One of the most popular work-at-home jobs at the moment is that of search engine evaluator or web search evaluator. Many of my followers have told me how much they love this kind of work, and some errors and others have asked me for more information.
Today, we sit down to discuss the finer details of this industry. We’ll explore the ups and downs and what it takes to be successful in this field. And, if that is even a possibility.
What does a search engine evaluator do?
If you’ve done any extensive research on the Internet, you know that Google doesn’t always get it right. Your job as a search engine evaluator is to analyze search results for relevance and quality.
The need for this work arises because the results given to you after searching the internet are determined by a computer and these fancy things are called algorithms. What is missing from algorithms is the human side. Robots aren’t very good at interpreting or predicting what you’re looking for, especially when it comes to a string of unrelated words. Most of us don’t type actual questions into Google. We are searching for things like “services to offer”. It can mean different things to different people. Search engines have established that people are likely to be looking for freelance service opportunities and have tailored their search results to reflect this.
Although many of these companies started out just evaluating search engine results, the industry has grown considerably. Agents are now evaluating ads that appear on search, social media platforms, and more. Some of these companies include translation, transcription, crowdsourcing work and more.
If you can get your foot in the door with one of these companies and prove your worth, you could have a flexible and fun gig for years to come.
How Much Do Search Engine Evaluators Get Paid?
Many of these companies have several projects underway at any given time. Each project usually has its own pay rate. Although these companies usually require a non-disclosure agreement from contractors, many people say the pay is higher than minimum wage and many estimate it to be between $12 and $15 an hour.
As for available hours, this can vary greatly. Some people may only be assigned to a project that allows for one hour of work per day while others may sustain a workload of 30 hours or more per week. I’m told you can set your availability within your profile or when hiring. Making yourself more available can get you hired on more projects.
How about testing and training?
Sadly, this seems to be where many search evaluators simply quit. There are many guidelines to follow. There are several test steps to pass. It’s not easy. But it’s not forever!
Guys, I can’t stress this enough. The work-at-home world is highly competitive. If you are not willing to work, someone is there. If you want to make more than minimum wage online – or $3 an hour – you’ll have to find a job other than surveying, being an mTurker, doing penny-per-hour data entry. Don’t complain about low pay if you don’t want to do anything more difficult than clicking “yes” or “no.” There are better paying gigs out there, but they’re going to take some brain power.
Now, contractors tell me that once they learn the guidelines, this gig is a piece of cake. I’ve talked to a few people who have been with a company for several years. It is flexible work. It pays well. It might be a little repetitive, but it’s simple. With the good things in life you have to make some sacrifices. If you want to be successful and stay at home for the long term, overcome everything with a simple mindset.
How fast will I get hired?
It depends. Sometimes the need is great and immediate. Other times, not so. I’ve seen people get hired within days. I’ve seen people say they heard back months ago. This is not so unusual in the work-at-home world.
I remember when I started working from home in 2007, there was one job I wanted so badly. I took the test and was put on the waiting list for over a year. When I finally called up, you can bet I worked my butt off. I was one of the few who had a year-round contract. I worked that gig up until a year or two ago when the pay could no longer compete with what I was making with my blog. It was still hard to quit because I enjoyed the job. Moral of the story: Good things come to those who wait. Put your all into that test.
Is it a good job to work at home?
Many members of my community really enjoy this kind of work. The schedule is usually quite flexible. It works without phone. The pay is pretty decent for not being on the phone.
You also don’t need any special equipment or training. Many openings require only a Windows-based personal computer and high-speed Internet. There are even projects that only require a smartphone.
On the flip side of that coin, work can be somewhat limited and/or project-based. That means your time may be limited. There is also a good chance that the project will end eventually and you may have waiting periods between projects. Contract end dates are also common in this industry. If your work is up to company standards, you’ll usually be asked to sign a new contract. If you don’t meet the minimum, you probably won’t be asked again.
You should also be aware that while this may be a great gig, most companies have a non-compete clause in their contracts. That means you cannot work for more than one of these companies at a time. Not only can they find out if you’re trying to pull one off quickly because they can use the same software, Appen has bought a few of these companies – RaterLabs and Leapforce to name two. They may have different names, but it’s the same parent company. They will have your information on file. Don’t risk it!
In these positions you will be an independent contractor. That means there is no guarantee of work or available time. This means you will be responsible for your own taxes. However, this means much more freedom in determining your schedule and workload. Most companies allow you to work only a few hours per week or carry a more steady part-time schedule of 20-25 or even 30 hour weeks when a project is in full swing.
Who hires search engine evaluators?
There are a few companies that contract in-house workers to check search results. It is imperative that you read the job description completely because most companies have a non-compete as mentioned above. Don’t blow your chances at future jobs 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 go begging to go back to your old 9-to-5.
Appen Butler Hill
Appen is a great company that offers remote location in a variety of capacities, including search relevance evaluation. Appen’s general appraiser position requires a work commitment of four hours per day, five days a week, typically Monday through Friday. There is usually a lot of flexibility in available time.
You’ll need a Windows PC, high-speed Internet, and be comfortable installing and troubleshooting software. You will have to go through some unpaid training and testing which may take one to three weeks. It’s not too time-consuming or crazy, but some have described it as tedious. I will not let you stop.
Many people confuse Lionbridge for Leapforce and vice versa. They are two really different companies, however. Lionbridge There is not always a lot of work available at home. When I checked this morning (June 20, 2018) I didn’t see any listings on the site. When I checked FlexJobs, I saw the latest job listings till May 30.
Like most of these companies, Lionbridge hires for a variety of appraiser and appraiser positions.
This company hires internationally. Many positions require not only a PC, but also an Android-based smartphone. Current openings I’ve seen require daily Gmail and social media usage and a weekly hourly commitment/availability of 3 to 30 hours.
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard several times in Glassdoor and search engine evaluator work is that projects can end unexpectedly and without notice. As someone who has been working from home since 2007, this isn’t too surprising. Unfortunately, it happens around here. Keep your basket full of good eggs and don’t rely too heavily 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’re looking for non-phone work and a flexible schedule. Plan for that downtime and contract end dates. Make hay while the sun shines.