In June 2021, Brave launched its in-house search engine aptly named Brave Search in a public beta. A year later, Brave Search is finally exiting the beta stage. Celebrating its first anniversary, the company has shared the key stats highlighting its growth and there are quite a few notable takeaways.
According to Brave, its privacy-focused search engine raked in 2.5 billion queries in the first year. In comparison, Google took more than a year to reach that figure while DuckDuckGo took more than four years. The company says only Microsoft’s Bing grew faster than Brave Search during the first 12 months.
2.5 billion queries in 365 days make for just under seven million queries on average each day. But Brave claims it reached more than double that figure some days, going up to 14.1 million queries. The company is projecting five billion queries annualized based on current monthly totals. It has seen a consistent growth reaching 411.7 million queries last month.
Interestingly, Brave Search usage almost doubled between October and November last year, going from 80.8 million to 151.7 million queries. That’s the highest monthly growth except for the first month when it jumped from 8.1 million queries in June 2021 to 34.5 million in July. The poor figure for the first month is because Brave Search arrived in the last week of the month.
But the growth between October and November 2021 should be the result of Brave making its search engine the default option in its browser. Tells you why Apple and Google often go extreme distances to make their search engines default in their respective browsers.
Brave Search is already taking on Google
When Brave announced its search engine, it claimed to offer “unmatched privacy” in this space. That was likely a subtle dig at Google, the most popular search app and also notorious for the handling of user privacy. Brave says it is unbiased and truly independent, unlike DuckDuckGo or Startpage, both of which rely on “Big Tech” to run. Brave Search, meanwhile, uses the in-house Tailcat open search engine that the company acquired early last year.
According to Brave, the current global independence score for all Brave Search users is 92 percent. This is an improvement from 87 percent when the service first launched a year ago.
While Brave doesn’t provide any numbers to back it up, it claims its Search app is already competing with established providers such as Google and Bing in “many regions”. The company is now looking to build on this “unparalleled growth” with new features.
One of the new search features that Brave is announcing today is called Goggles. It will “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 search results”. This feature is now available in beta. It follows the launch of Discussions in April. The latter provides more context to search results with real conversations related to the query. The conversations are pulled from online forums such as Reddit.
Brave wants to develop a viable alternative to Google Search. And it sounds confident of pulling off the arduous task. “Ever hear the phrase “Let me Google that for you?” How about letting Brave de-Google that for you instead?” the company says confidently.