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Google backs out of green search initiative

Google backs out of green search initiative

Sydney, 22 April 2008 – Google has ironically picked Earth Day (April 22) to controversially pull out of Ecocho, a new green search engine that was successfully launched just seven days ago in Sydney, Australia.

At this stage it’s unclear if the action by Google is a permanent one but the decision has bewildered the site’s founder Tim Macdonald, who created the site to make a positive impact for the environment.

“It was a total surprise and shock to us. When you consider we were on track to post a million website visits and purchase enough carbon credits to plant more than 1000 trees in our first month, it’s a huge disappointment.” is an initiative that works by purchasing carbon-offset credits through advertising funds generated by the site. Credits are then used to invest in tree growing initiatives.

Users are encouraged to use the free service, because for every 1000 searches users make, Ecocho adopts two trees.

“We met with Google on several occasions before we started to build Ecocho, and they seemed very positive about the idea and even pointed out similar sites. They had months to raise concerns but we heard nothing until today,” Tim said.

“Now Google have said we’ve breached their Adsense agreement. We’ve tried calling Google to fix the issue together but we’re yet to hear from them.

“We don’t believe there were click quality issues for advertisers because otherwise Google would have told us immediately if this was the issue. Like Ecocho, there are many websites that use Google’s search technology to generate funds for good causes,” Tim said.

“At all times we’ve been transparent with setting up We enlisted KPMG to check the acquisition, registration and retirement of the carbon credits and we purchased only Government Issue credits.

“Thankfully Yahoo! have remained completely supportive and people are still using but there’s a lot of unhappy users as a result of Google’s decision,” Mr Macdonald said.”


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