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If you don't click on ads, or have an Adblocker installed, you generate no money for Ecosia. Thus, no trees get planted.

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...






> I think it's important to point this out, because in their marketing, they make it sound as if searching alone is enough.

Thank you for pointing that out. There is no point using it for search if you are using ad-blocking software.


Hmm? It's trivial to configure site-specific exceptions for any decent ad-blocker, no?

> 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.


Apparently the search queries are sent to bing, including ip addresses and the like. If it was more anonymized I would use it in a heartbeat

I mean, maybe this is obvious, but whenever you visit a site that derives revenue from ads with an adblocker installed, you generate no money for that site, and thus X doesn't get supported, where X might be journalism, services, or in this case planting trees.

Not sure about journalism, but aren’t ads usually pay-for-clicks and not pay-for-impressions? Hence, if you never click on ads, there is no benefit for a newspaper, but lots of tracking for you.

> If you don't click on ads, or have an Adblocker installed, you generate no money for Ecosia. Thus, no trees get planted.

Do you have a source/reference for this?


Sure, here you go: https://ecosia.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/206019452-How-d...

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.


Somehow the math doesn't add up for me.

If these numbers are to be believed, planting a tree costs maybe 50 cents, max. I am....skeptical.


From the FAQ:

> 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.


This charity focuses on tree planting and this page has a breakdown on the costs a bit down the page: https://onetreeplanted.org/pages/about-us

When I planted trees I got around $0.25 per tree. Some of the other companies paid as low as $0.09.

Thank you for pointing this out! This changes how I think about Ecosia.

EDIT: grammar


Out of curiosity, how else were you thinking a search engine would be making money?

Maybe by impressions only. But I think these days are long gone.

What if I repeatedly click on ads by advertisers I dislike?

https://adnauseam.io/ is a tool for doing that. I wonder if it would make them money or be detected as fraud.

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.


You probably make them money. But I don't know if they have some click fraud protection in play. I assume they do. But a click here and there probably works.



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