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Today we’re looking at something a little bit different. As Juicy Marketing’s resident hippy, I am always on the lookout for environmentally-friendly businesses and products. Imagine my excitement when I found out about Ecosia – basically a search engine for eco-warriors.

Founded in 2009, Ecosia uses 80% of its ad revenue to plant trees in countries such as Burkina Faso, Peru, Madagascar, Morocco and Indonesia.

With just 45 searches, you could contribute one tree to the cause, and many more if you genuinely click on paid ads (EcoAds). Clicks need to be legit as they have clever robots which can detect and exclude people who are just clicking on every advert they see.

On the Ecosia homepage, there’s a live tracker showing how many trees have been planted already, and it’s incredibly satisfying to watch it constantly increasing. They boast that a new tree is planted at least every 7 seconds!

So the concept is great, but is Ecosia strong enough to compete with the likes of Google?

In short, probably not. We are creatures of habit after all and, ‘I’ll Ecosia it’ just doesn’t sound right, does it?

The search engine is powered by Microsoft’s technology, but the search technology is boosted by Ecosia’s own algorithm, which basically means that it is a glorified Bing. This isn’t a dig at Microsoft (honest!), but Bing isn’t generally the most popular of the search engines. I once read that the most searched thing on Bing was ‘how to download Google’.

On the flip side, if you’re just using search engines to look for a holiday or new pair of shoes, does it really make much difference who is powering the search?

The servers of Ecosia use eco-friendly electricity – thus reducing the carbon footprint of the user. According to specialists, search engines and their massive servers produce a huge amount of emissions per search query. A single search causes the same amount of emissions as a lightbulb does in an entire hour.

From an SEO point of view, once your website is published, Bing’s crawlers will index the pages. To boost your SEO, just follow Bing’s recommendations.

If you’d like to help the environment one tree at a time, you can make Ecosia your default search engine by adding an extension to your browser.

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