Brave Search is the fastest growing independent search engine. People choose Brave Search for its privacy protections, the fact it’s totally independent of Big Tech, and for its innovative search tools. In this article, we’ll give a brief overview of how Brave Search works, and highlight some of its core features.
The basics of navigating Brave Search
On the surface, Brave Search works much like any other search engine you’re used to.
- Navigate to search.brave.com.
- If Brave Search is already your default, simply start typing your query in your browser’s address bar.
- If Brave Search is not your default, learn how to set it in https://search.brave.com/default.
- Input your search query into the search box.
Once you search, you’ll land on a familiar-looking results page. From here, you can navigate through multiple pages of results, or filter by:
- Images, News, or Videos using the built-in buttons (or even Goggles, which we’ll talk more about later)
- Geographical region (you can also enable anonymous local results based on your IP address, or a location that you set manually)
- How recently the result was published
If the results don’t meet your expectations for any reason, please help us improve Brave Search by clicking the “Settings” gear icon in the upper right corner of your search results page, and then clicking “Share feedback.”
You can, of course, also [set Brave Search as your default search engine] (/default) and access it directly from your browser’s address bar.
What sets Brave Search apart
Brave Search is distinguished by three main characteristics: privacy, independence, and feature innovation.
Brave Search is built on its own independent search index. It doesn’t rely on Big Tech companies like Bing to power its search engine—but all other popular “private” or “neutral” search engines do. The result: no Big Tech dependencies, and no editorializing to bias or censor results. Brave uses anonymous community contributions to refine results, and community-created alternative ranking models (called Goggles) to ensure diversity. Learn more about Brave Search independence.
Brave Search also comes packed with innovative features and search tools. You’ll find familiar favorites from other search engines (like search operators and Bangs) and other features that are unique to Brave Search (like Goggles and Discussions)—all of which are discussed below.
Search Ads and Search Premium
Like other major search engines, Brave Search is ad-supported. But there’s a crucial difference: Brave uses its own private alternative to traditional search ads. It’s a way to deliver helpful results—which can sometimes be ads—all while protecting your privacy.
Brave Search Ads don’t rely on tracking, data collection, or user profiling to target users. You have the option to use Brave Search with private ads, or to sign up for ad-free Search Premium.
Brave Search features and how to use them
In general, Brave Search looks and feels much like other popular search engines, so there’s no learning curve. There are a handful of features that you’ve likely come to expect from other search engines that are all available in Brave Search, as well as some Brave-specific innovations:
Brave Search includes basic syntax tools, or “operators,” to augment search results. Some of the most popular search operators include:
- Quotation marks to search for an exact word or phrase (e.g. "Sony camera parts “DCR VX1000"”)
- “-” to eliminate results that include a particular word or phrase (e.g. “office -microsoft”)
- “+” to return results that include a particular word or phrase (e.g. “eagle +golf”)
Bangs are handy shortcuts that can quickly take you to another website’s results, or filter results quickly from desired sources. Simply type the Bang into your search query (e.g. “!r first tennis racket” for results from Reddit, or “!a first tennis racket” for results from Amazon).
Bangs are an easy, innovative way to filter results on a per-query basis. Learn more about how to use Bangs.
Goggles let you customize your search engine results pages (SERPs) according to your own rules or filters. They’re openly developed by the community of Brave Search users, so you can select Goggles from the list that people have published, or create your own. Some popular Goggles include News from the Left, News from the Right, and Tech blogs—all of which boost the type of content they describe.
To use Goggles:
- Click Goggles on any Brave Search results page (or visit https://search.brave.com/goggles/discover).
- Choose from one of the popular Goggles displayed, or click Show more.
- Follow any particular Goggles you’d like to easily access from the Goggles button on SERPs.
- Don’t see what you need? You can always create your own Goggles.
Brave Search Discussions detect discussion-worthy topics. If a query or topic is deemed discussion-worthy, Brave Search will automatically source additional results from forums (like Reddit or StackExchange) and display those in search results.
AI in Brave Search
In addition to those features described above, Brave Search also offers some built-in AI experiences:
Brave’s AI Summarizer provides concise answers at the top of Brave Search results pages, in response to your input, solely based on Web search results. And unlike other AI experiences, the Brave Search Summarizer cites its sources.
Snippets provide richer information (like locations, lists, direct answers, featured descriptions, etc.) in a “preview” format at the top of search results pages. Snippets content is generated from the Brave Search index, as well as through an AI model (Summarizer) that analyzes pages and extracts the most relevant snippet of text that answers your question.
Get started with Brave Search
Brave Search is built off a truly independent index, and supports our vision of a user-first Web. It prioritizes privacy and independence, as we continue to innovate and build new features that redefine Web search. Visit search.brave.com to get started.