Brave Search has been launched a new feature that allows you to create or apply custom filters that change the way results are ranked. It’s called “Goggles” and it can potentially help you discover resources that you might not immediately find in traditional search engines like Google.
Brave has some demos ready for users to try today, including posts that prioritize posts from smaller tech blogs and filter posts from the 1,000 most viewed sites on the web. There’s even a Goggle to exclude posts from Pinterest – because Brave clearly knows the frustration of trying to find an image and get a Pinterest post with no source. Brave says these goggles are for demonstrative purposes only, and developers can extend or branch them out. It will start removing these Goggles once users start coming up with their own Goggles, but I hope the Pinterest sticks.
While Brave says its engine, which is independent of entities like Google and Bing, “has no editorial bias,” that doesn’t change the fact that there are inherent biases in all algorithms. Glasses are meant to reduce this, essentially giving you a hand in shaping what those biases are.
After trying the feature myself, I was impressed with how well it actually works. I searched for “AirPods Pro review” with the “Tech blogs” filter enabled, and a number of independent blogs popped up – Custom Hour was nowhere to be found. For comparison, I searched the same thing on Google and saw Custom Hour appear on the first page of results.
But I was a little disappointed to find that making your own Goggles isn’t as easy as I thought – here I thought you could turn on some filters or just enter your own keywords. Well, it turns out there is some coding involved; developers can read the tool on GitHub. For now I’m just waiting for someone to come up with a Goggle that only allows me to view articles from satirical sources.
In addition to the launch of Goggles, Brave also announced that its search engine is out of beta and has already seen 2.5 billion searches in the past year. Brave is fast becoming the Swiss Army Knife of search engines (at least in my opinion). It rolled out a new Discussions feature in April, eliminating the need for users to add “Reddit” to the end of their searches — it now displays results from Reddit for relevant questions.