Get Paid to Search the Web
If you’ve spent time on any cashback rewards sites, chances are you’ve seen advertisements offering to pay you to search the web and make money online.
This post explores search engine rewards programs, including how they work and how they reward participants.
What does it mean to get paid to search the web?
This strategy involves working with third-party organizations offering to compensate you for doing things you already do online. You may get paid to use a search engine, watch videos, or do some other activity (e.g., user testing).
Most of the time, you don’t have to change your viewing behavior or take on any additional responsibilities to earn cash. It’s mainly centered around market research, and companies are more interested in viewing your regular habits.
However, programs tend to vary from provider to provider. Before deciding to try your hand at this, shop around and do your due diligence.
Top ways to get paid searching the web
1. Microsoft Rewards (formerly Bing Rewards)
A few years back, Microsoft rolled their Bing Rewards program into Microsoft Rewards, a free program that offers incentives for completing daily tasks, like buying things from the Microsoft Store online.
One way to get compensated through Microsoft Rewards is to search on Bing.com. All you have to do is make sure you’re logged in on your PC, mobile, or tablet. The more you search for items on Bing, the more points you’ll rack up.
Microsoft rewards users based on levels, with Level 1 members earning up to 5 points per day and 150 points per month. Level 2 members earn up to 20 points per day or 600 points per month.
Of course, the catch is you have to use Bing a lot. So if you’re used to using Google, this option may not be for you.
Swagbucks is one of the leading consumer rewards sites, offering compensation for activities like taking surveys and participating in focus groups. The survey site also offers rewards for searching the internet.
Here’s how it works: You make Swagbucks your default search engine. Swagbucks then acts as an overlay for whatever browser you’re using (i.e., Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer).
Once that’s done, you earn points for using the Swagbucks search engine. You then redeem those points for cash rewards or a gift card from a leading retailer like Amazon or Walmart.
Qmee offers a similar search option to Swagbucks. With Qmee, you can earn cash by installing the Qmee browser app and surfing the internet as you normally would. By clicking on specific results, you can collect rewards.
Qmee works on a variety of sites like Google, eBay, and Amazon.
InboxDollars is another company that pays you to ditch Google and use their search engine.
In addition to using their search feature, InboxDollars pays members to take surveys, watch videos, and redeem coupons, among other things. When it’s time to collect your funds, you can simply request a transfer to your PayPal account.
Nielsen is a global market research firm that helps its business partners understand consumer trends and insights.
One way to make money through Nielsen is to use their Computer and Mobile Panel service. All you have to do is sign up and install the app on all your registered devices and then use the internet. The app works silently in the background, collecting data on your internet and mobile usage and reporting back to Nielsen, which then shares it with clients.
You’ll start earning immediately after downloading and installing the app. The company also offers automatic sweepstakes entries and loyalty rewards. Not bad!
6. Ask Wonder
If you’re looking for more of a hands-on and value-driven approach, then look into Ask Wonder. Using this service, you can get paid to research questions clients post and then deliver answers to their email addresses.
Ask Wonder is a great way to put your research skills to the test. Topics span all categories, including technology, finance, and health and nutrition.
Another benefit to Ask Wonder is there’s no limit to how many questions you can answer. The amount you work and bring in is up to you.
Cashback provider iRazoo offers iRazoo Search, which lets you earn bonus points by simply searching their website.
The company pays points for each unique search that you make. To capitalize on this service, you’ll need to make iRazoo your default search engine.
There’s no shortage of competitors offering to compensate you just for searching online.
One you may not have heard of is MobileXpression, which is a market research firm that pays customers for sharing mobile browsing activity.
The company guarantees rewards for participating. You can also receive weekly credits that you can redeem for a gift card from participating retailers.
If you spend a lot of time browsing on your mobile device, MobileXpression might just be the service you’re looking for.
Tips for making money surfing the web
Be very careful about what you install
Stick with the above-mentioned search engine rewards providers, as they are all reputable vendors. Make sure to thoroughly research and vet providers when expanding your search, as there are many scams.
Be careful about using a search engine program as an overlay for your web browser, and analyze how much visibility the program has. Consider disabling it when using online banking or providing any sensitive information over the internet.
It’s also a good idea to use strong cybersecurity protection when using these services. And if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Explore other options from providers
Sites like Swagbucks offer much more than just search engine tools. Take a look around and you’ll see there are opportunities to take fun surveys and participate in shopping campaigns, among other things.
The more activities you do, the more rewards you’ll collect. This can lead to expedited payouts, putting more money in your pocket faster.
Use search engine rewards to supplement other work
One of the best ways to make money through online search engines is to use rewards programs while doing other online work. The goal is to stack your side hustles and generate a bigger cash flow.
Suppose you take a job providing social media support for customers. This may require a lot of online research. You can potentially use an online search engine rewards program to conduct this research, upping your earnings in the process.
Save and invest your earnings
You’re probably not going to strike it rich completing online cashback and rewards programs. Even if you use these sites frequently, the money you bring in will most likely be supplementary income.
As such, it’s important to put your money to work when it rolls in so that it can grow. Instead of spending your rewards, funnel them into an online brokerage account and invest the proceeds. Pick some growth-oriented stocks, buy them, and be patient.
You should also put the earnings toward paying off any debt, if you have it, and pad your emergency savings. The last thing you want is to be in a position where you incur an unexpected expense and don’t have funds to cover it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a browser extension?
A browser extension is a program that lets you modify an internet browser. Most browsers integrate with extensions for a more customizable experience.
Research providers and cashback companies often offer browser extensions to make it easy to earn money by surfing the internet. In most cases, all you have to do is add the extension and sign up, and you can start earning rewards instantaneously.
It’s a painless and easy way to bring in money.
What is a search engine evaluator?
Companies like Google and Yahoo depend on search engine evaluators to test their services and ensure results are accurate and free of spam.
Search engine evaluators can get paid to surf the web for specific items and report their findings. This is yet another online side hustle. It’s not going to make you rich, but it can add some drops to the bucket.
Is it good to get paid through PayPal?
Yes. PayPal is a safe and cost-effective way to receive compensation for doing work online. It prevents you from having to provide your physical address or email address, and you can transfer money for free into a bank account.
If you have the choice, you should always take a cash payment via PayPal instead of collecting cash rewards. Collecting even small amounts of money is far more valuable than any gift card you could receive. That’s because money can grow and collect either interest or dividend yields.
In the grand scheme of things, gift cards are not going to grow your wealth.
How can you monetize a search bar?
Your search bar is extremely valuable. Companies are clamoring to know what you’re searching for so they can tailor their advertising and products to meet your needs. If you’re using a search bar for free in 2021, it may be time to rethink your approach.
Simply find a provider that lets you monetize your search bar using an overlay service. Install their extension, and continue using the internet as you normally would.
Just be careful not to share any sensitive information as you do so.
Is Yahoo a good search engine?
Yahoo is one of the oldest search engines on the market. However, the platform has fallen out of fashion in a big way.
Google now commands the lion’s share of searches, with a market share exceeding 91%. Yahoo, on the other hand, has a market share of less than 2%. Bing is slightly higher, hovering around 3%.
Is it easy to take surveys for extra money?
Taking online surveys is a fun and easy way to make small amounts of money. You have to answer a lot of them to generate substantial rewards. But there are plenty of legit sites like Swagbucks to explore.
Just keep in mind when taking online surveys that the amount of time they take should correlate with hourly pay. If you get paid $5 to take an hour-long survey, you should look for more productive ways to spend your time.
What is a market research company?
A market research company is an independent research firm that provides customers with market data to influence their products and decisions.
For example, a market research firm may analyze your browsing data to look for things like when you are most likely to watch YouTube or how you use the internet on Saturday or Sunday.
Believe it or not, companies pay a lot of money for these types of insights.
Are search engine rewards programs safe?
For the most part, yes. Most apps provide visibility into what types of information they collect and when they collect it. On top of that, rewards programs are usually more upfront about what they collect than many of the apps that consumers use on a regular basis. For example, some of the most popular social media apps are continuously siphoning customer data and profiting from it… but without compensating users.
Do your research and stick to the above services, and you should have no issues using search engines and browser extensions to make money.
Can you get paid to search the web while working other jobs from home?
Getting paid to search the web requires basically no effort most of the time. So, if you’re already using the internet to work other at-home jobs, you should be able to do this silently in the background.
Just be careful when taking on other jobs that require advanced security clearances. Some employers may not like the idea of using potentially insecure browser extensions when accessing sensitive information.
To avoid potential complications, check your work policies before taking this route.
The Bottom Line
One of the best ways to strengthen your personal finance situation is to diversify your income. It’s all about finding little ways to make money here and there. Add them all together, and your cash situation can only improve.
That said, you probably shouldn’t quit your full-time job to search online for rewards. Still, if you try this strategy, you could bring in some extra cash to put toward savings and investing.
It might not get you there overnight. But figuring out how to get paid to search the web can be a nice boost on your journey to financial independence.