The stonking Ecosia uses the ad income from your searches to plant trees where they are needed most.
Ecosia is a web search engine based in Berlin, Germany, which donates 80% of its surplus income to non-profit conservationist organizations, with a focus on tree planting. As a “social business”, Ecosia is CO2-neutral and supports full financial transparency, and is certified by B-Lab as a benefit corporation.
Revenue: €1.7M (2016) Created by: Christian Kroll
Owner: Christian Kroll Launched: 7 December 2009; 8 years ago
Ecosia’s search results are powered by Bing and Ecosia’s own search algorithms. Ecosia shows ads next to its search results, and are paid by their partners at Bing for every click on a sponsored link for having directed users to their advertisers. Payment from the advertisements vary depending on the competition on the keyword 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”.
Considering that not every Ecosia user clicks on an ad every time they search, Ecosia states that on average a search raises around half a Euro cent. It takes 45 searches to fund the planting of a single tree. Additionally, the company assures that “algorithms [are] active, which are designed to detect fake clicks and invalidate them”. Also, the number of trees planted by the company is visible below the search bar, and below that there is a number of orange circles which all tell a short story on how the company is changing lives for the better.
Ecosia also raises funds through its second product EcoLinks, a Browser Extension that allows users to donate for free to Ecosia through their online purchases. Operators of online shops pay a commission to Ecosia (usually a rate between 2 and 10%) if a user lands on their shop through clicking on an EcoLink and purchases an item or any service.
Ecosia supports country-based country filtering but does not support the displaying of worldwide information as of July 2016.