I think it's important to point this out, because in their marketing, they make it sound as if searching alone is enough. There's also this little counter in the upper right corner. 45 searches (on average) are required to plant a tree. Of course, only if you click on an ad.
You could even argue that you cause more environmental damage, because Ecosia is then just an unnecessary wrapper around Bing consuming energy (although it's probably not much).
Edit: Added second paragraph
Edit2: Source is their FAQ: https://ecosia.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/206019452-How-d...
Thank you for pointing that out. There is no point using it for search if you are using ad-blocking software.
I'd disagree. The network effect can help. Acquaintances tend to be interested whenever they see me using any search engine that isn't Google.
Do you have a source/reference for this?
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.
If these numbers are to be believed, planting a tree costs maybe 50 cents, max. I am....skeptical.
> It costs our tree planting partners about 0.22 EUR to plant a tree. 22 cents divided by 0.5 cents makes about 45 searches until we can plant one new tree.
I suspect Google is much less conservative about ad fraud determinations than they lead the public to believe - It's in their financial interest to do as poorly as possible without damaging their reputation.