How To Earn Money Online as a Search Engine Evaluator

By Joseph Nyambura                
Last updated on January 18, 2021  
search engine evaluator

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Are you looking for a flexible way to earn money from home? Then being a search engine evaluator might be an ideal job for you.

Every day, all the time, people all over the world are searching for particular information online. The results are usually accurate almost all the time.

So how do search engines like Google reach this level of accuracy?  They rely on search engine evaluators who test and rate keywords.

Keywords are the words or phrases that people use to search for information on specific topics online. For instance, if you were searching for information on dog food and type “best dog foods in the world,” that is the keyword. 

As a search engine evaluator, search engines would rely on your testing and ratings of keywords to inform their algorithm so that search results can be accurate. 

What exactly do search engine evaluators do? 

Search engine evaluation involves evaluating webpages, images, music, videos, and maps, among other online content, to rate them on search engines.

Usually, there are testing agencies that search engines partner with. These agencies hire evaluators often on a part-time basis. 

When carrying out this task, you will be given a set of general guidelines that you should use when making decisions about the relevance, usefulness, and quality of webpages.

 Then you will use a given scale to rate them. So you need to make informed decisions.

Google has a guideline, Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines, that sets the standards that search engine evaluators must follow when rating webpages.  

This document is 168 pages long. 

Other terms that describe this type of work include raters, Google Raters, and web search evaluators.  

Example of how search engine evaluators work

As a rater, the testing agency will give you a keyword to rate. Your first task will be testing the keyword on your computer or mobile phone. 

You will then use the guideline to check if the page results are relevant to that particular keyword. 

Lastly, you will submit a report indicating your findings. 

Let’s say that you are given the keyword “best travel destinations in America.” While testing the webpage, you want to make sure that the information is relevant to that topic.

Several factors, such as culture and social trends, come into play when determining a page’s relevance. An algorithm might not be smart enough to detect such details. 

And this is where you come in as a search engine evaluator; to refine the algorithm to understand exactly what users are searching for.

How to earn money online as a search engine evaluator

The demand for search engine evaluators is high. Search engines need to be reliable enough for users. They achieve this goal by providing accurate search results.

 However, there are only a few companies that you can work with.

Some of these companies include iSoftsone, Appen, and Lionbridge. You will find an in-depth discussion about these companies later on in this article. 

Basic requirements

Each of the companies that hire search engine evaluators has its requirements and job specifications. 

However, there are general requirements that you must meet to be hired for this type of work as listed below:

  • You must have fluency in the local language that the search engine uses.
  • You should be familiar with cultural, social, and media trends. Remember, the algorithm needs to be refined with such information for accurate search results.
  • Having excellent research skills is very vital. You want to be a reliable evaluator who gives verified findings.
  • You should be familiar with surfing on the internet using different browsers and interacting with various online content forms.
  • Having a college degree will come in handy. But you can also apply for the job if you are in the process of getting one.
  • Being an expert in a particular niche is helpful. However, you cannot restrict yourself to specific topics. You will be researching several topics, and that’s why you need to be an excellent researcher.
  • You must have an internet connection and a smartphone or laptop. Your gadgets should have the latest software for detecting viruses and spyware.

The good thing about this job is that you do not need to have technical skills such as coding or programming. 

Some companies will require you to have lived in the country for at least five consecutive years. 

If you live in a country for a long time, you are best placed to understand cultural, business, social, media culture, and other affairs about the country. Such knowledge will make your work easier and accurate. 

Where to find a job as a search engine evaluator.

Search engines do not hire evaluators directly. They use testing agencies instead. 

So, below are the companies that you should contact when looking for a job as a search engine evaluator:

1) Appen

Appen is one of the largest testing agencies in the world. The company hires evaluators from different parts of the globe in different languages. 

You, therefore, don’t need to live in the United States to be hired by this company. Just be fluent in the local language of your search engine.

Besides evaluator jobs, this organization has other opportunities such as transcription and translation.

To work with Appen, check on their websites to see if there are any job openings and then apply. 

2) Lionbridge

Lionbridge has different evaluator jobs, with different specifications for different countries. 

These positions include rater, mobile and desktop internet search viewer, personal ads evaluator, multimedia judge, and intent judge. 

You could also work with them as a translator.

You can find the current job openings on their website and submit your application. Always read the requirements to see if you qualify before applying for the position.

3) iSoftsone

You could also work with iSoftsone as a search engine evaluator. The company hires for positions such as search engine evaluator, online ad evaluator, and online web evaluator.

To work with them, check on the open job positions on their site. 

When searching for work as a rater, do not work for different companies at the same time. This may lead to conflicts of interest.

Different companies might be handling different search engines that are competitors, and you cannot work on both at the same time. For instance, you can’t test Google’s and Bing’s search engine algorithm concurrently.

How to get hired 

You could get hired to work with any of the testing agencies listed above if you meet the qualifications. 

It is best to investigate a company and determine if it is the most suitable for you when starting. Look at their payment terms, working schedule, location, and other job aspects. 

1) Submit an application

The first step to being hired as a search engine evaluator is, of course, to apply.

These companies usually list their current job openings on their websites. Search if those openings are available in your country.

Then look at the job description and see if it is suitable for you and meets the requirements. Follow the steps to submit your application. 

It is good practice for you to be updated on when these companies are hiring. Sometimes, there might not be openings, but you can always check later. 

Very many people apply for this type of work. So, your application must be good enough to enable you to proceed to the next step.

If the company sees potential in you and selects you among the best candidates, they will contact you and guide you on the way forward. 

2) Doing the search engine evaluator exam 

If your application goes through, the company will invite you to do a search engine evaluator exam.

This exam is more like an interview and is the determinant of whether you get hired or not. It is usually tricky, but you must perform well to get the job.

The search engine evaluator exam contains three segments; the company guidelines, computer exam, and mobile exam. It is meant to test your research and scoring skills.

The company will send you a study guide in the form of an ebook of about 150 pages. This guide has guidelines on evaluation that you are supposed to follow when testing and rating web pages.

The guide also has links to videos to enable you to grasp the concept of search engine evaluation.

You will be given seven days to study the guide and complete the exam. 

It doesn’t matter how you balance between reading the guide and the exam as long as you complete it within the allocated time. 

Being that the exam is difficult, you need to study hard and understand the concepts. If you fail, the company can give you one retake. 

However, if you fail more than one time, you will not get hired.

This exam might vary from one company to another, but the testing format might be similar.

Unfortunately, you will not be paid for taking this exam whether you pass or fail.

Tips to help you pass the exam

  1. Pay keen attention to the evaluator guidelines.
  2. Study and understand the concepts comprehensively so that you can answer quickly and correctly.
  3. Write down important points as you study the guide. This will help you remember what you learned.
  4. Organize your time carefully. You only have seven days to study the guide and do the three-part exam. Choose whether to do the whole exam at once or each segment at a time.

3) Get hired and start making money 

If you pass the exam, you will get hired, and this is the time to start making money online as a search engine evaluator. 

The company will sign a contract stating your job specifications, wages, work schedule, and other job details.

You could get your first project immediately or after some time, depending on the number of evaluator projects that the company has.

Usually, you do this job virtually, and the company pays you per hour. 

You should also get used to signing non-disclosure agreements. 

The testing companies work with different search engines, and you are not allowed to disclose any information regarding the topics you are handling. 

The advantages and disadvantages of being a search engine evaluator


  • Search engine evaluation offers you a lot of flexibility. You can do this as a side hustle. Companies will require you to work only when there are projects for a certain amount of time. 
  • You can work from home: Testing companies will hire you to work virtually. You don’t need to commute to work every day. You will enjoy a work-life balance.
  • You don’t need to invest a lot to start this job:  You only need a laptop or a smartphone and an internet connection to become a rater.
  • No technical skills are required. Hard as the exam might be, you do not need to have technical skills like coding or programming. All you need to do is understand the guidelines for testing and scoring web pages. 


  • High qualification standards. Unlike other online jobs, search engine evaluation has very high qualification requirements. The exam is quite hard, and you have a limited time to grasp the concepts.
  • Inconsistencies. You will only work as and when there are evaluation assignments. Some search engines might take long before they can require the testing company’s services that you are working for. In such a case, you’d need to start other side hustles to earn a living. 


Working as a search engine evaluator will enable you to earn a decent income from the comfort of your home.

If you like learning and exploring new areas and topics, this would be an ideal job for you. As you research different keywords and topics, you will gather knowledge that you can apply elsewhere.

After passing the exam and getting hired, keep on improving your skills so that your contract can be renewed regularly.

Search engine evaluation is an exciting online job that can open doors to many more opportunities. 

About the author

Joseph Nyambura

I started this website to help bloggers by sharing everything I’ve learned in the past decade working as a professional digital marketer, web designer & developer. I help passionate bloggers like YOU start and supercharge their own glossy blogging journey and enjoy the flexibility to work from home. I will help you master content creation, making money, and build an audience blogging online.

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