Privacy-focused search engine Brave Search is adding conversations from forums to its results with a new feature called Discussions. It is now available for desktop and mobile.
Why Brave Search created Discussions. Brave said the goal is to provide more conversations around topics. Whereas websites have one point of view, a site like Reddit offers multiple points of view. Reddit also has a built-in way to measure the quality of an answer (upvotes or likes).
“Discussions are the first step to making search more diverse in content, increasing points of view in results, and ultimately helping people find the most useful, relevant info,” Brave said in a statement to Search Engine Land. “People want easy access to a variety of authentic search results. With Discussions, Brave Search is meeting that demand.”
What Discussions look like. Here’s a screenshot of a Discussion on a search for [lcd vs oled monitor]:
How Discussions work. Discussions can be triggered in search by questions about products, current events, travel, computer programming and coding, as well as “highly unique or specific questions.”
Brave Search said its ranking algorithm can detect queries where a discussion forum might give an alternative or complementary viewpoint to the search results. Brave creates a “discussion worthiness” score 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).
Where Discussions come from. Brave Search now includes conversations from Reddit and StackExchange. However, Brave said it plans to add more sources soon.
New milestone. Brave Search is not a major player in search and probably isn’t even given any thought as part of your search strategy. However, Brave Search does continue to grow. It has passed 12 million queries per day, or roughly 4.2 billion per year. (For comparison, DuckDuckGo serves 97 million searches per day, while estimates put Google at more than 5 billion per day).
Why we care. This is a particularly interesting feature in light of recent criticisms of Google around a lack of diversity in search results. There was just a long thread going on Reddit yesterday filled with complaints about Google’s search quality. What Brave Search is doing could be a model that will end up helping Google solve some of these problems. Interestingly, Google seems to be testing a similar feature called What people are saying that highlights discussions from Reddit and other communities.
Ultimately, a discussion or conversation feature could be coming to Google, which means even more competition in the SERPs. So it may be worth looking at a platform like Reddit to see if there is an opportunity to get your brand or business mentioned in relevant discussions for queries that include this SERP feature.