Just a few months after rolling out what can probably be called the first privacy-preserving news reader, the folks at Brave are taking a stab at creating their own search engine to complement their namesake browser.
Brave Search, which the company announced on Wednesday, is poised to become the “privacy-preserving alternative” to, say, Google search, whose massive market cache is built — in part — off of hoovering data from every search that its users make, even when those searches are happening in incognito mode. And as others have pointed out in the past, if you try to use Google search within Brave’s browser, there’s still all sorts of data being collected on Google’s end about the number of search ads you’re seeing or clicking on.
DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg has previously said that the only surefire way to keep your searches private is…to use a pro-privacy search engine. Brave, for its part, gives its users more than a dozen different search engines to choose from as their default, including privacy-preserving options like DuckDuckGo and Qwant, whose tagline is literally “the search engine that respects your privacy.”
Brave’s planning to align itself with these sorts of players for its own search engine, but it stands out from them — and from more mainstream competitors, like Google — in a few ways. First, the company says that it’ll be giving its users two options: an ad-free paid search option, or a free-to-use option that’s supported by the same Brave-centric ad network that jumps through tons of hoops to keep consumer data as far away from advertisers’ prying eyes as possible. And unlike the somewhat arcane and opaque metrics that Google uses to determine what sites get ranked within its own search engine, the team at Brave has already put out a proposal for the way its search engine might rank results in a freely browsable format.
Folks that want to give Brave’s new search engine a spin when it gets rolled out can sign up for the official waitlist here.