Introducing Discussions: Real Human Answers in Search Results

When people search, they want relevant, useful results, free of noise. Unfortunately, search engine optimization (SEO) has become such a science—and a big business—that results pages in Big Tech search engines like Google are often cluttered with ads and automated content (or “SEO spam”) from marketers trying to game the system and increase the rank of their sites.

Against this backdrop, Brave is announcing an exciting new feature of Brave Search. It’s called Discussions, and it’s now available on desktop and mobile.

Discussions are a different entry point to real-human conversations on certain topics, especially ones suffering from a glut of SEO content. This content—so prominent on Google that one recent viral blog post asserted “Google Search is dying"—is driving people away from search as their go-to source of info. Instead, they’re looking to forum sites like Reddit, which offer multiple points of view, and a readymade method—upvotes and likes—to measure an answer’s quality.

When it comes to SEO spam, Brave Search is already better than other search engines. With Discussions, Brave Search is enhancing results even more, bringing the real human conversations (and answers) people want right to the search results page.

With Discussions, search results on Brave Search are augmented with actual conversations related to the query, pulled from popular forum sites like Reddit. This allows users to easily see what the community is saying about a topic, rather than just reading content curated by websites.

While Discussions can apply in hundreds of scenarios, they’re especially useful for:

  • Product questions
  • Questions about current events
  • Travel-related questions
  • Computer programming / coding questions
  • Highly unique or specific questions

The Brave Search team has been developing Discussions for quite some time, and we’re excited the feature is now ready for Brave Search on desktop and mobile. Discussions are the first step to making search more diverse in content, increasing points of view in results, and ultimately in helping people find the most useful, relevant info. People want easy access to a variety of authentic search results. With Discussions, Brave Search is meeting that demand.

How Discussions Work

To see Discussions in action, simply search for anything on Brave Search. For many queries, you’ll see a list of discussion topics near the top of the search results page:

Discussions, on Brave Search

To serve these Discussions, the Brave Search ranking algorithm detects queries where a discussion forum might give an alternative or complementary viewpoint to the search results. This “discussion worthiness” score is based on a variety of signals, including:

  • Freshness (or recency) of the topic
  • The popularity of the topic on a given forum
  • The quality of the conversation (as measured by user engagement, such as upvotes or responses)
  • The search quality score (which measures how relevant the discussion is to a query)

For now Brave Search Discussions come primarily from two sources: Reddit and StackExchange. Brave will be adding more sources for Discussions in the near future.

Alternative Results, Alternative Rankings

The power of Discussions is that it offers alternative, forum-driven answers to search queries. It meets a human desire for social proof, and begins to address the issue of automated content and SEO spam.

But Discussions is just the first step in Brave’s mission to make search more neutral and open, and to counteract bias or outright filtering of results. Discussions will soon be followed by Brave Goggles, which will allow users to create their own result filters, and rulesets to constrain a searchable space or alter result ordering.

Rather than a single, secretive way of ranking and “curating” results (as there is with Google), Brave Search Goggles will allow for an almost infinite number of ranking and filtering options. All driven by the community of users. And together, Discussions and Goggles will offer a powerful set of tools to counteract bias and Big Tech’s unseen influence on our information.

Discussions and Privacy

Discussions (and, later, Goggles), underlines the true power of Brave Search:

  • It offers true privacy—Brave Search doesn’t track you, your searches, or your clicks.
  • It combats bias—Brave Search offers results from its own, independently built index of the web, and brings real transparency to search.

Brave Search recently passed 12 million daily queries (or more than 4.2 billion queries annualized), which shows that there’s clear hunger for an independent search option. Add to this the protection of the Brave Browser—which blocks trackers, fingerprinting, and other creepy ways advertisers identify you online—and you get a real, viable alternative to Big Tech.

Get started with Discussions…and with Brave

The Discussions feature is available to all users of Brave Search, on all platforms. To see it in action, just visit search.brave.com from any browser and try a search.

Want to ditch Big Tech, and get back your privacy? Download Brave for desktop, Android, or iOS. It only takes 60 seconds to switch.

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