Review of Ecosia Search Engine

With the planet rapidly warming up and so much at stake, most of us feel like we need to do something to help the planet. Unfortunately, we can’t all bust out our shovels, run outside, and frantically plant trees until we pass out. There’s limits to how many trees will grow in our yard, and how much we can do when you can’t even get your food without a side of plastic to go with it.

Luckily, if you want to plant trees but don’t have the time, finances, or space for it—the answer is right at your finger tips. Merely switch over to Ecosia search engine for your daily search needs and every search you make will generate revenue used for planting trees.

So how does this work, and is it actually legit? Let’s take a closer look at Ecosia.

Ecosia is a certified B corp.

B corp certification means that Ecosia has been held to the highest standards of sustainability by B labs, the company that issues this certification. Ecosia has made an effort to be transparent with their finances and their projects, offering us videos and updates on their blog, but of course, those can all be faked. We all know how low big corporations are willing to stoop in order to make a buck, so an unverified financial report and some pictures is not a big whoop.

B corp certification is a level of respectability however, that makes me think their efforts are in fact real.

Transparency

Ecosia publishes their financial reports monthly so you can see a breakdown of where revenue from searches go. While there is no way to cross reference these financial reports, what we can do is double check the non-profits Ecosia uses for their projects to see if they are listed as a sponsor. Foundacion DIA and Trees for the Future both mention Ecosia as sponsors. We didn’t check all of the different sponsors, but from the look of things Ecosia really is putting their money where their mouth is and helping trees.

Is Ecosia a virus?

Some reviewers have claimed that Ecosia is a virus, using information on your searches to place advertisements on your screen. I’m not entirely sure if these well meaning bloggers quite know how search engines make their money, but it is true that Ecosia sells advertisements, and that they do base what advertisement you see on what you searched for.

Frankly, I think this is something we can all be grateful for. No one wants to have to explain to their kid what tampons are because they saw an advertisement while researching for their school project. If you feel like showing appropriate ads makes it a virus, you’ll probably want to avoid Google, Bing, Yahoo, and most other major search engines too. They all do the same thing.

Is Ecosia difficult to use?

I have found no difference between the quality of search results from Ecosia, and the quality of the search results from Google. I write for a living, and spend a significant amount of time on a search engine researching articles for other people. If it was difficult to use, I would simply stop using it.

As an advertiser however, I’d like to say that advertising with them could be improved. Ecosia is a subsidiary of Bing, which means it uses Bing’s advertising system. You have to sign up for a Bing account, and then filter for Ecosia. You can’t just advertise directly with Ecosia. As an environmental blog I’d really love to support them, but having to jump through hoops to do so is discouraging.

The bottom line

This search engine is no different from any other search engine, except for the fact that when you use it, the revenue generated from search advertisements goes to plant some trees. Isn’t that something we can all get behind?

Author: Xiuhcoati

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