Google's ad platform has been the subject of controversy lately because it makes so much cash. And not just from ads displayed next to search results — the company also takes 30 percent cut when companies sell their own digital products like subscriptions or in-app purchases through its Play Store and Apple App Stores.
As long as that keeps happening, there will be people who want to change things up and figure out how they could possibly start earning some extra income without selling their soul or compromising their principles. One way to do this would be to find an alternative app that pays better than what Google offers. But which one should you choose? Here are three ways anyone could earn more money with Google while still keeping their values intact.
You probably know about YouTube Red, Spotify Premium, Amazon Prime Video Unlimited, Netflix, Hulu Live TV, etc., all the services that offer paid plans. They're great if you use them regularly enough to justify paying monthly subscription fees. If you don't have any recurring expenses (like those), then these options might not be right for you. However, many other popular apps already give away something for free every once in awhile, and sometimes it doesn't even take that much effort to qualify.
For example, there's Starbucks Reward Visa Card where you can accumulate points by spending at participating stores. You'll receive 5% back at most coffee shops, gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants after your first $6 purchase. The catch is that each store participates differently, so check their individual reward cards before making a trip. There are plenty of other rewards cards available too, such as Citi Double Cash card, Discover It card, Capital One Quicksilver card, MasterCard Plastiq card, American Express Bluecard, AmEx Platinum card, and others.
The key here isn't really collecting points and miles, though. Instead, it comes down to getting yourself enrolled in programs offered by different brands and retailers. When you sign up, you may need to provide bank account information so that your transactions can go through. Once everything gets set up, you can focus on finding deals online instead of waiting for your mailboxes to pile up with flyers and catalogs. This approach won't bring you any serious amount of money, but it's worth trying since you can easily keep track of discounts, promo codes, and coupons using dedicated tools.
Another option is to join affiliate networks. These platforms allow you to promote various items for sale via social media posts or emails, while sharing commissions with merchants based on sold units. As an added bonus, affiliates usually have access to exclusive sales events and promotions. For instance, Commission Junction hosts over 120,000 independent business owners across dozens of industries, including travel, automotive, retail, healthcare, technology, entertainment, food & beverage, consumer packaged goods, fashion/accessory, home improvement, sports apparel, toys, electronics, jewelry, health & wellness, mobile devices, publishing, and marketing solutions. Affiliates pay a small fee per item promoted, but their earnings can add up since hundreds of thousands of buyers participate daily.
And lastly, we have survey sites. Some of these websites require minimal participation, while others ask you to fill out detailed questionnaires. Either way, you'll only have to spend a few minutes every day doing simple tasks. While it may sound boring, survey jobs come with decent compensation packages. In fact, according to PayScale, average annual salary for senior content writers was around $61k in 2018. Also, some positions may require additional skills beyond writing, like data entry, transcription, virtual assistant work, customer support, graphic design, translation, photo editing, IT help desk technician, call center agent, web development, SEO, project management, public relations, social media manager, event planning, and more.
It's important to note that none of these methods promise big bucks unless you manage to enroll in multiple promos simultaneously, but they are good supplemental choices if you aren't ready to dedicate hours every week to building a passive stream of income.
If you've decided to try out any of the above ideas, chances are you'd rather avoid Google altogether. After all, the company already controls nearly 75 percent of global searches worldwide. So why bother supporting a service that profits off your personal info? Luckily, there are several alternatives that can replace Google Search and Chrome browser. We recommend starting with our list of the best private browsers for safer browsing experience.
There's also DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, which protects you against prying eyes thanks to Incognito Mode, Private Browsing mode, Secure Dessert Extension, SafeSearch Filter, HTTPS Everywhere extension, Disconnect Blocker addon, AutoFill Fingerprint Support, Tor Button integration, and lots more features that let you browse privately. Plus, DDG lets you customize privacy settings depending on your preferences.
Then again, maybe you prefer Mozilla Firefox. Unlike DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, this browser does not collect user tracking cookies, logs visited URLs, or send usage statistics back to advertisers. What else sets it apart is that it automatically blocks third-party scripts and popups, disables images autoplay feature, deletes unused tabs upon exit, and shows site previews in its status bar.
Firefox Quantum is another worthy pick due to its impressive speed boost, new tab page customization features, built-in password generator, automatic updates, multi-process security model, enhanced phishing protection, native PDF viewing, and tons of useful extensions.
In case you think that switching to one of these alternatives means losing functionality, you shouldn't worry. All major web browsers today are equipped with similar privacy-protecting capabilities, making it easier than ever to switch to a secure provider. Just remember to turn on Do Not Track setting whenever possible.
On top of that, you'll have to compete with millions of other marketers vying for attention on crowded marketplaces like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and countless others. Unless you plan on investing years into promoting your product, we suggest giving UpWork and Fiverr a look. Both platforms connect freelancers with clients looking for specific kinds of projects. To become eligible, however, you must pass certain screening tests designed to ensure quality standards.
UpWork boasts well-paid gigs ranging from freelance copywriting to software programming. Its hourly payment system allows customers to split billable hours among numerous workers, thus reducing overhead costs. Meanwhile, Fiverr specializes in microgigs that typically pay between $5-$25. A client submits a request and funds your account accordingly. Since there are no fixed rates, you decide whether to accept the job or decline it.
To bypass having to deal with coding and hosting issues, you can always opt for templates. Many free template providers exist nowadays, offering anything from responsive layouts, basic designs, and custom logos. The downside is that you cannot fully control the final outcome, especially if you lack advanced design skills.
Additionally, you may run into trouble if you attempt to modify existing templates without professional guidance. Sure, you'll save time, but your efforts will likely result in errors that could potentially harm your reputation or drive away potential investors.
Fortunately, you don't have to settle for mediocre results. Try outsourcing your website creation needs to professionals. Services like Wix and Squarespace allow users to construct stunning websites within minutes. On top of delivering exceptional end products, both platforms offer affordable pricing models along with specialized support teams to assist you throughout the process.
Wondering how you can monetize your Squarespace website? Well, aside from displaying text links, banners, and advertisements, you also have the ability to embed video players, podcasts, and audio clips. Additionally, you can utilize customizable widgets to display push notifications, play music in background, show trending news stories, and more. Best of all, Squarespace gives you full ownership over your content. You can either retain copyright or assign intellectual property rights to third parties if necessary.
Google is great at making us think it's doing something good with all the information we put into its search engine every day—like giving us more ways to save on our bills or even make some extra spending money. But there are other times when Google does things that seem... less than helpful.
Sometimes it'll be obvious what Google's trying to do and sometimes it won't. Either way, here are some of those situations in which Google might help you earn money while also helping itself off the hook from having to play nice with third parties. Let's start with how Google gives away money (and why).
You're probably familiar with this one already if you live anywhere near an airport or a hotel. When you check in using your phone number rather than signing up for yet another email account, you often get offers to fill out survey after survey until they have enough data to offer money back to you. The trick is knowing where to look so you don't miss any opportunities.
One popular place to find these kinds of deals is Swagbucks, which lets you watch ads and complete online tasks to receive rewards points called "Swags." It doesn't sound like much, but as long as you use them wisely, they add up pretty quickly. You can redeem your Swags for gift cards from places such as Amazon, Starbucks, iTunes, Sephora, Target, Walmart, JCPenney, Macy's, GameStop, Groupon, Kohl’s, Best Buy, Victoria Secret, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, Whole Foods Market, Nordstrom Rack, CVS Pharmacy, Sears, Disney Store, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Tractor Supply Company, Toys R Us, Office Max, Barnes & Noble, Dollar General, Vans Shoes, Footlocker, PacSun, Zulily, American Eagle Outfitters, Lucky Brand Jeans, Ann Taylor Factory, Banana Republic Factory Stores, Gap Factory Stores, Nine West Shoe Warehouse, Laundromat Magazine, Old Spice Direct, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th September 1st 2016, The Limited, Aeropostale, Express, Hotels.com Rewards program, and many others.
There are plenty of other sites offering similar programs, including Survey Junkie, MyPoints, PrizeRebel, Pinecone Research, Toluna, and Opinion Outpost. Just remember, these aren't necessarily going to be scams either — most legitimate companies are happy to tell you about their own reward systems because people love finding new ways to spend their spare time. Plus, these aren't just limited to airports and hotels either — you may see them pop up everywhere from department stores to grocery stores, depending on where you shop. They want to know everything possible about you, after all.
If you've tried searching around for these types of offers yourself and still haven't found any success, try looking through social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit. A lot of users post screenshots showing themselves getting tons of emails from various companies who promise hundreds of dollars per hour worth of work for minimal effort, usually asking questions like whether someone smokes cigarettes or drinks alcohol, or answers basic demographic stuff like age, gender, marital status, household income, and education level. If you keep seeing the same company popping up over and over again, send them a screenshot showing the message you got from them and ask them to stop spamming you. Chances are they'll comply immediately.
It's important to note that not everyone receives unsolicited marketing messages via text or mail anymore thanks to laws designed to protect consumers' privacy. So before clicking on any links in tweets or posts on social media, always take a moment to consider if it seems legit. One thing you should never click on though is phishing scams — those are exactly what they appear to be. Phishers pretend to be trustworthy organizations like banks, airlines, government agencies, and retailers, then lure victims into opening fake web pages promising access to special accounts or services. Never let anyone log into your bank account, change passwords, or enter personal details without contacting a real human first. And never share sensitive financial info with anyone outside of trusted friends and family members.
This isn't technically a scam since it involves earning money directly from Google, but it's definitely shady business practice nonetheless. In 2014, Google quietly launched a feature allowing advertisers to target users based on location alone. As a result, it attracted criticism from privacy experts concerned that Google was collecting too much user information to serve targeted ads. This led to several states passing anti-trust legislation aimed at stopping big tech firms from creating walled gardens in order to compete against each other.
But what this means for you is that your Android smartphone could suddenly become a source of advertising revenue for random strangers. While it only works in select areas right now, it has been reported that this tool allows marketers to track people down to specific addresses, identify nearby businesses, and display advertisements next to whatever product they're currently viewing. Basically, Google Location Services gives ad networks a way to collect precise data about where you go and what you buy. For example, in my area, you can see highly localized coupons for local restaurants on billboards just past the highway exit ramp. Or maybe you walk past a store selling used books multiple times per week and Google knows that you'd likely be interested in buying something soon. Advertisers can use all sorts of tactics to figure out where you go and what you purchase.
Advertising is obviously ubiquitous today, but it shouldn't feel invasive. That said, it's hard to deny that digital ads are becoming increasingly relevant to your interests. The problem is that advertisers tend to rely on cookies and tracking pixels to learn more about customers. Cookies allow websites to recognize you across different domains, while tracking pixels enable developers to build a profile of your browsing habits. However, both methods pose serious security risks that can compromise your privacy.
For instance, the browser plugin Brave blocks third party trackers from following you around the internet and collects payment whenever you opt to view ads instead of blocking them completely. On mobile devices, Safari uses encrypted connections to prevent advertisers from spying on your activity. Unfortunately, neither method prevents ads from being displayed alongside content you actually care about.
In addition, Google has admitted that it shares location data with advertisers under certain circumstances. According to the Wall Street Journal, it provided the data to advertisers when asked to do so by law enforcement officials investigating terrorist attacks or child sex abuse rings. Despite this revelation, Google maintains that sharing location data between app makers and advertisers remains entirely optional unless users choose to turn it on manually.
The bottom line is that you probably have no idea if your location history is shared with advertisers, but you can stay safe by enabling Do Not Track settings on desktop browsers. To find out if your device sends anonymous data to advertisers, head to Settings > Privacy > Ads > Opt out of interest-based ads. Finally, install Brave Browser to block third-party trackers altogether.
As mentioned earlier, completing simple surveys to win entry tickets for events is a common tactic among app providers hoping to earn some quick money off of their unwitting customers. These gigs typically range from $5-$10 apiece, meaning you can make a few bucks if you qualify for more than 10 of these offers within a given year. Here are two great ones to jump onto if you want to test drive this type of opportunity.
SurveySavvy pays you to participate in fun activities like watching video previews, taking quizzes, reading articles, shopping, playing games, and answering polls. Once you sign up, you'll have a chance to answer thousands of surveys per month and once qualified, you'll automatically be entered into sweepstakes to win prizes ranging from electronics to vacations. All you need to do is provide feedback after taking each survey. Payouts range from $3 to $20.
Pinecone Research pays you to read articles, browse the Web, and watch videos. After finishing qualifying surveys, you'll get paid to review products, movies, TV shows, books, and magazines. Your earnings depend on how many reviews you write each month, plus bonuses for referrals and referring your friend. Payments run from $2 -$15.
Another hot trend lately is apps that claim to pay you cash instantly. Some of these include HelloTxt ($1/week), Get Paid Online [Broken URL Removed]($1/day), PayPal Cashback Program($1/month), and Instashare ($0.25/share).
HelloTxt promises to connect you with people willing to exchange knowledge for money. Every Monday morning, you'll receive $1 in your PayPal account and can withdraw it anytime during the rest of the week. Be aware that this service requires you to pass along your contact information to potential employers, as well as agree to meet face-to-face. If you decide to join, register with the site and follow the instructions outlined on the website.
Google is a company that makes billions of dollars every quarter with little to show for it aside from some nice new features and a few updates here or there. But not all companies are like this—there's one in particular who gives away millions of dollars worth of stuff every year without asking anything in return.
That would be us. And yes, we're talking about...you guessed it! Google. Yes, the search giant has been giving away tons of money for years now. You just have to know where to look (and how to play). Here are some of our favorite ways to make Google pay you back big time.
Note: These programs may require subscriptions to access them. If so, they won't necessarily keep your account active forever unless otherwise stated on their respective websites. Also note that these methods aren't available worldwide, as each country handles its own taxes differently. We've tried to include those exceptions when applicable.
There are several different types of offers Google will send you via email. Generally speaking, if an offer doesn't say "free," then it costs something. However, there are plenty of legitimate opportunities for getting paid through Gmail alone. Just click the envelope in your inbox to find out more.
1. Free trials -- The first type of offer Google sends you is a trial period for a product or service that isn't yet released publicly. It might come as a promotional code inside an email alert, or it could arrive directly in your Inbox. Either way, once you successfully complete the signup process for whatever program Google sent you, you'll receive at least one follow up message offering payment after your trial expires. Don't worry, you can cancel most trials within 30 days of receiving them.
2. Subscriptions -- Next up, you may see an email notification telling you that you received a subscription to a premium membership site or newsletter. This is great news because you don't need any special skills to take advantage of them. Simply visit the website associated with the email, log into your account, and check off the box next to the item(s) you want to subscribe to. Then sit tight while Google processes everything. Once it's done, you should start seeing emails arriving daily in your mailbox inviting you to buy things. Some of the best deals tend to go fast, so act quickly before someone else grabs them.
3. Surveys -- Most people think survey invitations only happen online, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Sometimes, Google will send you mailers to fill out instead. That said, it's always wise to create a separate Google My Business profile for yourself since many surveys ask specifically for personal information such as address and phone number. If you'd rather avoid these kinds of invites altogether, try going incognito whenever you open your Gmail.
4. Referral Codes -- Similar to trial codes, Google sometimes sends you referral links that allow you to earn cash simply by referring others. All you need do is share the link with friends and family members who live outside your immediate area. They'll use those links to register accounts with various merchants, which ultimately helps both parties save money. As long as they stay subscribed, they'll continue earning rewards month after month until they decide to leave or reach certain goals.
5. Ebook Offers -- If you love reading books, consider signing up for a library card and using it to download entire libraries' worth of titles onto your Kindle device. Doing so lets you read popular books right off your smartphone, tablet, computer, or wherever else you choose. What's even better is that you can borrow ebooks from over 1 million other readers around the world. Of course, you can also read public domain materials from sites like Project Gutenberg.
6. Apps & Games -- Many apps and games today let users purchase additional content with virtual currencies like gems, credits, coins, etc. This means you can spend real-world money to unlock extra levels, characters, weapons, and other perks without ever having to dip into your pocket. By far, Steam is the largest app store for PC gamers. While Apple App Store owners usually prefer paying with gift cards, Android users can opt to pay for apps using PayPal Credit.
7. YouTube Videos -- Did you watch the latest viral video clip on YouTube? Or maybe you stumbled upon a funny cat video on Facebook? Well, guess what? Those clips were likely made possible thanks to YouTube's Content Creators Program, which compensates creators based on views, comments, likes, shares, and channel page impressions. For instance, if you uploaded a video to YouTube and earned five thousand dollars in total revenue, you'd owe YouTube half of that amount. On top of that, YouTube pays out 10 percent of ad revenues to verified channels. So you didn't even have to write a single word to qualify.
8. Podcast Invites -- If you enjoy listening to podcasts regularly, chances are you already know about Earbits, Inc., whose mission is to bring quality audio entertainment to listeners across the globe. To help promote its services, the company occasionally sends out monthly podcast invites that reward subscribers with exclusive material designed to boost engagement rates. Each invite contains a unique QR Code that loads on mobile devices, allowing anyone within range to tune in instantly. Plus, Earbits matches donations made by individuals and businesses towards increasing the size of future giveaways.
9. Books -- Another fun perk offered by some publishers is discounted book bundles filled with multiple copies of the same title. Amazon Prime customers often benefit from similar promotions. Other times, however, you may run into a situation where you stumble upon a copy for cheap on eBay or another marketplace. Regardless, you shouldn't hesitate to hunt down bargains wherever you can find them.
10. Coupon Codes -- Finally, did you notice all those discount coupons popping up in your browser lately? Companies like RetailMeNot consistently provide coupon codes for items ranging from groceries to electronics, apparel, travel packages, home goods, and beyond. If you don't mind shopping during normal business hours, you can save lots of money this way. Otherwise, you can always turn to deal aggregation websites to sift through hundreds of promo codes simultaneously. One example is DealDumpr, which searches thousands of stores to find the cheapest prices currently being offered.
Yes. There are actually two major sources of freebies you can expect from Google. First, you must install Google Chrome on your desktop machine or laptop. Second, you must enable AdWords Preview Mode, which allows advertisers to test small campaigns prior to rolling out larger ads. With that said, you should never rely solely on Google for income. Use these savings as motivation to work hard and succeed financially.
The amounts differ depending on what kind of advertising products/services you respond to and whether you qualify for specific incentives. Be sure to check out Google's FAQ section for full details. Keep in mind that bonuses expire after 90 to 120 days, at which point you can no longer claim them.
You can also apply for grants through government agencies. Sites like FundingPost aggregate dozens of funding opportunities from local governments, nonprofits, universities, corporations, startups, and private organizations. Apply for as many grant submissions as you feel comfortable with, although remember that applying too frequently may hurt your chances of success. When submitting applications, be mindful of deadlines and submit documents early enough to ensure maximum consideration.
If you really hate paperwork, you can also request digital funds straight from your bank account. Services like Digit, Paypal Cash Card, Bill Me Later, Acorns Money Seed, and Venmo let you withdraw money without handing over physical bills and checks. Although it sounds convenient, keep in mind that withdrawing large sums of cash remotely carries risks, especially if you're doing it abroad. Lastly, you can also invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, though you may eventually lose value due to market volatility.
As mentioned earlier, none of these options are guaranteed. Not everyone gets accepted, nor does everybody win exactly what they hoped for. Still, if you put forth effort and dedication, you definitely stand a chance of making decent profits. After all, if you haven't gotten any offers recently, why stop now?
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.