Brave Search logged 2.5 billion queries in its first year, Brave reported today, with a high of 14.1 million queries per day. It’s the fastest-growing search engine since Microsoft launched Bing in 2009.
“One year ago, we launched Brave Search to give everyone online a real choice over Big Tech: a privacy-protecting, unbiased alternative to Google and Bing, and a truly independent alternative to providers—such as DuckDuckGo or Startpage—that rely on Big Tech to run,” the announcement post notes. “Today, Brave Search is exiting its beta phase. It’s the default search engine for most new Brave browser users, and any user can search privately using Brave Search in their favorite browser by going to search.brave.com.”
Brave Search serves results that don’t rely on other search engines, in sharp contrast to the suddenly-controversial DuckDuckGo, which Brave CEO Brendan Eich recently called out for being beholden to Bing and other Microsoft services. Instead, its results come from its own “built-from-scratch index of the web.” Brave doesn’t track users, their searches, or their clicks, and in doing so it can claim to “put you first, not the advertising or data industries.”
Brave is also highlighting its stance against bias, with the implicit claim that mainstream search engines from Google and Microsoft are inherently biased against certain political viewpoints, in particular.
But the big news today on this anniversary is really about the growth. In reaching the 2.5 million query milestone in just one year, Brave has surpassed both Google, which took over one year to reach that milestone, and DuckDuckGo, which took over 4 years. And it is now on a 5 billion 5 annualized query rate, based on current monthly totals.
“Since launching one year ago, Brave Search has prioritized independence and innovation in order to give users the privacy they deserve,” Brave Chief of Search Josep M. Pujol says. “The web is changing, and our incredible growth shows that there is demand for a new player that puts users first. Today we’re releasing Goggles to alter the way search has traditionally been done and to put users in charge at last. The world is too diverse for a single ranking, so Goggles opens search ranking and filtering transparently for everyone to use, share, and improve.”
Today is also about the launch of a new Brave Search feature called Goggles. (Yes, Goggles.) Goggles will allow Brave Search to move past the single ranking model used by other search engines; it will instead offer an almost limitless number of ranking options. It does this by letting anyone, or any group, to create sets of rules and filters to constrain the searchable space and/or alter the ordering of search results. Anyone can apply a Goggle—or extend an existing Goggle—to their view of Brave Search results.
“Essentially, Goggles will act as a re-ranking option on top of the Brave Search index,” Brave explains. “Users [can] choose, alter, or extend the ranking of Brave Search results. With Goggles, users can search without Big Tech’s bias—they can search without limits.”