The word might not ring a bell yet, but it’s one more way to get found by your audience.
So, what is the Ecosia search engine, and should marketers and advertisers pursue ranking high on it as much as they do on Google and Bing?
Ecosia is a Google Search alternative that funds tree-planting from the revenues it generates from advertising. While not as popular as Google or Bing, it has its share of users. So, for businesses targeting audiences who care about the environment, getting listed on this search engine to generate traffic and leads is worth looking into.
If we’ve learned anything about search engine optimization (SEO), it’s that ranking high on search engines is necessary for businesses to attract visitors to company websites. So, the greater their presence across different search tools, the better.
In this article, we’ll delve into questions about Ecosia that you may be asking yourself, such as:
• What is Ecosia? Not many people have heard about this green search engine, so is Ecosia vs Google (and Bing) worth discussing?
• Does getting listed or ranking high on Ecosia search results help your business?
• How does Ecosia work?
• How does a website get listed on Ecosia?
The best way to answer those questions is first to understand Ecosia’s origin and mission. Next, analyze its search engine market share and compare it with the amount of work involved to get listed. Cost matters, so it is necessary to consider if hiring a pay per click advertising firm to provide expert SEO services or search engine optimization expertise is worth it. Finally, after these deliberations, you’ll be able to determine if it is worth pursuing getting listed on the Ecosia search engine.
What Is Ecosia Search Engine?
Ecosia touts itself as an environment-friendly search tool. It aims to fund tree-planting projects in 30+ countries to combat the effects of climate change. To do that, they use up to 80 percent of ad revenues to fund various projects. While saving the planet, they also provide local communities with livelihood opportunities.
A Brief History of Ecosia
Christian Kroll, Ecosia’s founder, backpacked around Argentina after graduating from university. During this time, he learned about the importance of forests and their impact on communities. As he thought of a business model that could help tree-planting and restoration projects, search engines being a profitable business model came to mind. So in 2009, Knoll launched Ecosia, the world’s first non-profit green search engine.
Ecosia founder Christian Knoll
• 2009. Christian Knoll started Ecosia with the help of his sister and some friends.
• 2010. Ecosia released Treely to enable online shoppers to plant trees (a feature later integrated into the search engine). They also started working with the World • Wide Fund for Nature or WWF Germany to protect Brazil’s Atlantic basin forests.
• 2011. Ecosia merged its smaller projects into the search engine. After raising €250,000 for conservation, they began publishing financial reports.
• 2012. Ecosia averaged 20 million searches per month. While growth was slow, they continued funding conservation projects while pondering ways to address the root cause of deforestation.
• 2013. Ecosia partnered with The Nature Conservancy in Brazil and planted hundreds of thousands of trees in the Atlantic Forest. Tim Schumacher invested in Ecosia, which formally turned it into a startup.
• 2014. Ecosia gained B-corp status. As revenue grew, they started a tree-planting project on the Sahel in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
• 2015. Ecosia moved to Kreuzberg, Berlin. From one million trees in January, they were able to plant three million by the end of the year.
• 2016. Pieter Van Midwoud joined Ecosia, and they started planting trees in Madagascar and Peru. By the end of the year, Ecosia had planted five million trees.
• 2017. Ecosia continued expanding, adding Ethiopia, Indonesia, Morocco and Uganda to its tree-planting portfolio, increasing the number of trees they have planted to 10 million. They also launched the Ecosia app for mobile devices.
• 2018. Ecosia built its first solar plant and also expanded to Spain. The number of trees they have planted reached 30 million. To prevent its destruction, Ecosia tendered an offer to buy the Hambacher Forest from RWE. Christian Knoll also made a legally-binding promise to give up his share and that Ecosia would never have profits taken out or sold.
• 2019. By February, Ecosia had planted 50 million trees at one tree per 0.8 seconds. In addition, they built a second solar plant, taking the company beyond 100 percent renewable.
Ecosia vs Google: Which Matters More?
Worldwide, Google dominates the search engine market.
Even in Germany, where Ecosia traces its roots, it can only capture at least 0.71 percent of the market share. Hence, one cannot fault marketers and advertisers for placing more focus on search engines like Google than Bing, Ecosia and others.
There is no debate on Ecosia vs Google when it comes to users. But before dismissing Ecosia, one must also consider its user base. At present, it serves 16 million monthly users. Its market share by region as of September 2021 is as follows:
France and Germany remain the top markets for Ecosia. Therefore, one could deduce that businesses serving these countries should get listed on Ecosia.
U.S. businesses, specifically, should think twice before disregarding Ecosia. As of July 2022, Ecosia received 60.3 million visitors, of which 10.6 million are from the United States. So even if Ecosia accounts for less than 1 percent of the global search engine market, they still serve millions of users.
Regarding Ecosia vs Google, one can say that Ecosia exposes businesses to a niche audience comprising people who value the environment. Google, meanwhile, remains the priority for creating SEO strategies or availing of pay-per-click or PPC advertising services.
How Does Ecosia Work for Users?
Ecosia derives its search results from Microsoft Bing. On top of that, they also enhance the results using their algorithm.
For users, there are several ways to use Ecosia:
1. Change the Desktop or Mobile Browser’s Default Search Engine
Users can go to ecosia.org using a browser and begin typing search queries. For convenience, users can also change the default browser setting.
Here are the instructions for some of the most popular browsers
Note that some browsers, including Adblock Browser, Brave, Maxthon and many others, already have Ecosia listed as one of their default search engines.
2. Install Ecosia Extension
Apart from visiting the homepage or changing the default browser search engine, users can also use an Ecosia browser extension
An Ecosia browser extension is a small software module that adds features and functionalities. Installing an Ecosia extension, for example, makes it easier for users to use the Ecosia search engine.
Generally, users only need to open the extensions/add-ons page and search for “Ecosia” to install the Ecosia browser extension.
For example, to install the Ecosia Chrome extension
Tap on the three vertical dots in the top right corner, then click on More Tools > Extensions. Next, click on the three horizontal lines in the top left corner, then click on Open Chrome Web Store.
Search for Ecosia, then click on “Add to Chrome.”
Here is the direct link to find the Ecosia Chrome extension.
Besides Ecosia Chrome Extension, many other popular browsers like Safari, Firefox, and Edge also support the Ecosia extension.
3. Install Ecosia App
Users can install the Ecosia app on mobile devices. Here are the links to the app pages:
How Does Ecosia Work for PPC Advertising Services?
Ecosia relies not only on Bing Technology to deliver search results, but it’s also powered by Microsoft Advertising to deliver ads and drive revenue to fund planting trees.
Essentially, these are the steps taken to advertise on Ecosia:
1. To get started, a pay per click advertising firm or user must set up a Microsoft Advertising account and log in.
2. Create an advertising campaign. Instead of doing it themselves, many businesses rely on a Bing SEO specialist to create a Bing PPC campaign and choose target locations.
3. Enter target keywords that trigger the ad. Bing SEO specialists use advanced tools to identify the most relevant target keywords to increase the effectiveness of their Bing PPC ad campaigns.
4. Define ad text and link. Because the text’s length is limited, professional copywriters’ services are highly recommended to convey a persuasive message.
5. Focus ad campaign on the Partner Network. This step is crucial and must not be overlooked for ads to appear on Ecosia search engine results pages (SERPs). Under “Advanced Campaign Settings,” check “Bing, AOL and Yahoo! Syndicated Partners Only” while unchecking all others.
6. Launch the Ecosia/Bing PPC campaign.
Ecosia Is Great for Niche Advertising
Ecosia, compared to Google or other search tools, serves an ignorable number of monthly users. As such, most expert SEO services may not even think about running ads in this search engine.
Still, Ecosia is not without its advantages. For example, a company that wants to appeal to nature lovers and conservationists can reach out to Ecosia users. In addition, as more companies now adhere to corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, one measure some may take is to make Ecosia their company’s default search engine. Hence, there is hope that more people will use this platform.
For more information, contact us at 866-908-4748. Our Bing SEO specialists can answer your questions, such as “What is Ecosia?” and “How to advertise on Ecosia?” Furthermore, we can also discuss specific strategies so you can hit your target markets and drive leads.