Today, we are going to have an all-out war between 2 lesser-known warriors among the Search Engine Brethren, the Nature-loving Ecosia, and the Privacy Prudent DuckDuckgo.
The Advent of Search Engines has given an immense contribution to the growth of the World Web and the number of users only increases day by day.
Ever since the arrival of Google in the spotlight in 1997, the worldwide market share of all search engines has been tipped towards the Search Engine Giant. As per Statista, Google has dominated the search engine market, maintaining a whopping 92.47 percent market share as of June 2021.
Google also has earned one of the highest tech-company revenues during the pandemic in 2020 with almost 181.69 billion U.S. dollars in their coffers.
But before that let’s get you acquainted with what Search Engines actually is before we go on any further….
What are Search Engines and How they Work?
A search engine is a web-based tool used to find a solution for your personal queries. It’s more like a catalog of all the sites which are brought in front of us on demand.
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Search engines work with a lot of algorithms in one go to generate results and after that, the content appears on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
Search engines usually focus on certain criteria, which are the elements of the page, like the title of the page, keyword density, and search volumes.
The criteria for ranking changes from time to time, which is why the page that is ranking on top in the search engine results is always not the same. This is why sites hire Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists to keep their rankings high.
Let’s get an example for a better grasp of the concept. When you are searching for random stuff on a search engine, let’s say you search for “mobiles”.
The results will contain many websites spread over the wide expanse of the Internet. The website that shows up as the first result is the one that is very popular with the keyword “mobiles”.
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This is because that website has undergone Search Engine Optimization, ie, the website has made slight tweaks to the way it functions and its content is written in a way that the search engine would relate it highly with the keyword “mobiles” compared to other content in many websites.
Let us see how a search engine functions-
- Crawling: Here the search engine’s bots visit pages and find out what is published on the World Wide Web.
- Indexing: Once the crawling is finished, the copy of that page is made and referred to as Index. Then it is stored in humongous data centers (some 250 feet long !) for retrieval when demanded.
- User Query: A user can manually enter queries in search engine boxes.
- Matching Query: Then this query is matched with the billions of pages stored in data centers.
- Relevancy: A relevant and exact match is found by suitable algorithms.
- Retrieving Results: Result is displayed on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Let’s compare Ecosia and DuckDuckGo
First and foremost, we would like to say that both of these search engines are radically different in their functioning and features they offer, and their objectives are not at all aligned.
We may not have a common base to compare them with, but we will try our level best to get you comparisons based on their features and how they retrieve their search results. So let’s cut to the chase.
What’s Ecosia ?
Ecosia is a newcomer in the Search Engine club, but it has had its fair share of fame since its recent entry. It has already got 10 Million+ downloads on Google Play.
The green-thumbed search engine Ecosia was launched in December 2009 by Christian Kroll and has its headquarters in Berlin, the capital of Germany. Its goal is to use the revenue generated by search queries to plant trees and thus reduce the global carbon footprint.
It may not be that obvious to users like us, but every single Google search contributes to rising carbon dioxide levels. According to Quartz, the search engine is responsible for 40% of the Internet’s carbon footprint.
“ONE TREE EVERY 28 SECONDS” is what they aim to implement, and they keep their word by giving out 80% of its profits to reforestation projects which are absorbed into the Plant A Billion Trees program organized by their partner, The Nature Conservancy.
This roughly equates to one tree planted for every 50 searches. They even ran the extra mile by building a solar plant so it can run servers on clean power- that’s green to the core !.
The company is transparent with its revenues by submitting a monthly financial report. As of May 2021, more than 100 million trees had already been planted since the company was founded. Ecosia currently ranks fifth place among other search engines in the US, with a market share of 0.13 %.
How does it work ?
Ecosia’s search results are powered by Bing and enhanced by their own algorithms.
They first collect search data, which is provided by the user. The data collected, according to Ecosia, is used for improving their web services. All personal information (e.g IP addresses) collected from the user will be deleted after a week or so.
Additionally, since Bing powers their search results, they will share some details with Bing too for answering your search request.
Their primary revenue comes from advertisements that are placed between the search results. If users click onto these, Bing receives money.
A part of the money goes to Ecosia. Ecosia also offers special links, which they named as EcoLinks. These links lead to retail websites, and if a user accesses such sites and orders something from them, they receive a commission.
How Secure is Ecosia ?
It is a very essential thing to know about privacy and how the information collected is used by search engines, as that could be exploited in numerous ways. Ecosia luckily also prioritizes the security of its users, as much as the sustainability of Trees.
According to Ecosia, search queries are encrypted and no external tracking tools are being used to track the users whenever they get into the site. In addition, users have the option to deactivate any sort of tracking that may be present. On its official website, Ecosia makes a clear-cut comparison to Google to show how the search engine handles every user’s data.
What’s DuckDuckGo ?
DuckDuckGo has recently gained popularity among netizens, as it is a privacy-driven browser, which has become a tool of essentiality in this new age of information, where we don’t have to see ads from whatever random search item we google for.
Gabriel Weinberg founded DuckDuckGo in early 2008 and currently employs a slim workforce of 120 people. Weinberg apparently found this funny-sounding name for his search engine after the children’s game “Duck Duck Goose.”, and many people still mistake this as a browser targeting kids.
It’s got more than 2.4 billion searches every month, which makes DuckDuckGo the fourth most popular search engine in the US, with a market share of a little over 2.42 %, and 6th in Global Competition with 0.6%. DuckDuckGo has made it it’s objective to protect user data and keep it away from the prying eyes of corporations
How does it work ?
When you click a link when you search on DuckDuckGo, it redirects that request so the desired site doesn’t receive your search keywords nor will it automatically get access to your cookies. Although the site admins will still know that you visited the site, they won’t know what keyword you entered to get there, which helps in maintaining a level of anonymity for the user.
How Secure is DuckDuckGo ?
DuckDuckGo wants to offer users high-profile data protection without any extra effort. One might think that protecting the user’s privacy online should be as simple as closing the blinds. But it is, not by today’s standards anyway.
Most search engines track your searches in order to earn revenue from their ads, including data from websites you just got in, what you had searched for, your IP address, even the browser you are using, and the device you are using it on. Even if one of the data sets is kept hidden, companies have enough info to combine to identify and track you.
DuckDuckGo’s untracked search features also extend to the websites you visit and they don’t crawl hoards of websites like the others do.
Final Take by Tecvalue
I am pretty sure you are in a dilemma after reading up the whole article, and you might be thinking to play it safe and stick with Google. But we will help you to make the right choice.
f you are more of the conservational type and want to do your bid in helping the ecosystem, go with Ecosia, at least you will feel good planting a tree every time you go for a search. If you are hell-bent on privacy and want to escape the paranoia that the NSA and all those hideous corporations are behind your back, watching your every move, DuckDuckGo is your best bet.
As always, it is your decision to switch search engines as your desire, just make a calculated choice when doing it.
Please take your time and help yourself with the rest of the articles on this website over here.