Last updated in December 2020
Learn how to get paid for searching the web. Making money from things we already do is the best way to make money. It requires little extra effort and more importantly, no investment.
It may be hard to believe that something as mundane as web searching can be a way to make money. Yet it works. This is mostly because market research organisations are interested in the way we interact with search engines.
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How to get paid for searching the web
Swagbucks is a reward-based membership site that allows you to make money completing different tasks. One of these tasks is searching the web. Users can earn Swagbucks (SBs) and exchange these for gift cards or real money.
You can install the Swagbucks browser extension to activate the Swagbucks search. Subsequently, you earn SB for every search you do, plus 25 SB just for activating the search bar.
After some searching you will see a notification in the top of the search engine. From there, you can claim your SBs by entering a code. The process is very simple and only takes seconds to do.
The Swagbucks search engine is pretty powerful and works fine for ordinary searches. Furthermore, for anything more complicated, you can simply switch back to Google.
Credited when you earn 300 SB within your first 30 days.
Is Swagbucks legit?
Swagbucks is a completely legit website. They have over 16,000 reviews on Trustpilot with 64% being excellent and 20% being great:
Get paid for searching the web: Qmee
Qmee is predominately a survey website but you can also make get paid for searching the web with them. Unlike Swagbucks, you do not get paid per search. Instead, Qmee will show you ads in a sidebar.
To get paid for searching the web, you have to install the Qmee browser extension. Then, you will occasionally see ads on the left side of your screen when using Google. Clicking on one of these ads (or all of them) will give you a few pennies.
Searching with Qmee does not pay well and if you are outside of the US, you will see only a few ads. You may even have to specifically think of search terms to find ads which not a good use of your time given the low pay.
Yet having the Qmee browser extension is still worth it, as clicking on an ad is a simple task. Additionally, the extension will show you discounts and vouchers which may come in handy if you are looking to buy something.
With Zoombucks, you can get paid for searching the web. It is a reward-based membership site similar to Swagbucks. Basically, you get paid for completing different tasks, including web searching. Other methods include watching videos, doing surveys, and completing offers.
The method on how to get paid for searching the web is almost identical to Swagbucks, apart from the fact that you get paid in Zoombucks (ZBs). Therefore, you sadly cannot combine both. However, you can combine Zoombucks with market research companies.
Zoombucks has a very low minimum payout amount (only $3). Furthermore, their payment processing is fast and reliable so you do not have to wait long for your money. If you do not want cash, Zoombucks also lets you choose rewards from their reward catalogue.
MobileXpression is a market research company that collects anonymous data. It allows you to get paid for searching the web hassle free. In exchange for installing their virtual private network (VPN) on your mobile phone, you get regular gift cards. You do not even have to search the web specifically, you get paid for running the VPN passively.
For every week you remain a member of the panel, you get one credit. You can get a £5 gift card for 10 credits and a £10 gift card for 15 credits. This means 1 credit is worth £0.70 (if you go for the £15 gift card). Thus, you will earn almost £3 per month.
I will be honest with you. MobileXpression has been working perfectly for me for over year. And I still successfully use it. However, looking at their Trustpilot profile, you may want to be cautious when signing up.
Somehow, 71% of users rate MobileXpression as bad which is the worst score. Its average rating is only two out of five. The main complaint seems to be that people are not able to claim their vouchers, finding their accounts locked instead.
My guess is that a lot of issues stem from people not installing the VPN correctly which indeed is a bit confusing to do. However, given the amount of bad reviews, there are likely still people who are genuinely unable to claim their vouchers.
Whether you will be like me and able to use MobileXpression successfully or will encounter problems is impossible to say. However, I think that installing MobileXpression is still worth it regardless because you will find out quickly.
Using MobileXpression is entirely passively and does not cost anything. Then, after two weeks, you should have enough points to claim your first voucher. If it works you can continue to use MobileXpression. If not, then you can simply uninstall it.
Yes, Microsoft also offers you to get paid for searching the web. Microsoft has its own search engine name Bing which you may or may have not heard of. Originally, it was thought for it to compete with Google but that did not really work out.
In addition to surveys, Microsoft Rewards also offers surveys, games, and other activities that you can get paid to do.
With Microsoft Rewards, you get five points for every search you perform. One point equals $0.001. The maximum points you can earn in one day is either 50 or 250, depending on your membership level. You can level up to the second level by earning at least 500 in one month.
Microsoft Rewards does not only offer you to get paid for searching the web. You can also earn money simply by browsing. The maximum you can make is 150 points and you earn 5 points per hour. Given that many of us spend like half their day on the internet, you can probably reach the maximum pretty easily.
Survey Savvy – US only
Survey Savvy is a market research company that pays you for your data. All you have to do is downloading the app and let it run in the background while you browse the web. What does that mean? Passive income!
Yes, with Survey Savvy you can make money without doing anything different to your normal routine. For each device that you connect, you earn $5 per month. This means you can make a maximum of $15 per month.
The minimum payout rate is also very low with just $1 required. This means you can cash out your rewards every month.
In exchange, Survey Savvy will gain access to your data, anonymised of course. But this is what all companies with whom you can get paid for searching the web do.
Is Savvy Survey legit?
Yes, Savvy Survey is a legit way to get paid for searching the web. However, it is less well-known than other survey and reward-based websites so finding reviews is not that easy. On Trustpilot, Savvy Survey has an average rating with 2.8 out of 5.0.
Notably, 47% of users rate Survey Savvy as bad. This seems to be largely due to them being slow with processing payments. However, all users seem to have gotten their money in the end.
Work as a search engine evaluator
If you are a fan of web searching, you could also consider working as a search engine evaluator. Search engine evaluators earn money testing search engines to ensure the results are accurate and make sense.
Most search engine evaluators work part time and need to have a college degree. Furthermore, as search results are highly dependent on the language used, you have better chances if you are bilingual.
Bonuses of being a search engine evaluator include being able to work at home and having flexible hours. Additionally, you get paid for what you are normally doing (searching the web). Google calls its search engine evaluators Ads Quality Raters, in case you are interested.
How to get paid for searching the web summary
Getting paid for searching the web is a low-effort and no-investment way to make money online from home in your own time. Because you are only doing things you are already doing, getting paid for searching the web is a way to make passive income.
There are different ways to get paid for searching the web, including:
- Microsoft Rewards
- Savvy Survey
- Working as a search engine evaluator
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