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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Internet Searches on Afforestation: The Case of a Green Search Engine

1
Department of Business Management, University of Extremadura, Av. Universidad, s/n, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
2
Department of Business Organization, Marketing and Market Research, International University of La Rioja, Av. de la Paz, 137, 26006 Logroño, Spain
3
Department of Business and Economics, Rey Juan Carlos University, Paseo Artilleros s/n, 28027 Madrid, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9020051
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification)
Ecosia is an Internet search engine that plants trees with the income obtained from advertising. This study explored the factors that affect the adoption of Ecosia.org from the perspective of technology adoption and trust. This was done by using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT2) and then analyzing the results with PLS-SEM (Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modeling). Subsequently, a survey was conducted with a structured questionnaire on search engines, which yielded the following results: (1) the idea of a company helping to mitigate the effects of climate change by planting trees is well received by Internet users. However, few people accept the idea of changing their habits from using traditional search engines; (2) Ecosia is a search engine believed to have higher compatibility rates, and needing less hardware resources, and (3) ecological marketing is an appropriate and future strategy that can increase the intention to use a technological product. Based on the results obtained, this study shows that a search engine or other service provided by the Internet, which can be audited (visits, searches, files, etc.), can also contribute to curb the effects of deforestation and climate change. In addition, companies, and especially technological start-ups, are advised to take into account that users feel better using these tools. Finally, this study urges foundations and non-governmental organizations to fight against the effects of deforestation by supporting these initiatives. The study also urges companies to support technological services, and follow the behavior of Ecosia.org in order to positively influence user satisfaction by using ecological marketing strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: search internet; Ecosia; google; UTAUT2 model; ecological marketing; PLS search internet; Ecosia; google; UTAUT2 model; ecological marketing; PLS
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Palos-Sanchez, P.; Saura, J.R. The Effect of Internet Searches on Afforestation: The Case of a Green Search Engine. Forests 2018, 9, 51.

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