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Lilo Reviews

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Category: Charitable Search Engines
Website: http://www.lilo.org

Editor's Review Costs & Features User Reviews

Lilo Review

by No1Reviews.com. Last updated: 20 March 2020

Editor's Star Ratings:

Charities Supported:
Search Results:
Search Experience:
User Experience:
Privacy Protection:
Browser Extensions:
Overall Star Rating:

Editor's Review:

Lilo.org is a French-based charitable search engine that was launched in 2015 by two engineers. Lilo donates 50% of its revenues to charity - these are mainly French-based charities. You are allocated one water droplet for each search you make. You can then donate these water droplets to any charity you choose. You can choose to allocate some or all of your water droplets to any one charity or divide them up between any number of charities. Lilo's seach results are powered by Bing and include engagin, rich-content within the search results, including image, video and news thumbnails.


Charities Supported:

Lilo have around 270 charities listed at the time of writing this review - most of these are small, French-based charities that you may not have heard of. Examples include Liko, Phare, Greenwave, The Oasis Project of Colibris, Agrisud International, Heart of the Forest, and so on. Each search you make earns you a water droplet, which you can then donate to any charity you choose. A water droplet does not have a particular monetary value. Instead, as far as we could make out, it mimics the charity voting system used by SearchScene (our #1 rated charitable search engine) in the sense that each droplet effectively counts as a vote for the charity and donations are divided up proportionally between charities at the end of each month. For example, if charity A receives 20% of the water droplets; charity B receives 30% of the water droplets and charity C receives 50% of the water droplets, then Lilo.org's charitable donations will be divided up accordingly, with 20% going to charity A, 30% going to charity B and 50% going to charity C.

Presumably, if you do not choose to donate your water droplets in any given month, then it simply means that you will not have voted for any charity. Lilo.org's contributions will then be divided up according to everyone else's preferred charities, without you having had a say. Allocating your droplets to charities (at any time you choose) is a satisfying exercise, however it may become tiresome rather quickly. With that in mind, Lilo also allows you to automatically allocate your droplets to any charities you choose each month.

The number of droplets you've collected is displayed at the top right of the screen. Simply click on the droplet icon to see more information or to allocate your water drops to any charity you choose.

Some of Lilo's supported projects
Some of Lilo's supported projects


Search Experience:

The Lilo search results are powered by Bing, so the results will be similar to those shown by SearchScene and Ecosia, although they may be displayed differently. Like SearchScene and Ecosia, Lilo.org displays rich-content (images, videos and news thumbnails) within its primary web search results, rather than just a list of web links, like so many other charitable search engines do. This gives it the kind of look and feel you've come to expect from Google. The thumbnail images are smaller than those displayed on SearchScene and are not loaded in a sliding carousel, meaning that thumbnail images for videos, news and images are limited to about 4 per page (compared to the 10-20 thumbnail images you would see in a sliding carousel on SearchScene's search results and the 10 or so you would see on Ecosia's).

Unlike SearchScene and Ecosia, Lilo.org does not include a knowledge panel with further information on your search query. Knowledge panels are the boxes of information shown in the right-hand sidebar on Google and Bing (and SearchScene and Ecosia) that include data and images primarily sourced from Wikipedia (but may also be sourced from other sources such as facebook) that are used to enhance your search results. (These knowledge panels would normally be displayed at the top of your mobile search results, as there is no room on the side.)

Lilo also includes some instant answers to many questions, such as "how many cm in a foot", but lacks many other instant answers that users may have come to expect from Google or Bing, such as "What time is it in New York?", etc.

Example search results provided by Lilo
Example search results provided by Lilo

Like most other search engines, Lilo.org also has a tab for dedicated image searches and video searches, displaying image and video thumbnails as a gallery of thumbnails in each case. Simply click on an image thumbnail to expand the image and find links to the source site. Clicking on a video thumbnail will take you directly to that video on the source site, e.g. Youtube, much as you would expect on Google, Bing and Ecosia. (SearchScene, in contrast, allows you to play videos directly on their site if you so choose.) Lilo also includes a News tab for dedicated news searches - these are provided as a series of links, a few of which have accompanying thumbnails.

A link to Google is provided at the top of each page, which, when clicked, will repeat your search on Google. This is great if you did not manage to find what you were looking for on Lilo.

Example image search results provided by Lilo
Example image search results provided by Lilo



Lilo states that it does not save your searches or your personal data. On Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers, Lilo sends “do not track” messages to alert the website you are visiting that you do not want to be tracked (although, in practice, these are not always respected by third-party websites). Lilo also uses its own statistical analysis tool called Piwik, instead of the more commonly used Google Analytics, to provide greater privacy protection by anonymising your IP address. Whilst it is clear that Lilo.org have gone to some great lengths to protect your privacy, they still have to pass on your search queries (and in some cases, your IP address) to the service that supplies the underlying search results, i.e. Bing. This is particularly the case where ads are served up. This is the same for all charitable search engines, so in this sense, Lilo.org are no different. This means that, ultimately, you are still bound by Bing's privacy policy.

  Lilo donates 50% of its revenues to charity - these are mainly French-based charities.  


Lilo.org does not have its own solar farm or anything like that, so it compensates for its carbon footprint simply via the charities that it supports, many of which are environmental charities. It is up to you if you wish to support these environmental charities, which you can do by donating your water droplets to them.


Browser Extensions:

Lilo.org have browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers. These will set Lilo.org as the default search engine for your browser and will set Lilo.org as your homepage and as your new tab. Unlike the browser extensions provided by most other charitable search engines, the Lilo.org browser extension is split into more than one component, allowing you to choose to only have Lilo set as your homepage, new tab and/or set as your default search engine. This gives you greater control over what the extension does, but multiple components have to be installed if you want it to be set as your homepage, take over your new tab and be set as your default search engine, and that means that multiple components have to be uninstalled if you subsequently want to completely remove Lilo from your browser. Having the Lilo.org extension installed also tells the websites you visit that you do not wish to be tracked, although as mentioned above, it is up to third-party websites whether or not they wish to respect this. Lilo also state that having the Lilo extension installed will also allow you to manage your water droplets anonymously.

  You are allocated one water droplet for each search you make. You can then donate these water droplets to any charity you choose.  


Lilo have done a fairly good job at displaying their search results, including rich-content search results (i.e. images, news and video thumbnails embedded in the web search results) and have also included dedicated image, video and news search results. However, we would have liked to have seen a knowledge panel included, such as those provided by SearchScene and Ecosia, for a richer search experience. The accumulation of water droplets is a great idea and the fact that you can automatically (as well as manually) donate these to your chosen charities makes everything easier. The charities are broken down by category, so you can easily view social, environment, health or education based charities, and there is a great synopsis provided for each charity. However, at 270 charities, we were a little overwhelmed by the choice, especially as we had not heard of most of these charities and many were French-based. This made the task of choosing our preferred charities fairly time-consuming. In this respect, perhaps less is more. The bottom line is that Lilo.org is a great charitable search engine, particularly if you live in France, where you may recognize more of the charities. However, you can get slightly better search results from other charitable search engines. The 50% donation percentage is good, but again, some of the other charitable search engines we've reviewed will donate considerably more, making your searches have more of an impact. You can check out our top 10 charitable search engines here.

You can access the Lilo.org homepage at https://www.lilo.org/en/, where you will find the search box located at the top of the page. Alternatively, if you prefer a blank Google-style homepage, simply visit https://search.lilo.org/.


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