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Ecosia FAQ

My post about switching search engines was the most popular of 2022.

And some folks had comments and questions.

Here are a few:

Thank you for sharing about this Seth. I had no idea about Ecosia and now being able to contribute to making a difference while surfing the internet, something I do everyday, is a small and beautiful thing you have empowered me (and us) to do. Thank you!

Gabriel N-S

Can I use it on my Android phone?

Yes, you simply install their app and it replaces your entire browser. In this instance, the search engine and the browser are one.

My spouse and I switched to Ecosia almost three years ago and haven’t looked back. She’s an ad copywriter and does hundreds of searches a day, and swears by it. Drop Google today. It’s so worth it.

Shawn M

What does this have to do with Microsoft?

Building and maintaining a search engine is really expensive and hard.

Microsoft built Bing.

Bing powers DuckDuckGo and Ecosia.

So, Ecosia takes the commission Microsoft pays them and uses it to plant trees. But they don’t have to pay thousands of people to run a search engine. Microsoft makes money from the ads you see, but they don’t get access to your data.

I switched, but the results I found weren’t as good as DuckDuckGo so I switched back.

People are fascinating, aren’t we? It turns out that they’re the same search engine.

Hi Seth, having used Ecosia as my default for a while but not knowing many other people who use it, I’m pleasantly surprised to see you post about it! In my experience I like Ecosia’s results almost always, but when I don’t I’m grateful for the feature to search Google instead by simply adding #g to the search query. I had a minor correction – you framed Ecosia as a “not-for-profit” but from my knowledge they’re actually a for-profit. They have simply made it a legally impossible for them to distribute profits to shareholders or to sell the company. I find this to be a compelling narrative: a for-profit company that has committed to social good and using profits only to improve the product. Maybe this distinction is a bit pedantic, though!

Brandon L.