Privacy-centred internet browser Brave has now replaced its default search engine, Google, to its own offering, Brave Search.
Brave Search was first announced back in March this year, when the browser acquired the search engine Tailcat, which answered users’ search queries without recording their search activity or creating user profiles. This was then taken down, with Brave Search officially in the works.
Having undergone public beta testing and been released to the wider world, on its Brave browser, the search engine has replaced Google for those in the UK, Canada, and the US; DuckDuckGo for those in Germany; and Qwant for those in France. This change is for new users, and it affects the search engine used for the address bar at the top of the browser. The switch is set to take place in more countries in the months to come.
Of the release, Brendan Eich, the CEO and co-founder of Brave, said in a statement that:
“As we know from experience in many browsers, the default setting is crucial for adoption, and Brave Search has reached the quality and critical mass needed to become our default search option, and to offer our users a seamless privacy-by-default online experience.”
The CEO also revealed that Brave Search now deals with almost 80 million search queries each month, with the browser having nearly 40 million active users each month.
Brave Search is yet another move in relation to the browser’s privacy-focused ethos. By default, the Brave browser blocks any trackers or third-party ads, and, according to The Verge, Brave has stated that its search engine itself doesn’t track clicks, searches or its users.
In addition to the default search engine switch, a new system is being launched in which users can opt-in and supply their data in order to help Brave Search improve its search results. Called the Web Discovery Project, Brave has claimed that this data collection won’t tie anything to individual users, nor will it be sold to any advertisers or given to any authorities.
Currently, the search engine is free and doesn’t display any ads. However, back in March, Brave revealed its plans to launch ads in the future, while also offering users the option to pay for an ad-free search experience.
While adopting Brave Search as the default search engine on its browser will likely see an uptake in its users, it’s not likely to pose a threat to Google any time soon, which has a significant monopoly on the search engine market. However, if you have a website, it’s always worth watching out for developments like this. If you need a website optimised for search engines, speak to our Engage Web team today.