Virtually everybody who is online nowadays spends a lot of time searching the Internet.
Whether it’s looking up what’s at the movies, a recipe for Eggs Benedict, or finding the best computer to buy, searching has become part of our daily lives.
As an example of this, think how often you have been told to “Google” something to find the answer.
Yes, from being a made-up nonsense word a few years ago, Googling has become a verb that you can find in a modern dictionary!
So if you are going to spend much of your time searching, wouldn’t it be nice if you got paid for it?
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Well, as the heading of this article suggests, you can.
Now, you won’t necessarily get paid if you insist on using Google for your searches. After all, why would they pay you for doing what comes naturally?
Although, there is an indirect way to make money from Google search (by fixing its mistakes) which we will talk about later.
For now, let’s focus on a few search engines that actually pay you for using them.
Why would they pay you?
Well, if you use another search engine with a rewards program, then the alternate search engine gets website traffic, and this equates to income from its advertisers. So they can pass some of this back to you.
That’s just one way it can work out to everyone’s benefit.
Here are a few sites and search engines that will indeed pay for you using them…
1. Bing Rewards
Bing , from Microsoft, likes to think of itself as the major competitor to Google.
In fact, it has about 20% of all search volume, compared to Google’s 60% plus, but that still makes it number 2 in the industry.
To encourage users it has created a reward program known as Bing Rewards which is very simple to use.
You simply sign up, then make searches through the Bing search engine, and you are awarded credits which count towards rewards.
Note that you can change your default search engine on your web browser so that you do not have to remember to go to Bing for your searches, it will happen automatically.
Or you can install the Bing search as a browser toolbar.
You can even link in your smartphone, so you get credits from using that too.
Signing up is easy, particularly if you have a Microsoft account or a Facebook account. You simply “Join Bing Rewards” and connect up.
How Much Money Can You Make with Bing Rewards?
Bing gives you a dashboard, from which you can see your current balance and also any special offers for getting more points.
You’re generally limited to 15 credits per day, and each credit is worth one penny, which means you can earn about $5 every month.
You’ll also be offered different bonus opportunities for taking quizzes or voting.
How Do You Get Paid?
Your credits can be paid out in 3 different ways.
- The main one is as gift cards, which you can choose for Amazon, Starbucks, Burger King, and other places.
- Secondly, there are a limited number of subscriptions you can get for credits, for example, Skype or Hulu.
- Or third, if you fancy your chances you can use your credits to enter sweepstakes. Bing runs sweepstakes for various things such as a Surface Pro or Xbox, charging a different number of credits for the different entries.
I recently wrote about making money with Swagbucks and shared a few ways to make an easy $758,25 a year with it.
This is one of the major rewards sites, rewarding you for doing many things that you already do online, such as playing games, completing surveys, as well as searches. You can check out the whole list online.
You get rewarded with SwagBucks, which is just another term for points, as SwagBucks are nowhere near worth a buck! But over time, they build up, and you can use them to get free gift cards, cash from PayPal, or to enter contests.
Inbox Dollars is a more comprehensive program, which allows you to gain points or credits in other ways, as well as searching.
For instance, you might take a survey for additional points.
And once you have earned $30, you can request to be paid and your earnings are paid to you via check.
By the way, they are currently giving a free $5 sign up bonus for new users. You can sign up here to get your $5 bonus.
Qmee is one of several other search reward programs listed here. It is a browser extension and allows you to search with other search engines.
It simply provides additional results on a sidebar. Each result has a value shown, and if you click on the result, your account is credited with the value.
Your money can be paid out through PayPal.
ScreenWise has a different business model. If you install the app, it allows ScreenWise to gather demographic information on you and your searches.
This allows the company to make money selling the data to market research companies.
Before you raise an objection, bear in mind that this is what Google already does with your search information. If you have ScreenWise installed, at least, you’re being paid something for it.
The business model for SendEarnings is very similar to SwagBucks. You can do a variety of things that you’re probably doing already, such as filling out offers, and you will earn points.
In addition, it is currently offering $5 just for signing up, so I would say it’s worth a look.
For details of how ZoomBucks works, you could just look at the SwagBucks description above. It’s pretty much the same, giving you points for all sorts of online activities, such as watching videos, playing games, doing surveys, and searching.
In a way, it’s flattering to SwagBucks, as the coders of ZoomBucks must think SwagBucks have the right business model.
You can get paid out directly in money, or get gift cards.
This is an interesting one.
Scour.com gives you the results from 3 different search engines, the big ones, Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You are then invited to vote on which results you like best, and say why.
More work than a regular search but the rewards can be greater.
Each search will get you 3 points, and you have a daily cap of 300 points, equivalent to 100 searches.
When you get 6500 points, you have earned $25. If you work at it, you could do this in a month.
There’s also a referral program, where you get 25% of whatever your referrals earn, so it’s a good idea to spread this one around.
You can take the money in a prepaid Visa card, or with PayPal.
Irazoo.com pays you for doing searches but also has some interesting twists on that business model.
If you do a search, you are credited 4 points.
You also get entered in a drawing for an Amazon gift card – automatically.
You are given the opportunity to vote on sites, and to comment on them. Both of these will give you more points.
There is a referral program, which is worth just 50 points, though if any of your referrals get gift cards, you get them too.
Irazoo doesn’t pay out directly in money, but you can get gift cards. Additionally, you can swap your points for prizes such as flash drives or cameras.
10. PCH Search & Win
In case you don’t recognize it, PCH stands for Publishers Clearing House, which runs a regular huge sweepstakes for millions of dollars.
But with PCH Search, you can earn points to enter other contests, and you automatically get entered in a daily sweepstakes every day you log in.
While it’s worth checking in to be entered, the points can’t be translated into cash but only buy contest entries, so you can’t look at this one for a regular income.
Should You Do It?
People spend a lot of time searching on the Internet, which means if you are earning points or money for doing it, that’s a bonus.
Still, with the amount they pay out it’s not like you could do it as a substitute for a job, it’s just a perk.
Having said that, you could, at least, set your default search engine to Bing, as mentioned in the first description. This would have negligible effects on your Internet use, and all the time be building up rewards. It may only get you a $5 gift card a month, but it doesn’t need any effort. You can always go to Google.com if you didn’t like the search results on a particular search.
Making Money as a Search Engine Evaluator
Well, okay, I just said it you couldn’t do any of the things above as a substitute for a job.
But there is a way you can be involved with search engines and earn some decent money.
You know it’s incredible the way search engines work, giving you results from the billions of web pages that are available.
And to stay on top of it, the search companies have to continually improve, trying to give the user the best possible results so that they are happy to use that particular search engine.
This is where the job opportunity comes in.
You can become what is technically called a Search Engine Evaluator.
The position involves user-testing the search engines and providing feedback for improvements.
It’s a proper job, and reportedly you can earn between $12 and $15 per hour though some fast operators claim to earn up to $20 per hour.
You are employed as an independent contractor, and can expect to be given a 1099 tax form at the end of the year for declaring your earnings.
The basic job involves looking at search results and reporting back which are the better ones, based on criteria that you are given. The company knows what it wants to see, and will give you clear guidelines so you can assess the results.
Although there is no real training for a job like this, the company that employs you will want to know that you can do a decent job, so you will go through some testing before they accept you. They may also want to interview you, although as it is an online job this doesn’t happen often.
Where to Find & Apply for Search Engine Evaluator Jobs
The following companies are all involved with the Universal Human Relevance System (UHRS) service, which is what being a Search Engine Evaluator comes under.
They are micro-task sites, which means they have many different small tasks available for freelancers, with the UHRS work being one of them.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for make money from home online, working as a Search Engine Evaluator (or indeed some of the other micro tasks that these sites offer) can give you an interesting and satisfying job.
It’s also exciting to know that you are helping to continually improve the user experience.
Even if you’re not open to a full or part-time job in the field, you might want to try one or more of the other rewards programs detailed above in order to make some pocket money every month.
Doing this generally won’t be hard, so you can count it as passive income that you didn’t even have to work for!