Keepin' it real in Tech
What is Ecosia
Have you heard of the Ecosia search engine and are wondering if it’s legit? Curious where Ecosia gets its funding comes from? Want to know how it works? Welcome! This article contains all the info and citations that you’ll need to understand the basics.
What is Ecosia?
Ecosia.org is a online search engine equivalent to Google that plants trees after so many searches have been made. Ecosia earns money from the ads you get exposed to while searching on Ecosia. Google has an ad program as well, but the income goes to Google and its investors. For those who are concerned with whether or not Ecosia is a scam, ‘virus’, or other form of malicious tool, relax, the citations are listed. (Spoiler alert, Ecosia isn’t a virus or scam).
Debunking the Scam/Virus Rumors
First off, I want you to understand that when I first heard of Ecosia, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a scam or a virus myself. The first thing a programmer looks for when understanding whether or not a program is a virus is source code.
A hilarious blog post that claims Ecosia is a virus can be found here: https://www.2-spyware.com/remove-ecosia-org-virus.html
The idea that JSON could be equated to actual code that executes malicious operations is laughable and foolish. Sites that claim that Ecosia is a virus are not only harming the good name of Ecosia but making a fool of themselves. If you were fooled by 2-spyware.com or another website, just remember to read the source code from now on.
As for whether or not Ecosia puts its funding where it claims to, they have posted their financial records on their main site, and they have longevity. No organization is going to operate internationally for 10 years and not get caught with fraud.
In December of 2009, Ecosia.org was founded by Christian Kroll. It’s financial receipts are posted here: https://blog.ecosia.org/ecosia-financial-reports-tree-planting-receipts/. As stated earlier, Ecosia makes money from ads. Advertisers pay Ecosia to post ads to people who use the search engine. Not only does Ecosia use the funds to plant trees, but they also set up savings accounts for their employees, so that they can start a business in the future. If you want to make the world a better place, making a small change from using Google to using Ecosia is a great way to do so.
Ecosia Compared to Google
For the most part Ecosia is exactly like Google in terms of search results. Ecosia offers some neat features such as search tags for more specific results. Ecosia Maps is just Google Maps with funding going to trees. Here is a list of example searches.
And now Google
Off the bat, you can notice ads as results at the top of the page. Here are some more comparisons.
For the most part, Ecosia will render the same results as Google. If you want to help plant trees but don’t want to sacrifice getting the exact same results as Google, you can simply type “google.com your search here”.
I personally will be using Ecosia from now on. I would rather my searches add trees and provide opportunity for hard working people than fund Google’s investors.
What do you think? Feel free to comment below.
Keep it real.