One of the most popular work-at-home jobs of the moment is becoming a search engine evaluator or web search evaluator. Many of my followers have told me how much they love this type of work, and some of the pitfalls and many others have asked me for more information.
Today, we are sitting down to discuss the nitty gritty details of this industry. We’ll explore the ups, downs and what it takes to succeed in this field. And, if that’s even a possibility.
What Does a Search Engine Evaluator Do?
If you have done any extension research on the internet, you know Google doesn’t always get it right. Your job as a search engine evaluator is to analyze search results for relevancy and quality.
The need for this work arises as those results given to you after doing an internet search are determined by a computer and these fancy things called algorithms. What’s missing from algorithms is the human aspect. Robots aren’t too good at interpreting or predicting what you are looking for especially when it comes down to a string of unrelated words. Most of us aren’t typing actual questions into Google after all. We’re searching for things like “services to offer.” That can mean different things to different people. Search engines have established those people are most likely looking for freelance service opportunities and has crafted their query results to reflect that.
How Much Do Search Engine Evaluators Get Paid?
Most openings in this industry report earnings around $12 to $15 per hour.
Is This a Good Work-at-Home Job?
Many members of my community really enjoy this type of work. The schedule is usually pretty flexible. It’s non-phone work. The pay is pretty decent for not being on the phone.
You also don’t need any special equipment or training. Many openings require just a Windows-based personal computer and high-speed internet.
On the flip side of that coin, the work is somewhat limited and/or project-based. That means your hours may be limited. There’s also a good chance work will eventually dry up and you may have a waiting period between projects. It’s also common in this industry to have a contract end date. That may mean you need to reapply for future projects or have your contract expire altogether.
You should also be aware that while this can be a great gig, most companies have a non-compete clause in their contract. That means you can’t work for more than one of these companies at a time. Don’t expect to craft together a full-time schedule with this type of work.
You will be an independent contractor in these positions. That means there is no guarantee of work or available hours. It also means you will be responsible for your own taxes. However, it also means a lot more freedom in determining your schedule and workload. Most companies allow you to work just a few hours per week or carry a more steady part-time schedule of 20-25 hours week when a project is in full swing.
Who Hires Search Engine Evaluators?
There are a handful of companies that contract at-home workers to check search results. It’s imperative that you read through the job description fully as most companies do have a non-compete as mentioned above. Don’t blow your opportunity at future work by neglecting to follow the rules. I want your work-at-home success to last a lifetime, not be a flash in the pan before you have to go begging for your old 9-to-5 back.
Appen Butler Hill
Appen is a great company offering remote positions in several capacities including search relevance evaluation. The typical evaluator position at Appen requires a work commitment of four hours per day five days per week, usually Monday through Friday. There is usually a lot of flexibility in the times available.
You will need a Windows PC, high-speed internet and be comfortable with installing software and troubleshooting. You will need to go through some unpaid training and testing which can take one to three weeks. It’s nothing too time-consuming or crazy, but some have described it as tedious. I wouldn’t let that stop you.
I’ve heard really good things about iSoftStone. As such, they don’t always have openings available. (When they do, they usually list them on Indeed.)
The Online Rater positions at this company are often long-term. This company works with Bing as opposed to Google. As such, you will be completing your work on Internet Explorer. I’ve heard this is one of the few companies, perhaps the only one, that doesn’t have a non-compete.
The pay reportedly starts at $13 per hour with increases available based on productivity and accuracy. The current job listing at the time of writing this post gave an hourly commitment of 10-25 hours per week.
Leapforce is one of the bigger names in this industry. The testing can be pretty extensive and intensive. It’s highly advisable to really study their guide prior to taking the test.
The pay is pretty standard at a rumored $13 to $14 per hour. Leapforce pays only once per month by direct deposit so budget accordingly.
Leapforce is seeking those familiar and active with Google products – Gmail, Google Play, Google+. They are also frequently hiring bilingual agents. Leapforce also looks for those who are not only familiar with American culture but have specific areas of interest.
Many people confuse Lionbridge for Leapforce and vice versa. They are two really different companies, however. Lionbridge doesn’t always have plentiful work-at-home jobs available. And most of those recently have been calls for those bilingual in foreign languages like Afrikaans.
The search evaluator positions here are more like ad quality raters which are another position offered by many of these companies. It’s the same process, but you are looking at the ads listed in search results for relevancy and quality.
Lionbridge pays around $14 per hour at last report. This company does hire internationally. Many positions require not only a PC but also an Android-based smartphone. The current openings I viewed also required daily Gmail and social media use and a weekly hourly commitment of 3 to 5 hours.
ZeroChaos rarely has evaluator positions available. They hire agents as employees instead of independent contractors and they also pay on the upper end of the scale at a rumored $15 per hour. They also don’t mind if you work for other companies in a similar capacity.
The hourly commitment here is reportedly 10 hours per week with a maximum of 30 hours. ZeroChaos commonly lists job openings on Indeed or Craigslist.
One of the biggest complaints on Glassdoor and something I’ve heard quite a few times with search engine evaluator jobs is that projects can end unexpectedly and without notice. As someone who has been working from home since 2007, it’s not too surprising. Unfortunately, it happens around here. Keep your basket full of good eggs and don’t rely too much on any one gig to pay your bills.
Now that you know the highs and lows of this industry, I’d recommend giving it a shot if you are looking for non-phone work and a flexible schedule. Plan for those downtimes and contract end dates. Make hay while the sun shines.
Have you worked as a search engine evaluator? I’d love to hear about your experience and tips for newcomers.
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