Google Ads Quality Rater Definition, Job, and Salary

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 10, 2020

Find a Job You Really Want In

It’s guaranteed that anyone with access to the internet has used a search engine before.

When you click the “search” button on the Google homepage, you hope that you find what you’re looking for within the first few results. If you don’t, you refine your search terms to make them more specific and hope for a better outcome (you definitely don’t go beyond the first page of results, though; you’re not that desperate).

You might think that the ambiguous search engine technology is all that goes into finding the best search results. But there’s actually a human fact-checker behind that algorithm, wading through search results to find the most relevant ones.

This article will introduce you to the role of a search engine evaluator. You’ll learn who they are, what they do, and even how to find jobs in the field.

What is a search engine evaluator?

Search engine evaluators are people tasked with providing feedback and ratings for results from searching certain terms or phrases. The assessments they make are essential to helping search engine developers improve their algorithm and the quality of their results. A person is much more equipped than a computer is to determine what is comprehensive, relevant, or accurate information to search engine users.

There are various job titles for search engine evaluators: ads quality rater, web search evaluator, internet assessor— the list goes on. Regardless of which title any given employer establishes, the job remains the same.

The complex algorithm and technology generate the results at a fast pace, and search engine evaluators review them based on a set of criteria outlined by developers. Are the results accurate? Do they reflect the searcher’s intent? Do any spam results pop up? These are all important questions to consider when evaluating search results.

As with any job, if you’re interested in working as a search engine evaluator, there are a few main requirements for experience and skill:

  • Localization. This kind of job is a form of localization, aiding in the process of adapting a product or service to a specific language or culture. You have to be familiar with trends in your local area— what people are interested in, patterns in their online language, etc.

  • Bilingualism. Evaluator positions are generally bilingual positions, since most job openings are not English-only.

  • Research skills. You should be familiar with various research methods and online search engines. At some point in your career, you’ll work with all the search engines available to your employers, so you should understand how to conduct advanced research.

  • Familiarity with technology. Communicating data is a big part of being a search engine evaluator. Prepare to exchange emails and share research documents with developers regularly.

The national average salary for a search engine evaluator in the United States is about $36,000. The jobs are more likely to be part-time positions, compensated on a project-by-project basis. This might not be an ideal situation, since you won’t be able to earn money between projects. Many companies also have non-compete clauses that prevent evaluators from working for more than one company at a time.

How to get a work-at-home job with Google

Google is likely the most widely used search engine in the world. The company provides searches for countries all across the globe and hires search engine evaluators for a number of different languages. Like with general evaluator positions, this requires extensive knowledge of local cultures and languages to maximize search results.

At Google, the title of the job is “ads quality rater.” This is one of their few work-at-home job opportunities, and each ads quality rater is responsible for the costs of their own office space, computers, internet access, and any other potential expenses.

Google ads quality raters conduct various searches through the Google search engine and analyze text, web pages, images, and other types of information. They rate the results to search queries according to Google-specific guidelines on relevance; results can be categorized as: useful, relevant, slightly relevant, off topic, and spam.

So, what do you need to get the job with Google?

The following is a list of qualifications to become a quality ads rater:

  • Bachelor’s degree. All positions require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience.

  • Fluency in target language. Since Google offers evaluator positions for different languages, you have to be fluent in the language you apply for. If you’re applying for a rater position for a specific country, you have to have lived in that country for some period of time

  • Reliable high-speed internet. This work-at-home position requires that you have access to your own online materials

  • Ten hour a week availability. Google hires raters as independent contractors that must be available for ten hours a week to be considered active. You would work on a contractual basis for a one year time period and can expect a starting rate of around $15 an hour.

Google regularly works on fine-tuning their search algorithm to provide the best user experience and to keep up with changing trends in language and internet usage. The raters that work behind the scenes are what make those improvements possible.

Be aware of scams

It might seem outlandish, but Google work-at-home scams are more common than you think.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t track job opportunities for quality ads raters or search engine evaluators. For this reason, these kinds of jobs are generally hard to find, and not many companies hire for them.

If you’re thinking of applying for evaluator or rater positions, be sure to stick to the limited list of credible companies in this industry. This might be tricky to do with Google, since the company doesn’t advertise positions on its own website. When open positions are available, you’ll find them through third-party job board sites or by keeping vigilant watch on Google’s career page.

Watch out for these common red flags:

  • Big-time pay for very little work. Note that the average annual salary for these positions isn’t very high.

    There have been instances of home business kits that promise a lot of money with almost no effort through Google Adsense. These scams claim that placing Google ads on your website will generate immediate money. Websites have to generate heavy traffic to make any significant revenue from ads, so a claim like this is most likely part of a scam.

  • Applicant charges and fees. Some scams ask for you to purchase materials that they claim are necessary for the application or hiring processes. This usually consists of a small upfront fee with a big recurring charge.

    Snopes has reported a pretty extreme case of a Google work-at-home scam that charged a $2 fee to weed out serious applicants and went on to charge $80 a month to applicants’ credit cards.

Scammers are easy to spot, since they often lack subtlety and believability. In the case of Google scams, consider everything you’ve learned about what the hiring process for an ads quality rater should look like before taking any chances.

Where to look for this job

Now that you’re familiar with the responsibilities, background, and skills that go along with being a search engine evaluator, you might like to know where you can apply for the job.

Here are the most common websites for finding evaluator jobs:

  1. Appen

    Appen is a web-developer company that specializes in machine learning and artificial intelligence products.

    The evaluator positions at Appen are freelance positions that require native speaking in the language the evaluator works on, as well as familiarity with a variety of online news sources. Evaluators work as independent contractors

    After taking a series of exams over a three week period, freelance evaluators can work four to five hours per weekday.

  2. iSoftStone

    iSoftStone is a technology consulting company geared toward improving business performance.

    The company doesn’t offer many regular job openings, but they do offer training to beginning search engine evaluators. No experience is necessary to work with them, and evaluators can expect 10-25 hours of work per week.

    Many other search engine companies work with Google, but iSoftStone partners with Bing.

  3. Lionbridge

    Liobridge is a company that provides localization and artificial intelligence training data services.

    The company employs work-at-home independent contractors, ranging from internet assessors to social media search consultants. Openings for these positions are accessible through the company website, where applicants can take an online assessment to test their performance as an evaluator.

  4. ZeroChaos

    ZeroChaos is a workforce network that works with clients in 50 countries to improve company management and talent supply chains.

    The company hires people who have lived in a target country and are fluent in the language. Evaluators must have proficient English skills and be able to work with English-based software. They report and track content accuracy for Google advertisements.

Though rater and evaluator positions aren’t as reliable as even other part-time positions, they should satisfy those of you who are interested in challenging, analytical work.

You might consider this as a side gig to generate extra income, or a transition into the world of remote work.

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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