Since quitting corporate slavery in 2016, I have been working online as a Google Rater (also known as a Search Engine Evaluator) for 3+ years now as is documented in my blog OutsideThatCubicle.com.
A part-time bug-hunter, part-time blogger, I am a complete work-at-home enthusiast who loves anything that frees one from having to die a slow death inside the confines of a cubicle.
You can also take my Search Engine Evaluator Training to help you crack the world’s toughest qualification test and work as a search engine evaluator.
Related content on web evaluation jobs:
How did I get started as a Search Engine Evaluator?
In early 2016, I was jobless, depressed and suicidal. I had just lost my new job because I was sick for a day and couldn’t attend the on-boarding training. I appeared for multiple job interviews after that but didn’t get through – I was either rejected or I rejected them for poor pay.
I didn’t have an emergency fund to last me even one month. So I was in deep trouble in just a month after being jobless.
It became difficult to pay the rent, manage food, and even to get out of my room as I stayed in New Delhi and it is pretty expensive.
As if that was not enough, my college girlfriend of 3+ years dumped me.
Emotionally and financially I was a train wreck then.
My situation was so bad that I didn’t even have food to eat in my room. I was hungry for almost like two days – was too ashamed to ask around for help. I had water to drink though, haha.
It was at those darkest times of my life that I found out about an online job called search engine evaluator job, also known as a Google rater job, after scouring the internet for months and trying out every possible way to make money online.
I applied for the Google Rater position with a company called Leapforce (now it is known as Appen)- which was the foremost company when it comes to this job. It was way back in May 2016.
They got back to me within a week or something.
I appeared for their qualification test which is a three-part exam. I studied the Guideline supplied by them for like 8 – 10 hours per day. I had seven days to finish the test.
Finished the first part of the test – Got an immediate email saying that I’ve passed the test! I was super -excited.
Finished second part of the test – Email said I passed the test! I fist-pumped!
Finished third part – No email. Anxiously waited for a few hours. Got an email saying that I’ve failed the test. My heart sunk! I felt a lump in my throat and a few drops of tears on my cheeks.
But they emailed me saying that they would give me a second chance. They scheduled a retake for my test.
Re-appeared for the test. It was late May 2016.
First Part – Got an automated email saying that I’ve passed! I am like okay.
Second part – Email said I am through. I am like this was expected.
Third part – I hit submit and finished the test. No email. Waited a couple of hours, went outside, still no email. At around midnight, when I was almost asleep I got an email from Leapforce saying that I’ve passed the test!
That was the happiest day of my life. I was super thrilled and so so thankful for the opportunity.
To say that it was a godsend would be a massive, massive understatement.
This job gave me hope, I felt like maybe this is karma, maybe I deserved this.
It saved my life, literally.
Since June 2016, I’ve been working as a search engine evaluator. I documented everything on my blog, you can check the archives of my website from December 2016 if you want to verify. I started blogging about it since December 2016, six months after working as an evaluator.
So what exactly is a search engine evaluation job?
Search Engine Evaluation is the process of making informed decisions about websites, webpages, music videos, songs, images, maps, and others, and rating them in a given scale as per set KPIs outlined in the General Guideline.
General Guideline is the Google supplied pdf that is the Bible for this work. It is a 166 pages long guideline that has detailed explanation of how to check the usefulness of web-pages, how to check the quality of the webpages, and rate them in a given scale.
So when you work as a search engine evaluator, you are in-directly working for Google. That’s what search engines evaluation jobs are.
And people who do search evaluation are called search engine evaluators, web search evaluators, Internet Analysts, Google Raters or simply Raters.
Here is an example of how Google Raters work
Let us assume that you are trying to keep track of your daily calorie intake, and you are dying to have hamburgers.
You do a quick Google search by issuing the following query –
“calories in hamburgers”
And you get a result like this
Now in the language of search engine evaluators aka raters –
You – the person issuing the query would be called as – User
The word or words that you issued in Google search would be called as – Query ( Shown by the first arrow in the image above)
And the result indicated by the blue rectangle would be called as – Result block
And the raters would rate the above result block based on the parameters mentioned in the General Guideline. It would be rated based on its helpfulness to the user.
Please note that most of the results that raters rate are not necessarily result blocks like the ones shown above. It can be anything like – URLs, web-pages, images, videos and others.
Alright, now that I’ve intrigued you hopefully, the next obvious question is…
How do I become a search engine evaluator aka Google Rater?
It is pretty simple. You can become a search engine evaluator in three simple ways:
Apply to one of the companies hiring Google raters (Google doesn’t hire for the position directly)
Pass the qualification test
Complete paperwork and begin working.
It’s that simple!
But first, let us go through the requirements and FAQs about this job.
Initial requirements to be a search engine evaluator –
High School Diploma or GED Qualification for US candidates. In case you are from another country, a college degree or equivalent is preferred. In my opinion, this is not really required. Just apply anyways.
For cultural awareness purposes, you should be living in your country for the last 5 consecutive years.
Active user of Gmail and other social media like Twitter and Facebook.
Familiarity with current and historical business, media, sport, news, social media and cultural affairs of your country.
Experience in use of web browsers to navigate and interact with a variety of content online.
Access to and being comfortable using Google Home or Amazon Echo devices is an additional bonus. In my opinion, you don’t really need access to or got to be able to use those devices. I don’t have one myself.
You should have a smartphone – iPhone or Android, any will work. No tablets, though!
You should have a PC, Mac or Chromebook.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about this job.
1) Where can I work from?
You can work from anywhere in the world as long as you’re working from within your country.
You can work from your hotel room, beaches or mountains or wherever you are, as long as your computer screen is not visible to others.
You can’t work from outside your country.
2) Do I have to be a technical person to work this job?
Naah! Not at all.
All that you have to be able to do is to follow the guidelines. Attention to detail, patience and a bit of persistence is all that you need.
Being familiar with researching the web, either through a desktop or a mobile device is of great help.
3) Who would I be working for?
While you would be working for one of the 4 search engine evaluator companies discussed earlier on- you would be indirectly working for Google!
Because Google contracts these companies and they, in turn, look for workers like you and me and from all over the world.
You would be one of the 10,000+ internet ninjas working in multiple languages from all over the world, helping to improve the search results.
4) Is this position only available in English?
No. You can work in the language of your country.
Google operates in almost every country and in their regional languages.
If you are in Mexico, you would be working in Spanish language, Russians would work in the Russian language, Italian people in Italian language, French in the French language, Japanese in the Japanese language, and so on.
They hire worldwide in the regional language of the respective countries.
Since 125+ million people speak English in India, we work in the English language here, besides Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and other regional languages.
What are the steps to working as a Google Rater?
Choosing the right company
The first step is to choose which company you would be working for. There are 4 companies hiring as of 2019.
Here they are –
Appen Connect (Formerly Leapforce)
Appen Connect or simply Appen
Appen, a publicly-traded Australian company acquired Leapforce in late 2017, and has rebranded it as Appen Connect or simply Appen.
They hire for raters worldwide except Americans. They have multiple projects inside apart from the rater job. And one can work in all the projects at the same time without any problem.
I’ve been with them since June 2016.
This company is based in Waltham, Massachusetts also hires evaluators from around the world. They hire Americans as well.
This was a sister company of former Leapforce created specifically for Americans. With the acquisition of Leapforce, they’ve also been acquired by Appen.
They only hire Americans, and they hire them as part-time employees. Raterlabs is the only company that hires Americans as part-time employees.
The rest of the company hires raters as independent contractors.
This is a Chinese company but has an office in Kirkland, Washington. They also hire evaluators from some countries around the world.
So which company should I go with? Where do I apply?
Here is a quick comparison table of all the above companies –
AppenLionbridgeRaterlabsiSoftstoneHires worldwide (Excluding Americans).Hires worldwide.Hires only Americans.Hires from a few select countries.One can work unlimited hours here.Limited to 20 – 25 hours per week. They do provide bonus hours of up to 10 extra hours per week if there is a high volume of tasks.Fixed 15 – 26 hours per week. You have to work a minimum of 15 hours per week.Up to 25 hours per week.It has multiple projects apart from rater project. One can work in all of them at the same time.It has multiple projects, but one can only work at one project at a time.Just one project i.e. rater job. It has multiple projects inside.Pays $11 – $13/hr to Americans.
Up to $14/hr to select Europeans.
$3/hr to Indians.Pays $13.5/hr to Americans.
Up to $14 for Americans.
$6.89/hr to Indians. Pays $9 – $13 depending on which state you are located.Pays $13.5/hr to Americans.Up to $14 for Americans.Hires as independent contractors.Hires as independent contractors.Hires as part-time employees.Hires as independent contractors.Pays under NET – 30 terms.Pays under NET – 45 terms.Pays under NET 30 terms.Pays under NET 30 terms.
Note – NET 30 means you will be paid within 30 days after your invoice is approved. Same explanation for NET 45. (Appen and Raterlabs pays by 12th – 14th of every month)
If you’re an American and want to work as a part-time employee, definitely go with Raterlabs. But if you want to work as an independent contractor, definitely go with Lionbridge as they pay higher.
But if you are non-American and are looking to work for unlimited hours and also make up to $25 per referral, then definitely go with Appen. Their hourly rate is a little less compared to others.
I regularly make $100 – $300 per referral bonus per month with Appen as my search engine evaluator salary.
Now, before you sign up to one of the above four companies, you would need to create a CV or a resume, as you will be required to submit one.
Here are my tips on how to create a great CV for this job –
Keep it to a single page.
Use free resume templates from Google Docs or MS Word.
Look at Elon Musk’s CV for inspiration here.
Please note that you don’t have to be overwhelmed by this. Keep it as simple as possible. Nothing fancy is required.
2) Passing the qualification Test
The second step in becoming a Google Rater is to pass the rater qualification test. The test is based on a 166-page pdf General Guideline supplied by Google.
The test consists of 3 parts:
Theoretical Part I
You need to study the Guideline and complete the test within 7 days.
I have referred thousands of people through my blog and hardly a few hundred have gone on to qualify the test and work as an evaluator.
It is because the test is very tough and it is what they say in the very first email that you’d get before you even take the online test.
If you are a parent with kids or have a day job, it would be very difficult to complete reading the guideline and appearing for the test. Even if you have 10 hours to study, it is still quite difficult.
Hence I created a course which would give you a complete training and more than enough practice to prepare for the actual test. Even if you are a complete novice in this field, you would gain a solid theoretical foundation and more than enough practice to make you ready before you get to take the actual test.
You can check out my course here.
3) Signing the paperwork
After you’ve passed the qualification test, you would be required to sign an NDA and other paperwork.
And, you are officially a Google Rater!
How much money can I make by being a Google Rater?
I make up to $2,007 being an Indian. It was another thing that I worked crazy hours.
I am with Appen and although Appen has reduced the pay rate of new Indian raters to $3 per hour, we the old-timers are still paid $7 per hour.
Now if you are from a European country, who are paid up to $14 per hour, you would have made twice of what I made in a single month. You would have easily made $4,000+.
I know a lot of Europeans who work at this full-time and part-time. They are mostly stay at home parents, college students, and others who like the idea of working for Google indirectly.
How much would an average American earn as a rater?
If you work for Raterlabs, you would be paid up to $13 per hour depending on which state you are from. And you would be limited to 26 hours per week, which translates to 104 hours per month.
So, 104 hours per month with a pay rate of $13 per hour = $1,352 working as a part-time employee.
The good thing however is, if you maintain consistent good quality work, you are promoted to Preferred Agents (PAs) and are paid higher.
With Lionbridge you might be able to earn slightly more if you are an American. But they don’t have PA positions.
So, it is easy to earn anywhere between $500 – $4000 working as an evaluator depending on where you are located.
What do I like about being a Google Rater?
Boss Free – I like the fact that I don’t work for anyone. I don’t have to report daily to anyone or commute to the office and curse traffic along the way.
No Set Time – I have the freedom to work whenever I want and wherever I want. I don’t have to log in at a fixed time and log out at a set time. I choose to work as much as I want or none at all. You don’t have to wake up early or stay up late at night to work here.
Consistent work – Unlike other work from home opportunities, I can easily clock in at least 25-50+ hours per week. It is not like some work from home job where you need to rush to grab the work and before you can even log in to their platform to grab the work, the work is already gone! There are some days with no tasks, but such days are not common.
Decent pay – While the pay is not excellent per se, considering the fact that you can regularly clock in 25-50+ hours per week, the pay is pretty good. I am willing to say that this is one of the best work from home opportunities out there.
No expensive gadgets or software required – Another awesome thing about this work is that you don’t need expensive gadgets or software to work here. All that you need is a desktop/laptop and smartphone. That’s it!
No technical expertise required – You don’t need to have coding skills to be able to work here. You won’t be coding a single line. You don’t need to be a programmer or a tech geek. Anyone with no technical expertise can work here. Being from the technical background can be an added bonus, though.
No college degree required. If you are from America, you don’t even need a college degree! You only need a high school diploma to be able to work as a Google Rater.
I could go on and on.
If you are an introvert, have no college degree, are a stay at home parent, or a college student looking for extra income, then this is perhaps one of the best work from home opportunities.
And to make sure that you get through the qualification test, do check out my courses.
If you have any questions, please comment below. I will answer your questions.
Have you heard of the Google Rater job before? What do you think of it?