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Working as a Search Engine Evaluator for Leapforce
Qualifications of a Search Engine Evaluator
This was my first work from home job. I began working for Leapforce in October of 2012. A colleague told me about the job being a good source of supplemental income.
I located their website and looked over the qualifications to become an agent for this company. I will paste it here and add my own comments in italics. I ended up working for them for a little over a year.
Ideal Search Engine Evaluators will possess the following skills
- Have in-depth, up-to-date familiarity with American social culture, media, and web culture - To be honest here, I did not have this skill. I don't care about social culture and media. Web culture, perhaps. As long as you know how to locate information online, you will be able to look up any info. regarding social and media culture.
- Excellent comprehension and written communication skills in English - You will need the comprehension skills. As for written, you typically will not be asked to write anything for this job. I remember one point when we were asked to comment on some of the jobs, but it was not required.
- Broad range of interests, with specific areas of expertise a plus - not required
- University degree or equivalent experience (degrees in-progress are acceptable). Advanced degrees a plus - I actually do have a degree but am fairly certain that you do not need one, just the ability to pass their test. We will talk about this shortly.
- Excellent web research skills and analytical abilities. - Need
- Ability to work independently under minimal supervision - Need
- Possess a high speed internet connection (DSL, Cable Modem, etc.) - You probably could get hired for this job using dial-up, I don't recall them verifying my internet speed, but you will end up making around a dollar an hour while you wait for the multiple screens you need to open per job to load.
- Use of an Android phone version 4.1 or higher, Windows phone version 8.1 or higher, or an iPhone version 4s or higher - This is either new or I don't remember it. I have an android but was never asked to use it.
What is a Search Engine Evaluator?
Leapforce describes the job like this: Search Engine Evaluators provide feedback on search engine results by measuring the relevance and usefulness of web pages in correlation to predefined queries, by providing comparative analysis of sets of search engine results and various other techniques.
That sounds a bit more complicated than it is, so let me break it down. There are a lot of different jobs you will be doing. The bulk of them will have you opening up web pages and rating them. This is done in a couple of different ways. Usually you will have categories such as quality, spam, reputation, content, length and more. Next to each category will be a sliding bar which you can move to relevant, not relevant, or somewhere in-between. There is another version of this job in which you are selecting the scores multiple choice style. These are the jobs that are almost always available and my least favorite, which we will get to shortly.
There are other jobs which are very quick and easy. Some of the ones I recall are listening to two short clips of music for differences, comparing two similar pdf documents for differences, rating video quality and audio quality of short clips. Sometimes there are what seem to be endless supplies of these jobs, but I would estimate that 2/3 of the time you will actually be evaluating web pages.
The Test to become a Search Engine Evaluator for Leapforce
The Leapforce website states this: All candidates are required to take and pass a qualification exam before becoming a Search Engine Evaluator. There are three parts to the exam: a theoretical component and two practical components. Supplied study materials can be used during the exam.
The supplied study material they are referring to is a very long and boring pdf manual. I don't recall exactly how long it is but I want to say over 100 pages. This manual will give you descriptions of the jobs and examples of how to rate. I'm not trying to complain about it being boring or anything, I think they made it as exciting as they could considering the material.
I read the entire manual and then took part one of the test. I passed quick and easy. I was thrilled and was not at all worried about the next parts of the exam. This was a HUGE mistake. The last two parts of the exam are very difficult. What makes them so difficult is that you are being asked to rate a huge list of web pages but it has to be by their standards or you will fail. This is where a lot of people have a hard time, because different people have different opinions on what makes up a quality website. In order to maintain a certain quality standard, they need to have raters that can all rate on close to the same standard. If you are not able to think this way you will not pass the test.
They will tell you that you only have one chance to pass this test, but for me this was not the case. I actually failed it twice before I passed it. Upon further research, I believe that if you are very close to passing they might let you try again, but if you fail by a long shot that's the end. Don't be scared that you will fail just because I did though. I know people who passed it their first time trying.
Working for Leapforce - Pros and Cons
- You can work anytime you choose. I have insomnia so I would fire up the computer at 2AM and work at my leisure.
- The pay to start for me was 13.50/hour, and I believe that is their standard starting wage.
- If you work at a desk job you can do this job when you aren't busy. (This may be against their rules though, so double-check that. I did it but I was working a very slow 3rd shift job where I sat around for hours with nothing to do.)
- You aren't taxed. (You are supposed to claim your earnings at the end of the year.)
- There are sometimes opportunities for OT. I never took advantage of this but I know it is so because I sometimes received emails from them about it.
- You have no co-workers. If you're very social and outgoing this won't matter, but for those of you who prefer to work alone, this might be your dream job. The closest I came to interacting with my coworkers was receiving quality scores via email.
- There are times when they will run out of work. This is not the norm but sometimes they may have no work for several days in a row. More often they would have only the jobs I disliked doing the most.
- Although the starting wage of 13.50/hour sounds good, for some jobs you may not make that much. For the easy jobs you should be able to do this with no problem. The jobs they have most often, during which you will be rating web pages, you will probably make less. When I first started I did these jobs fairly quickly but received bad quality scores, so in order to keep the job I was forced to slow down and put a lot more thought into them. This may not be the case for you though. The reason you will make less if you do the jobs slower is that they are timed. You won't run out of time and lose the job, but you are given a certain amount of time which they will pay you for each job. They usually give 7-8 minutes for you to rate anywhere from 6-12 webpages.
- You have to keep track of your own time, they do not have a system to do this for you. This means that after every job you complete you will need to jot down the amount of time you worked on it as well as the start time. You will need this information when you fill out your payment form.
- They pay once a month through direct deposit only.
- Filling out the payment form can take upwards of 45 minutes, especially if you did a lot of jobs. You do not get paid for filling out the time sheet but you must fill this out and submit it every month if you want to get paid.
The Reason I Stopped Being a Search Engine Evaluator
I started getting bored and wasn't making enough money. I don't blame Leapforce for this. I probably just was not as qualified for this job as others who can fly through the jobs and make the full 13.50/hour. They require you to put in a certain amount of hours per week to keep the contract and I did not want to do it anymore. They were lenient with me for awhile but eventually, when my hours per week equaled 0 for several weeks, they ended the contract. They gave me the option to retest and work for them again. They sent me the information I would need to do so but I had taken another full-time job and just didn't get around to it.
Would I Recommend Working for Leapforce?
Absolutely. I feel that this is a good and honorable company. I always got paid and they never cheated me out of money. They are very forthcoming in their descriptions of what you will be doing and the skills needed to be successful. They were way more lenient with me than they had to be. In a nutshell, I like them. They did not do me wrong and the extra income helped out a lot when I needed it.
How to Apply:
- Leapforce About Leapforce
To apply, click the above link, select 'Become an Agent', pick your language and proceed with the application.
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