Google is so synonymous with searching the Internet that it’s become a verb. There are other companies and some browsers that have developed their own search engines, but none of them have really been able to compete. The company behind the Brave browser intends to change that. It’s launching the Brave search engine.
Brave Search Engine
You may or may not be aware of the Brave browser. It’s known for always putting its users’ privacy first. You can bet it will carry that same focus into its search engine.
This is coming at a time when even Google is vowing to abandon its practice of tracking user data. Also at this time, Apple is forcing transparency on apps. If your app is being offered in its App Store, you need to divulge what data you keep on users and what you do with it.
Just two years after the Brave browser made its debut, it’s looking to branch out. The company was founded by Brendan Eich, a former Mozilla executive. He’s taking a “brave” position to challenge not just Google’s browser but its search engine as well.
Eich says Brave Search already has a waitlist for its launch in the first half of 2021 and vows not to track or profile users. “Brave already has a default anonymous user model with no data collection at all,” boasts the Brave founder. The search engine will do the same – IP addresses will not be collected. His company is exploring how to have both a paid no-ads search engine and a free one supported by ads.
This is a difficult space to break into, though, as others have found. Google, with a 92 percent share of users, has had a few decades to build its model that includes all websites and ranks them. Microsoft’s Bing is the second leading search engine with only a 2.7 percent market share.
How Brave Search Will Work
Eich explains that Brave Search won’t be starting from scratch in indexing all websites but won’t be using the indexes of other search engines either. Brave purchased Tailcat, a German search engine Cliqz offshoot. Its indexing and the technology behind it come along with the purchase.
“What Tailcat does is it looks at a query log and a click log anonymously,” Eich explains. “These allow it to build an index, which Tailcat has done and already did at Cliqz, and it’s getting bigger.”
He readily admits that the index won’t be as deep as Google’s but thinks it will hit the sites users are looking for. “It’s the Web that the users care about,” says Eich. “You don’t have to crawl the entire web in quasi-real-time as Google does.”
Additionally, Brave Search will utilize filters called Goggles. These will allow users to create their own list of sources to crawl for results. The fitters could include specific types of sites or media outlets.
Google changing its data collection model could be opening up the search engine space for competitors. Apple has been rumored to be building its own search engine, and former Google engineers who built Neeva have plans to utilize a search subscription model.
It’s unlikely that any of these will topple Google and knock it out of its very-safe No. 1 spot, but one or more have a chance at making a dent. Apple probably has the best chance, since it reportedly plans to make it the default search engine in Safari.
If you’re considering making a change to the more privacy-conscious Brave browser, read on to see how it compares to Google Chrome.