Ecosia – FAQ

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Contents

Ecosia – FAQ

Ecosia is a search engine based in Berlin, Germany, that donates 80% or more of its profits to nonprofit organizations that focus on reforestation and planting trees where they are needed most.

How legit is ecosia?

However, the “B” stands for the fact that Ecosia got its certificate from B Lab, which is a nonprofit organization. This certification means “rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” That all means that Ecosia is a legitimate green search engine.

Does ecosia use Google?

Ecosia does return relevant results – check. But, Ecosia uses the Yahoo! and Bing algorithms, which many believe are not as developed as the Google algorithms. On both search engines, the interface is attractive and easy to use, but Google offers more options to help find alternative results.

Is ecosia owned by Microsoft?

Ecosia’s search results and search ads are powered by Microsoft Bing. We use Bing’s search technology, enhanced with Ecosia’s own algorithms. Bing is Microsoft’s own search and it was launched in June 2009, so just a few months before Ecosia was founded! Bing is the second largest search engine in the US, after Google.

Does ecosia sell your data?

How does Ecosia protect my privacy? We only collect the data we absolutely need and do so with a self-hosted, secure and encrypted in-house analytics system. We do not, and never will, share or sell any data we collect ourselves with any third party.

How many trees have ecosia planted in 2020?

But this year you also helped us finance 37 million trees in total. Thanks to your ongoing support, in 2020 we have grown our treeplanting team to five people and we joined forces with an additional seven planting projects across the globe. Forests take time to grow, nature regenerates at its own pace.

How many trees has ecosia planted?

100 million trees
In addition to planting over 100 million trees, Ecosia has built their own solar power station in order to energize 200% of all its servers. The company’s founder and CEO Christian Kroll also promised never to sell the company, so Mother Earth can continue to flourish as long as people are using the search engine.

Why is ecosia not working?

Go to ‘Menu’ -> ‘Add-ons’ and make sure the Ecosia Extension is not installed. If it is still installed, please ‘Remove’ it. Go to ‘Menu’ -> ‘Settings’ -> ‘Search’ and make sure Ecosia does not appear in the list of search engines. If it still appears, remove it.

Who is ecosia owned by?

CEO -> Christian Kroll

How many trees are planted a minute?

Thanks to our many tree-planting supporters, we planted an incredible 5 million trees across 18,000 acres of National Forests in 2019. That is nearly double the 2.6 million trees we planted in 2018! Beside this, how many trees are planted every minute? That is 139 acres each minute.

How does ecosia earn a profit?

How does Ecosia make money? Its website states: “Like any other search engine, Ecosia earns money from clicks on the advertisements that appear above and beside the search results. “The advertisements on Ecosia are clearly labeled as Ads and are text links to websites that pay for each click by users.

Is ecosia carbon neutral?

Since we produce our own solar electricity, and because we use our profits to plant CO2-sequestering trees, Ecosia is not just “carbon neutral”: your searches actively remove CO2 from the air.

Where are ecosia trees planted?

Ecosia supports over 20 treeplanting projects in 15 different countries; Peru, Brazil, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Haiti, Colombia, Spain, Morocco, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Indonesia. To achieve this, we work with local partners who are able to monitor your trees on the ground.

How do I add ecosia to Chrome?

Step 1: Click “Add to Chrome
Step 2: Click “Add extension” in the Chrome dialogue box that appears.
Step 3: Try searching from the address bar! Make sure to “Keep Changes” in order to confirm Ecosia as your default search engine in Chrome.

How old is ecosia?

Ecosia is a social business founded in 2009 after a trip around the world. December 2009 Ecosia is born Christian founded Ecosia.org after a trip around the world helped him understand the problems of deforestation.

Why You Should Use ecosia?

5 Reasons to Use Ecosia as Your Search Engine
1) Ecosia plants trees! For every 45 searches (on average) Ecosia will plant a tree, it’s that simple.
2) It’s free and won’t change your browsing experience.
3) They plant good trees and look after them.
4) Other benefits: you will create jobs.
5) Carbon negative searching.

How much is ecosia worth?

According to its self-published financial statements, Ecosia’s July 2019 revenue (over $1.6 million) was more than double its July revenue the previous year.

How do I install ecosia?

The best and easiest way to install Ecosia in your Browser is to install our extension. To install our extension either go to www.ecosia.org and click “Add Ecosia” in to top right or use the direct links to our extensions

How do I add ecosia to opera?

Go to settings and search for “search engines” / right click the place where website addresses are displayed (search bar) and click edit search engines.
Go on the search bar and type “e ” and then you’ll be using Ecosia.

How do I make ecosia my default search engine in Firefox?

Tap Settings in the menu panel.
Tab Search > Add Search Engine.
Add a Title Ecosia.
Tab Default Search Engine > Select Ecosia.

Which is better ecosia or ocean hero?

When it comes to the numbers, Ecosia comes out on top. While OceanHero donates 50% of the profits they make from advertising to their partner charities, allowing them to recover one plastic bottle for every five searches, Ecosia donates 80% of profits to partner charities in order to plant trees.

Does ecosia work with adblock?

We also work with Adblock Plus to give you a better experience on our Android app.

What trees does ecosia plant?

Several species of trees are being planted on Ecosia sites, including but not limited to these:
Citrullus colocynthis.
Acacia raddiana: 263 trees per hectare.
Acacia seyal: 10 per hectare.
Ziziphus mauritiana: 62 per hectare.
Balanites aegyptica: 59 per hectare.
Leptadenia hastata: 11 per hectare.
Acacia nilotica.
More items…

Is ecosia ethical?

Amongst their ranks are some of the most sustainable and ethical companies on the planet, and Ecosia is ranked one of the highest companies in the B-Corp list, receiving an honorary mention for the past 4 years and scoring a very respectable 113.4.

What is the ecosia browser?

That means users with the latest Chrome update can now plant trees while using the browser across all devices. … Ecosia has joined other search engines like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo! as a default search engine option in 47 countries.

How do I download ecosia on Mac?

How to install the new Ecosia Mac App Extension
Download the Ecosia Extension from the App Store and open the app.
To proceed with the install flow, click on Go to Safari preferences and make sure the new Ecosia App Extension is checked.

How do I add ecosia to Firefox?

How do I make Ecosia my default search engine in Firefox?
Click “Add to Firefox
Click “Allow” in the Firefox dialogue box in the top left-hand corner.
In the same dialogue box, click “Install
Finished! Ecosia is now your default search engine in Firefox. All searches via your Firefox URL bar will now use Ecosia.

How do you use ecosia?

How to make Ecosia your default search engine in the browser bar. Chrome: Click the three dots in the upper right, then Settings, then Manage search engines. Find Ecosia under Other search engines, click the dots, then click Make default. If you prefer, there’s also a Chrome extension.

How do I change Safari to ecosia?

Apple’s new iOS 14 lets you use Ecosia instead of Safari.

How to make Ecosia the default browser on your iPhone
Open the “Settings” app on your phone.
Scroll down to “Ecosia“.
Tap “Default Browser App”.
Select “Ecosia“.
That’s it! You now plant trees by browsing and searching the web.

What’s Ecosia’s planting pop-up?

It’s an online store, but all you can buy is a better future.
Here’s how it works: first, pick the items that are closest to your heart. You can choose between trees to protect wildlifetrees to tackle climate change, and trees to fight hunger. After completing your purchase, we’ll email you a beautiful (and printable) certificate that highlights your cause and your number of trees. Whether you buy trees for yourself, your planet, or a loved one, they’ll make a meaningful difference for many years to come.

Where will my trees be planted?

This depends on the trees you buy.
If you purchased trees to protect wildlife, they will be planted at one of our projects in BrazilUgandaIndonesiaMadagascar or India to restore wildlife habitat.
If you selected trees to tackle climate change, they will be planted at one of our projects in Burkina FasoMadagascarBrazil or Ethiopia to help sequester CO2 and restore degraded soil. 
If you bought trees to fight hunger they will be planted in agroforestry systems in SenegalBurkina FasoMoroccoIndiaIndonesia, Malawi or Nicaragua
For more information about your trees, follow us on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube, or read our blog.

When will my trees be planted?

The trees you gifted through the Ecosia Planting Pop-Up will be planted in 2021. The planting season will vary from project to project, so keep an eye on our financial reports to see when trees are planted for the cause you selected.

Can I track my own trees?

The trees that you gift with Ecosia will be part of our reforestation projects around the world, depending on the impact you wanted to make. We are not yet able to track the individual trees you’re contributing to our efforts, but to stay up to date with Ecosia’s reforestation projects, please follow us on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube!

Will I get a certificate?

After you’ve completed your purchase through the Ecosia Planting Pop-Up, we’ll email you a beautiful (and printable) certificate that highlights your cause and the number of trees you bought. It makes a great gift!

How does Ecosia make money?

Like any other search engine, Ecosia earns money from clicks on the advertisements that appear above and beside the search results.
The advertisements on Ecosia are clearly labeled as Ads and are text links to websites that pay for each click by users. The ads are delivered to you by our partner Bing, who pays Ecosia a share of the revenue generated via these ads.
Ecosia earns a few cents for every click on an ad from Bing – or a portion of the purchase price made through an affiliate link. Ecosia then gives the profits from this ad revenue to planting projects.
We also make a small income on commission from our online store. All profits we receive go towards our projects – which means we can plant 20 trees every time we sell a t-shirt. 

How much do you earn per ad click?

How much we earn per click on an ad varies depending on the competition on the key word and the value of what is being advertised. Some search terms like “credit”, “bank account” or “solar panel” come with more lucrative ads than, for example, “chocolate” or “sticky notes”.
A click on one of the more lucrative keyword ads may finance multiple trees at a time, others may finance a fraction. Taking into account that not every Ecosia user clicks on an ad every time they search, we earn an average of 0.5 cents (Euro) per search.

How does Ecosia neutralize a search’s CO2 emissions?

Renewable energy
Did you know that the CO2 footprint of an average search is estimated at 0.2 grams? Not so with Ecosia. We build our own solar plants so we can supply enough clean energy to power our searches. This is even better than buying renewable energy from existing plants, as the plant can deliver clean energy to the grid and replace electricity derived from fossil fuels.
Carbon-negative
By planting trees and offsetting its energy use with renewables, each search with Ecosia actually removes 1 kg of CO2 from the air, which makes Ecosia a carbon-negative search engine. Here’s the math: an average search generates around 0.005 € of revenue. It costs roughly 0.25 € to plant a tree, which means that Ecosia can plant one tree every 50 searches. On average, these trees will each remove 50 kg of CO2 during an expected 15 year lifetime.
This means that if Ecosia were as big as Google, it could absorb 15% of all global CO2 emissions! That’s enough to offset vehicle emissions worldwide. 

How do I get Ecosia to support my project?

Although we scanned the whole reforestation landscape for the best tree planting programs with the highest standards, we maybe haven’t yet come across this stellar program you may know about. We appreciate your help and look forward to a hint, simply drop us a line and send a link to treeplanting@ecosia.org.
Since we want to be able to carefully monitor all our current and future projects and make sure we use our funds as efficiently as possible, we may not be able to increase the number of projects we support at the moment. So please don’t be disappointed if we can’t support your program or send an immediate reply, but rest assured that we will carefully look into your suggestions and get in touch with you if we should need further information.

Does Ecosia have merchandise?

Yes! We have an online store where we sell a range of t-shirts, hoodies and jumpers. Our fairly-produced clothing is made from certified organic cotton in a renewable energy-powered factory. We don’t take any profit, but instead use revenue generated from sales to fund our reforestation projects. This way, each t-shirt bought plants 20 trees! We’re constantly updating our designs; browse our current selection here

How can I support Ecosia?

Thank you for offering to support Ecosia! The best thing you can do is to spread the word about us. You know some people who might love Ecosia as much as you but haven’t heard of it yet? Share our blog articlesfinancial reportsprivacy policytree-planting updates or Facebook posts.
If you would like to do even more, here are some tips on how to get Ecosia installed at your university, company or organisation.
You can also help us improve Ecosia by signing up to be part of our test group! You’ll receive questionnaires, take part in beta tests and can give your opinion via interviews.
You can also check out our new online store! We plant 20 trees for every t-shirt sold, with 80% of our profits going towards our reforestation projects worldwide.
We currently don’t accept donations and can’t offer volunteer tree-planting trips or short-term internships, but if you should be interested in supporting our reforestation partners in any way, they will be glad to hear from you directly.
For more updates, events and news, follow us on InstagramTwitterFacebook and Youtube.

How can I integrate an Ecosia search bar or banner into my website?

We’re currently working on a technical solution for this request. Send a message labeled “General question” here, and we will let you know as soon as search bars and/or banners are available.

How to make Ecosia my default browser on iOS 14?

You want to make Ecosia your default browser on iOS 14? Great, making Ecosia your default browser will open any links you click open on Ecosia. Follow the steps below to plant even more trees!
Make sure your device is running on iOS 14, to be able to change your default browser.
Make sure you have the latest version of the Ecosia iOS App.
Open ‘Settings’ on your iPhone.
Tap on Ecosia → Default Browser App.
Tap on Ecosia.

How do I set Ecosia in Edge Chromium using a GPO?

Group Policy templates allow you to control Edge Chromium’s browser settings. This guide is for IT admin to set Ecosia as the default search engine across multiple machines. 
If you already use GPOs to control Edge Chromium’s settings please refer to Step 4 and update your existing settings.
Alternatively you can download Microsoft’s ADMX files from here
STEP 1:
Copy the admx and adml files to your central store:
Local: %systemroot%\policyDefinitions (normally C:\Windows\policyDefinitions) 
Domain: %systemroot%\sysvol\domain\policies\PolicyDefinitions (normally C:\Windows\sysvol\domain\policies\PolicyDefinitions) 
For more information about creating a central store for your GPOs please refer here.
STEP 2:
Open the Group Policy administration tool. You can start the group policy editor by typing gpedit.msc into the Windows command bar. 
Navigate to the group policy rule that controls Edge Chromium’s settings, right click and click on “edit”
STEP 3:
Depending on the target of your policy (LOCAL_MACHINE or CURRENT_USER), expand either the “Computer Configuration” or “User Configuration” file browser. 
Navigate to – Administrative Templates → Microsoft Edge → Default search provider.
The “Default search provider” folder has all the required settings that need to be changed.
STEP 4:
A few settings here need to be defined (in no particular order)
“Enable the default search provider”
Set this to Enabled
“Default search provider name”
Set this to Enabled and enter the following value – Ecosia
“Default search provider keyword”
Set this to Enabled and enter the following value – ecosia.org
“Default search provider search url”
Set this to Enabled and enter the following value: https://www.ecosia.org/search?q={searchTerms}&addon=edgegpo
STEP 5:
Once this has been completed, ensure that you have the GPO rule linked to your domain and that you have specified the user groups/OU’s that this rule applies to.
In order for the GPO rules to take immediate effect, you would need to open a CMD window and type “gpupdate/force” to apply the settings on the end users devices. Otherwise the new GPO settings will apply after a reboot. 
DISCLAIMER
Edge Chromium also has a GPO rule called “Mange Search Engines”. This GPO rule can be used to configure a list of up to 10 search engines for the end user to choose from. 
If you’re planning a campaign about your company, organization or university switching to Ecosia, please complete our B2B partnerships form and one of the team will get back to you.

Does Ecosia have a blog?

Yes! Please check out our blog here.
The Ecosia blog is currently available in English, German and French. Please click here for the German version of the blog, and here for the French edition.
You can also find us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

How does Ecosia calculate the CO2 absorbed by its trees?

Ecosia has planted over 100 million trees on over 30 thousand hectares of land in over 10 thousand locations in 25 countries.
At the moment, we predict the carbon sequestration of our trees with the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) carbon storage model developed by Win Rock. As you can see on their online calculator, you have to select the jurisdiction where your trees are growing and the restoration technique (is it a plantation, natural regeneration, mangrove). The model then gives you the carbon sequestration per hectare per year.
This way of calculating the CO2 reduction of a forest, sits somewhere between a Tier 1 and a Tier 2 calculation of carbon reduction. The UN’s international panel on climate change (the IPCC) has defined 3 levels on which CO2 absorption of forests can be calculated:
Tier 1: Uses default factors and parameters. It can be combined with remote sensing information.
Tier 2: Is like Tier 1, but uses country specific factors.
Tier 3: Uses even more detailed models and uses GIS based differences on age and classes within forests.
As with every model that goes from a broader to a more detailed calculation, the conservatism of assumptions reduces with granularity. In other words, this Tier 1 calculation of carbon is largely underestimating how much carbon has really been stored – the real number is probably higher.  That is why we said that our 100 million trees sequestrate between 1 million and 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 at the moment, because other models actually give us a higher estimation than the Winrock calculator.
You have probably noticed that these models look at how much carbon is sequestrated per hectare, not per tree. This is the correct way of doing it. In a forest system, you have trees of all different ages, shares, volumes, species etc. What matters for the CO2, is how much biomass they have in total – it doesn’t matter whether this biomass comes from 1000 or 4000 trees. So, although we can give a range of how much CO2 different trees can absorb, the total carbon stored by our trees cannot be calculated by multiplying that number with our number of trees.
By the way, the Winrock calculator is not integrated in our restoration database. So, if we want to know how much carbon our trees have likely absorbed, we have to manually do this calculation. To do it properly, a single person needs around half a day for that.

What tree-planting methods does Ecosia use?

As nature intended
When planting trees, we need to make sure the new forest ecosystem can function properly. Ecosia only plants trees in deforested areas where historically there have been trees – often in the shape of a forest, but that could also mean widespread savannah trees.
If there is an area where trees used to grow naturally, we know this area offers an environment where trees can actually thrive. 
We work with native species in order to restore the natural situation that existed before. There are occasional exceptions, for example planting non-invasive fruit or nut trees alongside native trees in agroforestry systems, to provide income and food for local communities.
Every natural area in development has its rhythm of species that come and go. On bare land, the first trees prepare the way for other species, because they fix nitrogen or capture water. Certain animals again are attracted by these trees. When restoring an ecosystem, it makes sense to follow the natural succession path of species, as that is the most effective way to get to a new forest eventually.
Landscape approach
Ecosia uses an integrated landscape approach that supports nature and people by building corridors, capturing water or changing the local climate positively. We make sure planting trees work in a wider sense and that the activities we support do not stand in isolation.
The trees will only survive if the people in and around the project area understand the benefits the trees bring – which can be a change to the earlier situation that caused the trees to disappear. We want to understand what caused the deforestation and also understand why the project thinks it will not happen again. Assuming that there are benefits, do people understand them and act accordingly?
At Ecosia, the autonomy of the people comes first. Even if all benefits seem obvious, if the local people do not agree with the way a planting program is planned, forcing a project upon them is certainly not the way to go. In practice, there will be different views within the community, too. With common sense and an open mind, everyone involved can discuss how and whether we can best work together in the area. The role of women and children is also very important in this process.
Not planting trees
Believe it or not, planting is not always the best way to get trees back! Planting trees means starting with a nursery and transporting them to planting sites where they have been sowed and grown under ideal circumstances. Many young saplings die because they cannot adapt to the harsh world outside.
Of course, we plant trees where appropriate. However, we also support other methods, such as sowing or Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration, which are often cheaper and more effective.
We also have a project in Brazil that aims to regrow 25 million trees through firefighting in ten years. Forest fires are a major threat to the Mata Atlântica, and by employing people to manage them, we can restore over 10,000 hectares at a very inexpensive price.

Why does Ecosia plant trees?

For the planet
Trees are the superheroes of the planet. Apart from being the most effective CO2 absorbers we have, trees help mitigate climate change, restart water cycles, stop deserts from spreading and turn barren grounds back into fertile woods and farmland.
For communities
Trees help to empower women and lift people out of poverty. Our projects are helping to revitalise communities. Growing fresh produce in agroforestry systems provides food and income for those who need it most. Trees help to regenerate depleted soils, and allow people to thrive off their land rather than having to migrate in search of better living conditions.
Local men and women can find stable employment and earn an income of their own, which can help to stabilize political and economic situations in developing countries. Thanks to this income, parents can afford to send their children to school, buy medicine and build houses.
For animals
By planting trees with Ecosia, you can help to create and maintain a habitat for endangered animal species around the world to support biodiversity. Trees can also help shape and restore landscapes. With their strong roots, they can stabilize shorelines and mountain sides.
Simply by planting a tree, you can fight climate change, restore landscapes, protect wildlife, provide nutrition, employment, education, medical assistance and economic stability. Mind-boggling, isn’t it?

How to become a tree-planting partner

What kind of organizations does Ecosia partner with?
We usually work with partners that have at least 3 years of tree planting experience and who focus on planting trees in a way that benefits both nature and people. Since transparency towards our users is key, we only partner with organizations that can commit to monitoring their trees and supplying planting proofs. We have no preference with regard to our partners’ legal structure as long as they are legally allowed to make service or loan contracts
What kind of projects are you looking for?
We work with projects where trees are planted in view of benefitting nature and people in a direct way. When the projects focus on people, we expect local communities to benefit from the trees directly, for example when the trees are planted on their land. Our collaborations are usually enhanced when beneficiaries contribute a fair share of money or time to the projects. We are also keen on projects that make use of innovative planting approaches to scale tree planting and reduce costs, and are always open to new ideas.We are also interested in investment projects that are scalable and socially sustainable.
What kinds of trees should Ecosia’s partners plant?
Native trees are strongly preferred; exotic species are only applied in agroforestry systems when they do not create monocultures. 
What’s the size of projects Ecosia normally works with?
Ideally, our project partners have the capacity to plant over 500,000 trees per year (although it does not have to be in the first year).
What kind of contract agreements do you work with? 
We usually sign either Service Provision Agreements or Loan/Investment Agreements with our tree planting partners. Loan and investment agreements are signed in instances when our partners generate an income with the trees planted and/or intercrops. Examples can range from tree products such as cacao or moringa, or intercropping pineapple or lemongrass, for example, with trees.
What is a Service Provision Agreement?
It is an agreement between Ecosia and its partner in which both parties jointly stipulate how many trees the partner will plant for us and at what price. We pay the partner for their tree planting services, and in turn Ecosia owns the claim to the trees planted.
What is a Loan Agreement?
It is an agreement between Ecosia and its partner in which we grant a loan or provide equity to execute a tree planting project. The loan is paid back according to an agreed timeframe. When Ecosia invests in projects (equity) the return is calculated in trees. In other words we expect partners (companies) to invest a share of their profits into additional trees.
How should I submit a project proposal?
If you are interested, please use this link to fill out our project proposal form. It should only take a few minutes. If you want, you may also attach a proposal or concept project idea, but this is not required at this stage. You may also simply provide a description of the approach that you want to use.
What should I expect after submitting a project proposal?
Once you have submitted this form, your project will automatically enter our database. Once in our database, our tree planting officers will review your proposal. We aim to do so within 4 weeks. If your idea matches our objectives and needs, we will contact you to set up a 30-minute call. Unfortunately, due to a high volume of requests, we cannot reach out to every applicant with individual feedback. If you don’t hear from us, this means your project proposal may not meet our criteria.
If you do not meet all of our criteria, but most of them are within your reach, do not hesitate to get in touch. We are looking forward to hearing about your ideas and prospective projects. If you have any further questions, you can contact us at: treeplanting@ecosia.org

How does Ecosia guide you to greener search results?

In today’s world, many decisions are made based on a web search. We want to empower our users to do good by helping them to make more sustainable choices in their lives. By placing a green leaf icon alongside selected websites in our search results, we are highlighting information to help with that.
We believe that the companies and organisations behind these “green leaf” websites share our mission. They may have demonstrated ecologically friendly business practices or supply sustainable products or services. Where appropriate they have been assessed by ecological standards organisations including ones such as Economy for the Common GoodHilfswerft, and Natrue. Many, like Ecosia, are also certified B Corporation members.
Screen_Shot_2019-03-27_at_16.24.53.pngIt’s important to note that the “green leaf” search highlights are not advertisements or paid results, and they are ranked on the search page no more favourably than any other. No financial relationship exists between Ecosia and any of the “green leaf” websites.

How can I add Ecosia to my desktop?

To easily use Ecosia you can download one of our free extensions. We support the following browsers:
Chrome extension
Firefox extension
Safari Mac App

How do search engines work?

Most internet search engines work based on similar methods. They help you search the web based on important words, so called ‘keywords“. Whereas it would be really cool if you could search every single page stored on every single server connected to the internet, it’s simply not possible to date. This is because search engines comb through an index they keep of a certain amount of available pages. The number of available pages within every search engine’s index may be as high as hundreds of millions of web pages, but it’s certainly not complete.
But let’s move on to the actual search. If you type your question or the term you are looking for, the so called ‘search query‘, into your search engine’s search bar and submit it, the search engine will then crawl through its index to look for the most suitable answers to your question. This process of looking for relevant answers is based on of course the certain keywords and on how often and in which order and context they are used on the web page the crawler has found. But there are many more factors: When was the web page containing the specific keywords published? Content that is up to date may be rated as more relevant for certain searches. When it comes to establishing a certain trustworthiness, older pages might seem more reliable. This brings us to the next question: Is the site trustworthy and reliable? An indicator for this might be how many other sites link to it. If something is highly recommended by various people, chances it is relevant and trustworthy are higher than if it’s never referred to. Is it relevant to your location and language? If you have specified those factors in your search settings, they will have an effect on the search results you get. This piece of code responsible for finding information with certain properties (like language, relevance, etc.) is called search algorithm.
There are many more factors search engines are programmed to take into consideration when looking for answers to your questions. However, the way the results are presented is most likely always the same. The most relevant results for your search will be present at the top, followed by results deemed less relevant by the search algorithms your search engine runs on.
Most search engines show ads next to their search results. If a user clicks on one of these ads, the search engine is being paid for having directed the user to the advertiser’s site. In Ecosia’s case, at least 80% of profits from search ad revenue is used to support tree planting programs!
The field of search engines is a very complex one and it certainly hasn’t been covered very profoundly here. We found this article on How Internet Search Engines Work pretty detailed and quite useful. So if you’d like to learn more, just give it a try.

Where do Ecosia’s search results come from?

Ecosia’s search results and search ads are powered by Microsoft Bing. We use Bing’s search technology, enhanced with Ecosia’s own algorithms. Bing is Microsoft’s own search and it was launched in June 2009, so just a few months before Ecosia was founded! But that’s a different story. Bing is the second largest search engine in the US, after Google. Did you know that Bing not only powers Ecosia’s search, it also powers Yahoo! Search?
For further information on Microsoft Bing we found the Wikipedia article quite helpful. Either click on the link or type “bing #w” into your search window and Ecosia will take you straight to the wikipedia article. Cool short cut, eh? Also works with more search tags, feel free to try them all!

For further info on Bing’s CO2 neutralization policy, see the article Is Bing CO2 neutral?
For further info on what user information we pass on to our partners at Microsoft Bing, see How does Ecosia handle search and data privacy?

What are Ecosia’s main features and advantages?

Ecosia gives you great search results; it also enables you to help the environment for free. Ecosia is available for your desktop computer or laptop, and for mobile via our iOS and Android apps.
By installing Ecosia, you are joining a global movement of users who are empowered to turn an everyday action into a force for social change. Your clicks on ads and online purchases generate revenue, which we use to support community-led tree-planting programs all over the world. This means less CO2 in the air, as well as sustainable jobs, educational opportunities, healthier people and environmental security for local communities.
We use at least 80% of our profits from ad income for tree planting. We also provide full transparency of our finances by publishing monthly financial reports. Privacy is also very important to us: we don’t use third-party trackers or sell your data to advertisers. Read more about our privacy policy here.
We are more than CO2 neutral, meaning that we run on renewable energy and plant trees, which take carbon dioxide out of the air. Read more the ecological advantages of using Ecosia here

What are “personalized search results”?

What are personalized search results and what happens when the setting is turned on?
If personalised search results are turned on that means that we pass a unique identifier to our partner Bing. Bing will then adapt and improve your search results based on your previous search history.

The differences are generally quite subtle, but the more confidence we have about what your intent is, the more personalized the results will become. We certainly don’t want to make any assumptions that prevent you from seeing a diverse set of results and lock you into a “filter bubble”, so the results that correspond to differing intents will still be available to you on the page.
Why would I want personalized search results?
Ambiguity is a big challenge for search engines. You generally search with a clear intent in mind, but without context, the phrase you enter may have a very different meaning to someone else.
As an example, let’s say you entered the search term “Australia”. You could be in the process of planning a vacation. In this case, you’re most likely to be looking for websites specifically about the country Australia, or information about travel. Or suppose, instead, you’re a movie-buff and are trying to decide on a movie to rent for the evening. In this case you are looking for details regarding the movie Australia.

Without any context it is very hard for a search engine to serve your the most relevant results for your specific intent.
How do I turn personalised search results off?
If you would prefer your search results not to be customized based on your past search activity, you can turn off personalised search results at any time in your settings. If you turn this setting off, we will not pass any unique identifier to Bing. Please bear in mind that we still pass your IP address and other data to Bing in order to provide the search service.
Personalised search results and privacy
Ecosia does not permanently store your IP address or any unique identifier and our partner Bing automatically deletes your search history and the unique identifier after 18 months according to their privacy policy.
Do not track is a setting of your browser. If you have do not track enabled personalised search results will be permanently disabled. If you want to turn on personalised search results you need to have do not track disabled in your browser. You can learn more about do not track and how to enabled/disable it in your browser here: http://donottrack.us/
Please read here for more info on Ecosia’s privacy policy.

Is Ecosia’s search partner, Bing, CO2-neutral?

Yes. In May 2012, Microsoft made a commitment to make their operations carbon-neutral, which also includes their search Bing. Read more about Microsoft’s efforts concerning environmental sustainability here.

The data has been taken from numerous sources. If you come across any misinformation please do let us know in the comments below with proper reference to your statement. Also, do share other such interesting information with us.

[Video] Plant Trees while you Search The Web | Ecosia Search Engine Plant a Tree on Each Search [Urdu/Hindi]


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Naeem Javid

Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu (techurdu.net) Forestrypedia (forestrypedia.com), All Pak Notifications (allpaknotifications.com), Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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