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Ecosia to give all Thursday’s profits to Australian reforestation


Ecosia to give all Thursday’s profits to Australian reforestation

The environmentally conscious search engine Ecosia has announced it will put 100% of its profits made from tomorrow’s searches towards tree planting in Australia.

With the country’s bushfire problem escalating in the last couple of months, the German-based company wants to dedicate a full day’s profits towards a reforestation project in New South Wales, noting that tree planting can tackle global warning, improve air quality, attract rain and support Australia’s wildlife, with some of its species now feared to be extinct.

In a blog post on Monday, the search engine explained that 50% more trees have been burned down in Australia since September than in the Amazon during the whole of 2019, leading to loss of life and homes for both people and animals. For one day, it is encouraging people to ditch its well-known rivals and search in a way that supports biodiversity, using the hashtag #ECOSIA4AUS to show their support.

Like all search engines, Ecosia makes money through advertising, but pledges to put at least 80% of its monthly profits towards tree planting, and publishes monthly financial reports to show how this money has been spent. The situation in Australia is such that it has decided to take the unusual step of using an entire day’s profits to tackle the nation’s climate woes.

How much difference can Ecosia make?

With just a 0.13% share of the search engine market, Ecosia’s model is unlikely to have the likes of Google nervously looking over their shoulders, but it should be noted that until April 2019, NetMarketShare.com did not register the site as one of the world’s top 25 search engines. Since then, however, it has remained constantly in the top 10 with a share above 0.1%, and its December share was higher than that of AOL and Qwant combined.

Indeed, the demise of AOL – once a household name in the online industry – is a reminder that powers can fall. Similarly, Yahoo!, which was the go-to search engine before the rise of Google’s, now commands less than 2% of the market, and while Facebook remains the biggest social media site, it has concerns of its own over falling usage.

At Engage Web, we mainly analyse Google, followed by the nearest English language rivals Bing and Yahoo!, but we are keen to monitor the progress of smaller search engines like Ecosia and DuckDuckGo as public awareness of matters like the environment and online privacy grows.

UPDATE January 30th, 2020: Ecosia has announced that over 26,000 trees will be planted in Australia as a result of last Thursday’s searches, and that planting will begin next month.

John Murray

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