Brave, the privacy-conscious browser that blocks third-party ads and trackers by default, switches to using its own search engine by default. The company has announced that. The change will be reflected in new users and will affect which search engine is used from the browser’s address bar. Brave Search replaces Google in the US, UK and Canada, Qwant in France and DuckDuckGo in Germany. Other countries will be converted in the coming months.

It’s a significant step for Brave’s fledgling search engine, the launched in public beta Early this year as most people just take what they are given. The search engine, defined as the browser standard, is a valuable advertising tactic and so important that this practice has become an important focus of the antitrust investigation. In Europe, Google is now offering a selection of search engines for Android users after being fined $ 5 billion from EU regulators partly because of the illegal linking of Google search to Android. Over the years, Google has also had companies like. paid Apple and Fire fox to be the default search engine in their browsers.

“As we know from experience in many browsers, the default setting is critical to acceptance, and Brave Search has achieved the quality and critical mass required to become our default search option and provide our users with a seamless online experience with data protection by default offer, ”said Braves co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich in a statement. He added that the search engine is now processing “nearly 80 million queries a month”.

Although the move will increase awareness of Brave Search among Brave users, the browser’s market share is so small that it doesn’t even register against established competitors like Chrome, Safari, Edge and Opera, according to data Data from StatCounter. However, from September 2021 Courageous claims that his browser had nearly 40 million monthly active users.

The move not only increases awareness of the Brave search engine, but is also a sign of confidence in the new data protection-oriented service. What makes Brave Search stand out is that it builds on Brave’s own independent index of the web, while many competitors rely on a mix of results from larger indexes such as Microsoft’s Bing (although Brave has announced that it will include results from other vendors that it cannot produce itself enough). The company says its search engine doesn’t track “users, their searches, or their clicks”.

In addition to changing the default search engine, Brave is also introducing a new opt-in system that will allow users to contribute their data and improve their search results. Brave claims that his Web Discovery Project collects search and browsing data in ways that cannot be linked to individual users, and that cannot be sold to advertisers or given to government agencies.

Brave Search is currently free and doesn’t display ads, but the company plans to roll out ads in its free version and launch an ad-free premium service in the future.

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