The search engine market share held by Ecosia has been growing in recent years, especially in Germany where the company is based, and in other countries in Europe. In the UK, it has a 0.29 percent share of the market, as of July 2020. Ecosia, similarly to other alternative search engines (e.g. DuckDuckGo), uses Bing to power its results. Bing had a 9.72 percent market share in the UK as of June 2020. However, these alternative search engines find it hard to compete with the dominant market leader Google.
The search for a better environment
What makes Ecosia stand out from other alternative search engines is their commitment to investing advertising profits into tree planting and reforestation projects around the world. Growth in user numbers and searches has resulted in an increase in the number of trees financed by Ecosia every month, with a total of more than 100 million trees planted since 2015.
Why do users switch?
Sustainability is increasingly a key factor for consumers when choosing products and services. But when it comes to the reasons given for switching search engines, users care most about the quality of search results. Another reason a user may choose to switch from Google to another search engine is if the alternative did not collect personal data. Data privacy is something that both DuckDuckGo and Ecosia take seriously. Ecosia does not store searches for longer than one week, nor do they sell data to advertisers.
Default search engines
Google has seen success in the sector thanks to its advanced search ranking algorithms, but has also benefitted in the past from being the default search engine on Google Chrome and Android devices. Following a decision made by the EU Commission concerning competition rules, Google had to make changes to how default search engines are displayed to users. Google has since introduced an auction process to determine which search engines are displayed to users on their devices. Ecosia originally boycotted the auctions but were forced reverse this decision, having been hit hard by the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
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