Ecosia is a new search engine, whilst it does exactly what you would expect a search engine to do it is also a little different.

The main difference between Ecosia and other search engines is the fact that they use their profits to plant trees.

Yes, trees.

First founded in 2009, Ecosia is a German search engine company looking to make a difference. They proudly declare that they plant trees throughout the world where they can make a difference to the environment, the local people, and the economy.

Its easy to be a pessimist and wonder if they will live up to their declaration, but they do publish all of their monthly financial reports so everyone can see the revenue and profits that they generate. This is on top of all of the receipts for the purchase of trees and related expenses.

According to their latest reports, they have planted over 66 million trees worldwide. All with the help of 8 million active users.

How do they create their profits to plant these trees?

Ecosia generates its revenue and profits from the ads that show within their search engine, much like Google.

Unlike Google, Ecosia is open and transparent with their revenue stream and allow everyone to look into their financial reports.

How does Escocia get their search results?

Ecosia runs through Bing, so if your website has done well on Bing in the past then the likelihood is that it will do equally well on Ecosia.

The impact of Ecosia on the Search Engine Industry

Ecosia states on their website that they do not sell the data collected from people’s searches to advertisers, nor do they allow third party trackers.

These third party trackers include Google Analytics. The tracking tool that every business owner should have on their website/s to help them see how their website is performing.

Whilst many can argue that the removal of these tools will help to protect our privacy online, it isn’t great news for business owners who rely on these third party tracking tools to see whether their efforts online are working.

The increased use of Ecosia is fantastic for our tree life and environment but may leave many business owners in the dark. If business cannot see what online promotions and activities result in sales then they may stop or reduce these efforts.

What do their searches look like?

We did a basic search on both Ecosia and Google for ‘Garden Chairs’ to see if there were any differences in the search results.

Below is screen grab from Ecosia.

What’s interesting here is that on a desktop the majority of the page was taken up with shopping ads. Followed by three pay per click ads on the right of the shopping grid.

When we scrolled down we saw the following.

A further two pay per click ads before the organic/natural search results showed.

Below is a screen grab from Google.

Here you can see a selection of products from the google shopping feeds and then it jumps straight into organic/natural search results.

Which one is Best?

Its tricky to say which one is the best search engine to use.

Ecosia naturally has the environmental benefit to it which is of course a huge positive. However, from a user’s perspective there are a lot of ads on its search results which sways people towards bigger names and bigger budget companies instead of those who have worked hard to create a fantastic website.

With Google being the huge conglomerate that it is you can understand why people are moving away from it.

From a business point of view, allowing tracking apps to help businesses see how many people are coming to their website, from what source and what pages are the best at converting, is necessary. If we don’t see the results and cannot see where there are opportunities to improve our online presence, then its tougher to justify spending resources on our online presence.

As always, use the search engine that works best for you from perspective. Perhaps we should all be planting trees and carrying out other environmental activities instead of expecting our search engine to do it for us?

Could Ecosia trump Google one day?

Without a crystal ball, our best guess is no. Google has many revenue streams and holds a huge amount of power in the search industry. There are also so many different elements which so far have not been attempted by Ecosia for it to have any chance of becoming the UK’s most used search engine.

For more information about Ecosia, check out

Published: 16th Aug 2019

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