (6)

Comprehensive privacy

Brave offers best-in-class integration between private search and a privacy browser. This means all-in-one protection online—both during and after your search.

What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (7)

How does Brave Search stack up?

Built-in features

What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (8) Brave

What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (9) Google

What is Brave Search? | Brave Browser (10) DuckDuckGo DDG

Fully private, anonymous search

Integrated with a private browser on desktop and mobile

Transparent in how search results are ranked

Uses independent search index

Note: DuckDuckGo is dependent on the Bing search index for its search results.

FAQs

  • Brave Search is the world’s most complete, independent, private search engine. By integrating Brave Search into its browser, Brave offers the first all-in-one browser / search alternative to the big tech platforms. Brave Search is available as the default search engine in Brave or most other major browsers, or via search.brave.com.

  • For some Brave users who downloaded the Brave browser on October 19, 2021 or later, Brave Search will be automatically set as the default search engine. Simply conduct a search in the address bar of any Brave browser tab. Learn more.

    All other users can set Brave Search as the default search engine in Brave or most other major browsers, and then search from the address bar of any browser tab. To check the default search engine in the Brave Browser, open the settings page at brave://settings/search.

    You can also use Brave Search by visiting search.brave.com from any browser.

  • No. You can still use other search engines in the Brave browser. To do so, either visit the web address of that search engine (like google.com), or set another engine as the default in the Brave browser.

  • Yes. We do not believe in walled gardens, so you can set Brave Search as the default search engine in most major browsers. Or visit search.brave.com.

    In the future, we also plan to offer API access to Brave Search so it can power other search engines.

  • Brave Search is available in US and UK English, as well as French, German, and Japanese. We’ll be adding support for more languages soon, so check back often to see when private, independent search is available in your language.

    Note that if you live in the US, UK, France, or Germany and you downloaded the Brave Browser on October 19, 2021 or later, Brave Search may already be the default search engine. You can change the default search engine for the Brave Browser, or change the default language for Brave Search at any time.

  • We listen to all feedback we receive, and incorporate suggestions directly into our product roadmap. Use the feedback icon on any results page to submit feedback and suggestions.

  • Brave Search is ad supported and, unlike other search providers, our ads adhere to the principle of privacy-first. Ultimately, our vision is to expand the Brave Ads ecosystem to include search ads that reward users for viewing them. But this is still a work in progress; for now, Brave Search ads are not eligible for Brave Rewards. We hope to have more news on this in the coming months.

    Users who want to support the Brave Search mission, and get an ad-free experience, can upgrade to Brave Search Premium.

  • First, and most important, Brave Search adheres to core principles of privacy. We don’t track you, your searches, or your clicks. Ever. This is far different from the vast majority of search providers, who siphon up every piece of data about your search behavior, and tie it directly to you.

    Second, Brave Search operates from an independent search index. An index is the list of billions of web pages, and some basic info about those pages, that search engines draw from to deliver search results. Most search engines—even supposedly “neutral” or “private” ones—don’t do this. They’re just façades that rely exclusively on third-parties for their results. If Big Tech suddenly ceased to function, those other search operators would go offline. Brave Search, meanwhile, would stay fully operational.

    Independence means choice: for users—and for Brave—to be safer online, and not be beholden to the privacy invasions, censorship, biases, or economic interests of Big Tech.

    Note that Brave Search is based on an independent index. However, for some queries, Brave can anonymously check our search results against third-party results, and mix them on the results page. This mixing is a means-to-an-end toward 100% independence. For full transparency and to measure Brave’s progress toward that goal, Brave provides a “Results independence” metric. This anonymous calculation shows the % of search results that come from Brave versus these third parties. Note that no matter the independence metric, your privacy will always be 100%.

  • No, Brave Search does not filter, downrank, or censor search results. Nor will we change our search algorithm to increase or decrease the prominence of results in response to current events or anyone’s political, religious, ethical, or other beliefs. Brave Search—like Brave itself—is intended to be a user-first portal to the web, free of Big Tech’s manipulation.

    However, there is one exception to this rule: We do need to comply with laws governing search engines, including CSAM, copyright takedown (DMCA), right to be forgotten (GDPR), and nation-state orders.

    A few additional notes:

    • For a small percentage of queries where we don’t have good results, we’ll check Bing for server-side fallback mixing.
    • If you’ve chosen to enable it, we can also check Google for fallback mixing in your browser.
    • We rely on Bing for most image and video results.

    For each of the cases above, if the results are censored, filtered, or re-ranked at the source, those changes would also pass through to our results. You can easily see how often these third-party results are mixed (via our independence score), and our aim is to gradually reduce this mixing over time.

  • Goggles is a beta feature of Brave Search. Goggles enable anyone, or any community of people, to create sets of rules and filters to constrain the searchable space and / or alter the ordering of results. Anyone could then choose to apply a Goggle—or extend it—to their view of Brave Search results. Essentially, Goggles will act as a re-ranking option on top of the Brave Search index.

    This means that, instead of a single ranking, Brave Search can offer an almost limitless number of ranking options, enabling search use-cases that could be too specific for an all-purpose search engine. While Brave Search doesn’t have editorial biases, all search engines have some level of intrinsic bias. Goggles allows users to counter this intrinsic bias in the ranking algorithm.

    To access Goggles, simply conduct a search at search.brave.com, and then click the Goggles tab on the results page. Or you can visit the Goggles landing page.

    Read the full white paper about Goggles.

    Visit the GitHub repo to make your own Goggles.

  • The Web Discovery Project is a privacy-preserving way for you to contribute to the growth and independence of Brave Search. If you opt in, you’ll contribute some anonymous data about searches and web page visits made within the Brave Browser (including pages arrived at via some, but not all, other search engines). This data helps build the Brave Search independent index, and ensure we show results relevant to your search queries. By “data” we mean search queries, search result clicks, the URLs of pages visited in the browser, time spent on those pages, and some metadata about the pages themselves. Learn more.

    To opt in, open the Settings menu in the Brave browser. Select Search engine on the left panel, and then toggle on Web Discovery Project. You can opt out again at any time.

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