Brave Search has launched a new feature that lets you create or apply custom filters that change how its results are ranked. It’s called “Goggles,” and it could potentially help uncover sources you might not find right away on traditional search engines like Google.
Brave has a few demos ready for users to try today, including ones that prioritize posts from smaller tech blogs and filter out posts from the top 1,000 sites on the web. There’s even a mask to exclude posts from Pinterest, because Brave clearly knows the frustration of trying to find an image and getting a Pinterest post without a source. Brave says these glasses are for demo purposes only, and developers can expand or fork them. It will start removing these glasses once users start creating their own, but hopefully the Pinterest one will stick.
Although Brave claims that its engine, which is independent of entities such as Google and Bing, “has no editorial biases”, this does not change the fact that there are biases inherently present in all algorithms. The glasses are intended to mitigate this, essentially allowing you to participate in defining these biases.
After trying the feature out for myself, I was impressed with how effective it was. I searched for “AirPods Pro review” with the “Tech Blogs” filter turned on, and a bunch of independent blogs came up – The edge was not found. To compare, I googled the same thing and saw that The edge appears on the first page of results.
But I was a bit disappointed to find that creating your own glasses isn’t as easy as I thought – here I thought you could switch to a bunch of filters or just enter your own keywords. Well, it turns out there’s some coding involved; developers can learn about the tool on GitHub. For now, I’ll wait for someone to come up with a mask that allows me to only see articles from satirical sources.
Along with launching Goggles, Brave also announced that its search engine is no longer in beta and has already logged 2.5 billion searches over the past year. Brave is quickly becoming the Swiss army knife of search engines (at least in my opinion). It rolled out a new Discussions feature in April that began to eliminate the need for users to add “Reddit” to the end of their searches – it now shows Reddit results for relevant queries.