Search results independence

The search results independence metric is the percentage of searches, across all result types (web, news, images, videos), that are served directly out of Brave's independent index of the web. The remaining percentage come from anonymous API calls to third parties.

This metric appears in two places:

  • At the top of a results page
  • In Brave Search settings

The metric is measured in three ways:

  1. On the results page, in the info section, you'll find the % of results on that page that came from third-parties (in most cases, this will be zero)
  2. In settings, the “your” metric is the % of results that came from Brave's index, aggregated from all of your searches
  3. In settings, the “global” metric is the % of results that came from Brave's index, anonymously aggregated from all searches, across all people who use Brave Search

How exactly are the personal / global metrics calculated?

Independence metric screenshot

In the example screenshot above, 92% of query results were served out of the Brave index. By results we mean URLs, text snippets, rich-headers, maps, infoboxes, images, etc. In this case the remaining 8% were fetched anonymously from third parties—namely Google and Bing—and mixed in your browser to maintain privacy.

The global results independence is the same measurement, but an aggregate of all results served on Brave Search. This is calculated on Brave servers, and totally anonymous. Brave Search does not have the formal concept of a “user”, so there's no way we could associate specific queries, or even this independence metric, with any individual.

Why does Brave do this mixing?

Brave is fully capable of answering 99% of queries completely on its own. This check against third-parties is not due to lack of completeness. Rather, it's that for certain queries or result types (e.g. images) we may not be completely confident in our results to be at the level of quality you'd expect. In these cases, we rely on third-parties strictly as a means to an end: To ensure private results, served largely from an independent index, and a quality and nuance equal to that of other, older indexes. The results independence % will increase as Brave search improves, and as more people switch to Brave search.

What does independence mean to Brave?

Information is power, and Google has a near-monopoly on it. The information billions of people look up is being served by a non-elected, profit-seeking monopoly. In many ways, they decide what is true.

We need independent search engines, which have their own way of surfacing information and searching the web. Most supposedly "neutral" or "private" engines in fact could not offer search results without Google or Bing. Not so with Brave. We need real competition and choice—we need more independent search engines. This is Brave Search:

  • Independent. Brave Search uses its own, built-from-scratch index. Prior to Brave Search, producing quality results could be achieved only by big tech companies, which took many years and tens of billions of dollars to continually crawl the entire web.
  • Transparent. Brave Search uses anonymous community contributions to refine, and community-created alternative ranking models to ensure diversity, and combat bias and implicit echo chambers.
  • User-first. Brave Search delivers quality, transparency, and a commitment to breaking the hold a handful of tech giants have over the way we discover, share, and publish information online.

Fully private. No profiles.

Brave Search doesn't track you or your queries. Ever. It's impossible for us to share, sell, or lose your data, because we don't collect it in the first place. We leverage your browser to store information on how our search engine is helping answer your queries independently.