If you’re looking for a flexible way to make an income from your home office, a Search Engine Evaluator job might be right up your alley.
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Most companies that hire Search Engine Evaluators, also known as a Web Search Evaluator, do not require you to work a specific schedule, but instead send along evaluations projects as they become available.
This leaves your schedule pretty flexible so you can pick the days and times you want to work, so long as you meet your project deadlines.
If you have a knack for finding information online and know the general ins and outs of how web searches work, you could find a rewarding career as a Search Engine Evaluator.
What is a Web Search Evaluator/Search Engine Evaluator?
A Search Engine Evaluator job is much like it sounds. You’ll be evaluating search engine results for relevancy to a search query.
Basically, you are given a search term and the results for that search term from a specific search engine, like Google or Bing.
Then, you’ll determine whether the results are a good fit for the search term, or query.
You base your evaluation on a number of factors and then rate a result based on your findings.
That’s right – search engines still use humans to evaluate results because, believe it or not, technology isn’t always 100% accurate.
Search engines use techie algorithms to help people find what they’re looking for, but they need humans to constantly test those algorithms to make sure that they’re working correctly.
How Does Search Engine Evaluating Work?
As a Search Engine Evaluator, you’ll be rating search engine results given to specific queries. Since this type of work reveals a lot about the algorithms of a search engine, you are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before you begin work.
This agreement states that you will not disclose any confidential information about a search engine’s algorithms or the specifics of the search engine evaluation job, including your pay rate and specific tasks.
So, for the purpose of this article, I am providing public information about the search engine evaluation job.
To get a Search Engine Evaluator position, you will go through a training process and evaluator test that will explain, in depth, your specific tasks.
As a Search Engine Evaluator, you’ll be given a specific query, like “Dallas restaurants”. You would assume that this person is attempting to find a restaurant to eat at in Dallas, Texas. However, sometimes search engines give some wonky results.
If results pulled up information about Dallas, the TV series, the searcher probably wouldn’t find that relevant to his search for “Dallas restaurants”
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That’s where you come in as an evaluator to help search engines weed out the quirks in their algorithms.
How Much Can I Earn?
As a Search Engine Evaluator, you’ll be hired as an independent contractor rather than salaried employee.
Most Search Engine Evaluators report making between $12 and $15 per hour, but the tasks can sometimes be few and far between.
It’s important to think of this job as side income or part-time employment rather than full-time employment because your pay depends on the number of tasks available, how well you perform them accurately, and how much work you decide to take each week.
Your tasks are also timed so you cannot go past a specific time limit. As you get more used to evaluating, this shouldn’t be a problem.
But, take this into consideration, as it does affect your hourly pay.
Still, several independent contractors for Search Engine Evaluator companies report making a decent part-time income.
As with any job, the Search Engine Evaluator job comes with pros and cons. You’ll have to weigh them for yourself to make sure this job is a good fit for you.
One of the biggest perks about being a Search Engine Evaluator is that you can pretty much do it in your own time.
If you want a little extra money, pick up a few tasks after you get home from work or on weekends. Most search engine evaluation companies allow you to work anywhere from just a few hours to 20-25 per week.
And, you can do it at home in your pajamas if you want!
For those looking to make income at home without making phone calls or starting a business, this could be the opportunity for you. You’re also saving on commuting costs – there’s nothing cheaper than walking to your computer to work!
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for steady work with a consistent income, search engine evaluation may not be the best choice for you.
The number of available tasks can vary on a weekly basis. Some weeks, you could have plenty available and other weeks, a shortage.
It’s not typically income you can rely on month to month.
As an independent contractor, you’re also responsible for your own finances.
That means no employee benefits or perks and you have to pay your own taxes.
And, not only will you have to closely track your hours for your own records, but you’ll also need to track them to invoice the company so you get paid.
Another con is that, when a company gives you your hourly rate, it’s not a very accurate rate.
These companies actually pay per project.
For example, they might say you’ll get $50 to complete a rating set.
Suppose that set of tasks takes you five hours to complete.
That brings your $12 to $15 per hour rate down to $10, and the company won’t compensate you any more than that.
If you’re an efficient worker, you could end up with even more than the hourly rate you’re told.
But if it takes you longer than the company expects for you to finish your tasks, your rate decreases.
Finally, one of the biggest downsides I’ve found is the training for these jobs.
Training is NOT paid for by the company, but you must complete it before getting hired on as an evaluator.
In some cases, the training is intense and can take a few hours to complete.
You’ll need to read a guide teaching you how to rate and then complete sample tasks to see if you understand the material.
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It’s not easy, and that’s a few hours you’re working that you don’t make any money.
Unfortunately, going through training won’t even guarantee you the job.
Some places do allow you to redo the training a couple of times if you don’t pass the first time, but after you continue not to pass, you won’t be allowed to work as an evaluator.
Where Can I Find Search Engine Evaluator Jobs?
There are several trusted companies who hire Search Engine Evaluators throughout the year. I recommend using Glassdoor to find some reviews from current and former employees of each company.
You can also use the search feature to search for “Search Engine Evaluator” and find more companies that occasionally open up evaluator positions, some salaried and some contracted.
These companies are the most common ones to find a Search Engine Evaluator position with, no experience required:
- Leapforce (review)
- Lionbridge (review)
- iSoftStone (review)
- ZeroChaos (review)
- Appen (review)
I’d avoid looking on Craigslist and Facebook for this type of work unless you find it with a trusted company you’ve heard of.
You can search on job search sites like Indeed but be careful to avoid potential scams that do exist on these sites before they get caught.
I’ll get deeper into avoiding scams later in this article.
1. Introducing Leapforce.
Updated December 2018: Leapforce is now a part of Appen, which acquired the company in late 2017/early 2018.
Through joining forces with Leapforce, Appen has become an even more prominent leader in the search engine evaluation industry, so it’s definitely an excellent time to try to join the company as an evaluator.
Leapforce is, perhaps, the most well-known company hiring Search Engine Evaluators.
Leapforce pays once per month via direct deposit.
Payment comes within 30 days after you invoice them for your hours worked. It’s extremely important that you track all time worked accurately so you can get paid for every minute of every task.
The Leapforce At Home independent agent qualification test is pretty in-depth and many people fail it the first go-around (or thereafter!).
To have the best shot at passing the three-part exam, take a couple of days to really delve into the guide Leapforce provides.
This will help you answer the questions and understand the rating system.
Leapforce has mixed reviews from current and former contractors.
Its independent agents love the flexibility, but say that tasks can sometimes be few and far between.
Some also report that the independent agent rating process is frequent, and one bad review of your work can significantly restrict further opportunities for tasks.
Check out the Leapforce At Home independent agent FAQ section for more information about this Search Engine Evaluator opportunity.
2. Introducing Lionbridge.
Lionbridge offers several work from home positions all over the world, but they don’t consistently have open positions for Search Engine Evaluators.
However, you can continue to check with its job opportunities page for Internet Search Evaluators and Internet Assessor positions.
The Internet Search Evaluator position is Lionbridge’s Search Engine Evaluator job. As an Internet Search Evaluator or Web Assessor, you’ll be an independent contractor for Lionbridge. Current and former contractors report an average of almost $14 per hour for both positions.
The Internet Assessor position requires you to rate online advertisements to help improve their quality.
Think of it as a Search Engine Evaluator for advertisements. It’s a similar rating process and you’ll be looking for many of the same features to assess.
To excel in either position, you should have familiarity with current news, pop culture, media, and cultural affairs in your country. This will help you better assess the online advertisements you’re given to evaluate.
You’ll also need a working computer with internet access and an Android smartphone to complete mobile tasks.
Lionbridge reviewers dislike the initial testing process and consistent review of performance. But for others, the ability to have a flexible schedule outweighed the cons.
iSoftStone has Search Engine Evaluator positions available in different parts of the world at different times, so you may need to keep checking its careers page to find an open position in your country.
Additionally, you can check job listings on Craigslist and Indeed, as it sometimes advertises open positions here.
The reported pay rate for iSoftStone’s Search Engine Evaluator position is $12-$13 per hour. Its flexible schedule is a perk for current and former contractors, but some report that iSoftStone doesn’t give enough guidance to allow its contractors to excel at the position.
As a Search Engine Evaluator for iSoftStone, you’ll be entering specific search queries into search engines and evaluating them based on the iSoftStone rating system.
You should be able to use your own knowledge of what’s important and trendy in your location to accurately evaluate each result.
iSoftStone provides free training and allows you to work between 10 and 25 hours per week on your own schedule.
4. Introducing ZeroChaos.
ZeroChaos employees report making at least $15 per hour, making this the highest reported salary for Search Engine Evaluators.
ZeroChaos also hires for W-2 employees rather than independent contractors, which is a huge bonus for this type of work.
It also pays its employees weekly, rather than monthly, like other companies.
However, it can also affect the flexibility many want when they become Search Engine Evaluators.
Workers report that they are required to work between 10 and 29 hours per week and you have to complete your assignments by a specific deadline.
It doesn’t seem quite as flexible with pick-and-choose tasks as other evaluator companies allow.
Your official title for ZeroChaos will be “Ads Quality Rater”.
ZeroChaos typically advertises its positions on Craigslist or other job boards rather than its website, so check websites like Indeed, CareerBuilder, and FlexJobs for open opportunities.
As an Ads Quality Rater, you’ll be responsible for rating the advertisements that come up in search engine results and on webpages.
You’ll look for accuracy and relevancy to search queries as well as the quality of the ads.
The reviews for ZeroChaos positions are similar to other Search Engine Evaluator positions: Flexible hours but not enough tasks to create a steady income.
5. Introducing Appen.
Appen is made up of a global network of virtual teams to help global markets create and implement new products and technology. It often has job openings for web search evaluators and social media evaluators in the United States.
A social media evaluator is, basically, a Search Engine Evaluator that rates the performance of search results within social media networks.
Appen requires you to commit to 20 hours per week, but you can be pretty flexible with the times you work. In the job description, Appen specifies a requirement of 4 hours per day, 5 days per week, but what days and times is up to you.
The requirements for web assessor are similar to Leapforce’s: General knowledge of search engines, attention to detail, ability to follow instructions, etc. To qualify for Appen’s social media evaluator position, you should have vast knowledge of the major social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Preferably, you should be a daily user of these networks with your own accounts.
Appen states that your performance will be monitored consistently and will affect your ability to qualify for new tasks.
Most Appen reviews praise its evaluator positions as excellent work from home opportunities, but some call the work “tedious”.
Yes, Google itself hires Ads Quality Raters to check its algorithms from time to time.
If you want a chance to work with the king of search engines itself, then here’s your chance, although the jobs come few and far between and are very difficult to get with so many applicants (who wouldn’t want to work with Google?).
Google’s rating jobs work similarly as other on this list.
You’ll help fine-tune the search engine algorithm to make sure that the ads people pay for are making sense for the things people search for.
You’ve probably seen ads on Google when you search for just about anything.
Businesses and individuals pay for those ads to be placed near the top of search results to hopefully get seen by searchers first.
Therefore, there’s a better chance people will click their links before other non-paid links in their search results.
An Ads Quality Rater will evaluate not just how relevant ads are to various search queries, but also the quality of an ad’s landing page, like its images, text, and overall relevance to potential searchers.
Google will provide strict guidelines for rating to ensure that all raters work the same way and rate ads the same way, but of course, the final feedback will be somewhat subjective.
Unlike other rating jobs, Google requires that its raters hold at least a Bachelor’s degree and have college-level English fluency for both reading and writing.
Some of these jobs are also bilingual, so those who speak more than one language may still have some opportunities (and they reportedly pay a little more).
As I mentioned, it’s not easy to find these jobs.
When they do, Google will send you an email to let you know.
The pay from Google is reportedly between $14 and $15 per hour and gets paid weekly.
RaterLabs comes from Appen and is somewhat of the child between the merger between Leapforce and Appen that occurred in late 2017/early 2018.
Upon entering the website, you’ll probably notice that it looks very similar to Leapforce.
That’s because this site is basically what took over for Leapforce in the merger.
Much of the tasks and process for applying are very similar.
RaterLabs offers jobs in a variety of languages, like English, German, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic.
You must be at least 18 years old to join the company.
Of course, you’ll also need a high-speed internet connection, a reliable computer with updated software, and excellent research skills.
Attention to detail is also a must to be able to follow along with the instructions for each task.
According to some online reviews, RaterLabs has a few similar pros and cons as other work at home search evaluator jobs:
- It’s flexible work and you can set your own hours
- The gigs aren’t difficult if you pay attention to directions
- You can work remotely
- You don’t need to buy any equipment to get started
- No college degrees or experience are required
- The pay is decent, around $14 per hour
- It’s not consistent work. You may get loaded one week and have nothing for a month.
- Your hourly pay may not be quite accurate, because you get paid per task instead of by-the-hour
- You don’t get paid for training, which can take several hours on its own to understand all the guidelines for rating
- Your work is always being reviewed, and if RaterLabs ever decides you’re not pulling your weight, it can drop you whenever it wants
You’re an independent contractor for RaterLabs, so you’re responsible for your own taxes and don’t have any employee benefits
Become a Web Assessor Today
Check job listings for each of these positions on their company websites or job boards a couple of times per week.
Work from home jobs tend to get snagged quickly, so they may not be open for long. Try the search terms “search engine evaluator” or “web search evaluator” for best results.
If you come across other companies that offer work from home search engine evaluator positions, feel free to let us know. Good luck in your job search!
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