I really want to like Brave Search, but I’ve had several issues with getting results that are accurate to my search terms. Here are some of my broader issues:
Results can be very outdated: I will search for something – often something technical, as I do a lot of computer-related searching for my job – and receive results from 2014, 2011, or older as the whole first page. When I switch to “within the last year”, this sometimes improves, but when I compare with Google, I often find that newer results that are available were just missing from Brave altogether.
Some search terms are ignored: If I search for “how to [computer thing here] in Linux”, I will often recieve whole pages of results that don’t mention Linux at all, or are completly Microsoft- or Apple-centric. Similarly, I often notice that other important search terms are just left out of my search results, and putting them in quotes or adding a + before them doesn’t seem to help at all.
Finally, a specific one – This might be an example of search terms being ignored, per the above point, but it could also be caused by something else; and considering its impact, it’s VERY concerning: My search was for “successful examples of defunding police”, which is specifically what I’m researching. [Every result from Brave is a police-run or pro-police page about why defunding DOESN’T work.] (https://search.brave.com/search?q=successful+examples+of+defunding+police&tf=py). Many of those results are tiny, niche sites that clearly need their facts checked; and the front page has no solid or reputable news sources on it at all. When I go to Google and run the exact same search, I see a first page that’s about 75% success stories about defunding police, with the very first result being a recent article from The Guardian about exactly this topic – clearly a good result that should be showing up on Brave too.
My first thought was “holy crap, is Brave biased towards police? or against reputable news sources?” – but as mentioned above, I’ve noticed other cases of Brave Search seeming to ignore one of my search terms, so maybe this is just what happens if the word “successful” gets ignored. Still, it makes for a badly slanted and useless-for-research result set, and combined with the rest I’ve mentioned above, it’s making it impossible for me to use this search engine, however much I want to. The results just do not feel trustworthy.