Here's what we gathered from the Brave Search AMA on Reddit
Brave Search has been available in beta for a couple of weeks, and its developers held an AMA (ask Me Anything) session recently on reddit to answer queries from users. Here's what we could gather from it.
Independent Search Indexing
If you can recall, Brave acquired the Tailcat search engine, to integrate it with Brave Search. As to how the independent indexing works, a representative explained that Brave Search indexes the web based on real-life usage, i.e. good quality sites visited by people (without tracking their usage). Brave doesn't rely completely on machine learning, and user-contribute sites help filter and deliver the best results. The search index is around 9 Billion pages as of now, which only comprises a part of the web, though it is expected to grow as more users perform queries and visit the websites. The company's transparency page which shows the stats of the platform will soon be updated to reflect search-related data.
Latency and Language issues
The developer team has confirmed that Brave Search has been slow, and that they have received complaints from European users. They clarified that this was due to how they handle the traffic, the search engine's data center is located in the US West Coast, and places further away have higher latencies. Brave is planning on adding more data centers in the future, to address the issue. Some users mentioned that the search engine is not delivering results in the language they chose, and instead displays them in English. This seems to be tied to the Country setting that you have selected.
Brave Ads in Brave Search
When users asked if BAT would be added to the service, the engineers replied saying that Brave Search and Brave Ads are not being integrated at the moment. The company is focusing on improving the quality of the core search before diving into other options. The representatives also said that privacy-protected search ads are on the to-do list.
User requested features
Time zone queries and sports scores were among the most requested features by users, and Brave's team are working on these to be displayed on the results page.
The dictionary search feature which currently only shows definitions from Merriam-Webster, is also something that will be improved. While that seems good, the developers have mentioned that other functions such as reverse image search, shopping results are not a priority right now.
Brave Search will be coming out of beta this year, though the team hasn't mentioned an ETA for it. Brave's team says that over 100,000 people signed up for the early access waitlist, and that the numbers have gone up since. That's not surprising considering you can now use the service without signing up for access, just like other search engines.
The promise of no tracking is good, but it remains to be seen how the search engine is in terms of privacy in real-life. A security and privacy expert, or an audit might provide an impartial point of view on that.
I've been using Brave Search for about a month, primarily in Firefox, since I wanted to see how the search performs outside the company's product, aka the Brave browser. I wouldn't say it is as good as Google or even Microsoft Bing. But the results from Brave Search were better than the ones I usually get on DuckDuckGo. The autocorrect for misspelled searches, snippets related to content, the currency converter, and the over quality of the results are good. There's room for improvement, but so far it has been impressive.
However, the one issue which I faced with Brave Search was that most results seemed to be US based, i.e. it didn't focus on local results even when I searched for products that were only available in my Country.