You spend hours every day browsing around the Web in hopes of finding something useful or interesting that will help improve your life, but are you getting any reward for doing so? If not, take a few moments to learn how to earn money while searching the web — it's easier than you think!
There is an old saying, "nothing happens until something moves," which means that nothing really changes unless something actually shifts. This principle applies well when it comes to making money online because most people don't realize they're earning any income at all. It's like having just one dollar in your pocket and then looking through your pockets to see if anything has changed before realizing there was more cash lying dormant within reach.
This is true even though millions of dollars change hands each year as a result of searches done across the world wide web. How does this work exactly? You'll need to use popular search engines such as Yahoo!, Bing (formerly known as MSN), Google, Ask Jeeves, Dogpile, OpenSearch, and many others. These sites have large databases full of information stored directly onto their servers. Anyone who knows where to look can access these data sources and pull relevant information based on keywords used, which may include names, locations, product descriptions, etc. All of these companies pay out small commissions to those who provide accurate results. The amount depends upon what type of item(s) were searched for, whether the searcher clicked on ads displayed alongside search engine results pages (SERPs), and other factors.
The best way to find out about these kinds of opportunities is to sign up with affiliate marketing programs run by reputable marketers. Affiliate marketing programs allow anyone to promote products without having to own them themselves. They typically require website registration and some form of payment processing method. For example, Amazon offers several different ways to sell its products without ever owning stock in the company. In addition, PayPal allows customers to purchase goods without needing a credit card. There are also eBay-type marketplaces available for selling items at wholesale prices and providing customer service via email.
These types of services often pay higher commission rates than typical affiliate programs, sometimes reaching into the 70% range or higher. However, they usually only offer limited options for setting up websites and advertising campaigns, plus they usually involve additional fees for things such as merchant accounts, shipping labels, etc. Also, keep in mind that many vendors are reluctant to deal with affiliates because of bad experiences in the past. To avoid problems, be sure you choose a program with high standards for honesty and integrity before signing up.
One great source for learning about affiliate marketing programs is ClickBank, an independent marketplace for digital downloads. Here you can join free membership groups called "affiliates" where you can receive training and support along with links to various vendor partners' salespages. When you click on links provided in emails sent by members, you'll end up on vendor partner sites where you can buy products. Once purchased, you can download and install the software yourself. Most have excellent customer service and return policies. Some even include helpful guides and tutorials. Plus, you won't incur extra charges since you aren't buying the actual products -- instead, you become a reseller simply passing along someone else's good fortune to willing buyers.
Another benefit of working as an affiliate is being able to focus exclusively on building your business rather than trying to compete against thousands of other sellers. Many companies expect affiliates to advertise their products heavily. So if you want to build credibility among potential clients, you should consider purchasing ad space on related blogs and social networking sites. Be careful here, however, because advertisers might block certain words and phrases in order to protect intellectual property rights. Therefore, try to stay away from controversial issues like politics, religion, sex, violence, and profanity.
On top of paying out commissions, many vendors now offer incentives such as gift cards, merchandise discounts, sweepstakes entries, travel vouchers, etc., depending upon the nature of the sale. Some even give special treatment to first time visitors. Check out the site terms carefully to determine eligibility requirements.
Once you've signed up as an affiliate member, you'll probably want to create your own branded page directing interested parties back to the seller's main site. Since the goal is to generate leads, it makes sense to direct traffic toward the highest quality content possible. Use articles containing valuable tips and advice coupled with strong calls to action.
Google isn't the biggest player in the game when it comes to search engines, but it certainly dominates the SERP scene today. While the rest of us struggle to come up with decent keyword ideas, Google already knows everything there is to know about topics listed under specific categories. As long as you follow basic SEO guidelines outlined below, you could easily rank highly for competitive keywords with minimal effort. And once your site gets ranking power, visitors will arrive automatically.
Google uses algorithms that evaluate relevancy and authority over time in determining rankings. Basically, the better your content provides value and answers questions, the greater chance you have of appearing prominently near the top of listings returned in response to queries. A lot goes into writing optimized pages that draw attention to important parts of text, images, videos, and hyperlinks. But here are some general rules of thumb to remember when creating dynamic content for search engines:
Use proper grammar. Don't write sloppy sentences or misspell common words. Make sure your spelling and punctuation skills are up to par. Not everyone wants to read unreadable gibberish, especially when trying to locate something worthwhile.
Write concisely. Keep paragraphs short and sweet, particularly if you plan on including photos or graphics. Long winded copy doesn't cut it for search engines either. Clarity trumps length whenever possible.
Keep formatting simple. Avoid fancy fonts, excessive bolding/underlining, multiple colors, confusing bullet points, weird spacing between lines, excessive capitalization, etc. Search engines tend to ignore extraneous detail anyway. Just stick to black background, single color font styles, standard paragraph spacing, no tables, and plenty of breathing room.
Avoid duplicate content. Never plagiarize another person's material or steal pictures from image libraries. Doing so violates copyright laws, and search engines penalize offenders accordingly.
Be original. Write unique content that hasn't been published elsewhere yet. Content thieves hate it when people share their hard work publicly.
Include targeted keywords. Think like a real human would. What kind of words would you type into a search box to find what you're looking for? That's what you should aim for when crafting titles and headlines.
Optimize title tags. Titles should contain relevant keywords pertaining to the article itself, keeping in mind user intent.
Link internally. Link references inside of internal anchor texts helps ensure relevance. Internal linking builds trustworthiness and establishes authority.
Offer informative snippets. Provide enough details to answer users' burning inquiries in a quick manner.
Make connections. Users often scan SERPs in batches, so make it easy for them to hop right over to your site afterward. Include links to related resources with relevant info.
Provide fresh content regularly. Create new blog posts, news updates, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc., as frequently as possible.
Don't spam. Overuse of keywords, broken links, irrelevant comments, repetitive articles, low quality content, etc., could cause serious damage down the road. Trust me, I speak from experience.
Create compelling sitemaps. Sitemap pages function much the same way as navigation bars found at the tops of all major web browsers. With a properly designed sitemap, search engines can quickly index pages faster and smarter.
SEO works best in tandem with organic link popularity. Inbound links play a huge role in boosting ratings, establishing reliability, increasing conversion chances, and improving overall visibility. Take note that not all incoming links are created equal. Links pointing to static files (.html,.css,.jpg,.gif) are considered poor quality links compared to ones pointing to dynamic pages (.php,.asp,.cgi). Quality links from trusted domains carry significant weight towards search engine optimization efforts.
As mentioned earlier, it's critical that you select a legitimate affiliate program to join. Otherwise, you risk running afoul of legal codes that prohibit deceptive practices. Stay away from sketchy networks offering dubious promises and schemes that promise overnight riches. Instead, seek out trustworthy resources teaching safe methods to generating revenue.
Remember that you must always disclose the fact that you received compensation for reviewing a particular product, otherwise known as promotional materials. Failure to comply with this rule could lead to fines and penalties imposed by the Federal Trade Commission.
People love surfing the Net -- almost 80 percent of U.S. adults visit the Web daily according to recent research cited by Nielsen Online. Furthermore, approximately half of all Americans shop online at least occasionally, totaling $168 billion annually. Although ecommerce revenues reached record highs last year, brick-and-mortar stores still represent the largest chunk of retail sales worldwide.
Search engines are great tools that connect people looking for information on topics they care about with other people who have opinions or experiences related to those topics. But what if we could use them as an income source instead of just being content consumers? There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to get paid for your insights. Here's how.
Google has been around since 1996. In that time, it's grown into one of the world's largest companies employing over 20,000 people worldwide (as of January 2016). It also operates some of the most popular services like Gmail, YouTube, Android, AdSense, etc., all of which bring in billions each year.
Why would anyone want to compete against such an established company when there are so many opportunities available? Well, here's where things start to get interesting. While Google is known for its search engine, it actually makes more than $20 billion per year from products outside of search alone. The following paragraphs will outline these revenue streams and how you can participate.
The majority of Google's business comes from advertising sales. Users see ads based on their searches and click them because advertisers pay big bucks for every click. This leads us to our next question: How much money does Google make off of clicks?
According to CNBC, "in 2015 [it] earned nearly $5.9 billion" through advertisements. That number may seem high but keep in mind that it earns even more when factoring in things like subscriptions to premium ad-free versions of certain websites and higher profile partnerships with brands. All told, Google made roughly $18.1 billion dollars in 2014.
Now let's talk numbers. We've seen above that Google makes approximately $10 billion annually from ads clicked within Search results. But remember, this doesn't include any additional revenues from other areas. For instance, in 2011, Google bought DoubleClick, a leading provider of digital marketing solutions, including display advertising technology. Display ads generated $6.7 billion of that total revenue. So even though only 2% of Internet users surf via mobile devices, Google still pulled in another $4.2 billion with little effort.
So how exactly does Google make money from non-searching activities? Let me explain further.
This brings us back to our initial question: Can you really make money using a service like Google Search? Yes! As mentioned previously, ads sold within Search result pages generate millions upon millions of dollars for Google. However, Google isn't done yet. You'll notice that throughout your day, you'll come across numerous instances where Google serves up relevant advertisements. These might appear in emails, text messages, phone calls, social media, newspapers, television shows, movies, radio stations, billboards, restaurants...the list goes on.
In addition to displaying ads directly within search results, Google takes advantage of tracking cookies, browser fingerprinting, IP address sharing, location data, user activity history, and similar methods to build detailed profiles of individuals. By combining this information with demographic statistics, behavioral trends, and purchasing habits, Google can offer highly targeted ads. And again, these aren't cheap -- Google reportedly spends $16 million per month on U.S.-based political campaigns.
As you can imagine, this level of customization presents several opportunities for others involved in the process. Companies interested in targeting ads at specific demographics can buy space from third parties. Social media platforms like Facebook allow marketers to target users based on interests, age range, gender, hobbies, relationship status, education levels, job function, current city, marital statuses, ethnicity, household incomes, religious preferences, shopping behaviors, parenting styles, whether someone smokes, drinks alcohol, watches TV, owns pets, likes baseball/football/hockey, etc. On top of this, there are countless ways to track offline behavior patterns, too.
It should now look clear why Google offers so many different options for advertisers. Not everyone wants to advertise something embarrassing like diapers. Instead, advertisers can choose to promote a wide variety of products and services based on individual needs and tastes.
What were we talking about earlier regarding earning money without competing against giant corporations? Remember, Google already controls 75 percent of all global search queries. Now think about how powerful this position is. What if you had a way to tap into this market? Imagine having a product and platform that allowed advertisers to reach out to potential customers who fit their criteria perfectly. Sounds pretty good right?
That's exactly what Google has decided to do. With a new initiative called Google Ads Manager, small businesses and entrepreneurs can create custom landing pages that feature promotions specifically tailored for visitors. They can then monitor performance metrics and optimize future efforts accordingly.
Once again, this example highlights a huge opportunity that Google hasn't realized fully. Even if you don't plan to become a professional advertiser, you can benefit from this model simply by becoming part of the massive network of searchers and browsers that Google controls. Just think about how many times per day you enter keywords into Google. Wouldn't it be nice to receive a bit of compensation for doing something simple like that?
There are two main reasons why Google doesn't hand out cash. First, it wouldn't be profitable enough to sustain itself financially. Second, giving away free stuff rarely turns into repeat customers.
Let's say you're selling a $19 book titled, "How To Make Money Online." Naturally, you'd charge $29 after receiving customer feedback indicating that the price was too low. A lot of savvy shoppers know this trick well. When it comes to search, however, advertisers tend to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a single campaign in order to achieve significant visibility. This means that paying for quality impressions becomes increasingly difficult later down the line once a business owner starts making his own choices.
Second, consider how often people find themselves disappointed with the value of free items. Think about how many times you probably searched for coupons before reading the fine print. Or maybe you downloaded software for free but didn't trust the developer to stick around long enough. Either way, you ended up feeling ripped off.
A major difference between offering free downloads versus charging for goods and services is that consumers have less expectations when it comes to the latter. People typically expect to pay for everything nowadays, especially if something is valuable or worth spending money on. Plus, consumers usually feel entitled to the best deals. After all, they willingly shop for whatever they need. Why shouldn't they get rewarded for it?
Finally, there's always the risk of competitors finding out about your secret sauce. Many successful startups operate under tight security measures designed to protect trade secrets and intellectual property rights. Google certainly falls into this category. Since Google knows virtually everything about you, it's understandable that it won't share proprietary details unless absolutely necessary.
If you're ready to join the ranks of Google employees, read on. Below are links to various internal teams responsible for managing particular parts of the company. Each department works together to provide better overall functionality.
Workers in finance help manage payrolls, collections, employee benefits, taxes, accounting, human resources, and legal departments. Developers develop new features and improve existing ones along with fixing bugs. Marketing managers lead creative ideas, coordinate events, recruit talent, handle public relations, and negotiate contracts. Security personnel maintain privacy standards, uphold anti-harassment policies, and investigate crimes and fraud. Lastly, operations leaders oversee IT, infrastructure management, facility maintenance, and facilities planning.
Not sure where to begin? Check out jobs posted on Glassdoor.com, Indeed.com and ZipRecruiter.com. Once you apply, send your resume(s) and cover letter to your primary interest area. Be patient -- you may never hear back from Google, but it's likely that someone else will contact you soon thereafter. Good luck!
You're probably familiar with ads that pop up when you click an ad-sponsored link or image in your news feed. Sometimes these links will open new tabs so you don't have to leave Facebook, but they'll often redirect you elsewhere entirely. In short, advertisers are paying social media networks like Facebook to show their content to users who might otherwise never see them. Is there any reason why we should think of search engines as exempt from similar arrangements? It seems unlikely -- especially considering what happened last summer.
Google is one of many tech giants that were caught using user data without telling its customers about it. The company was ordered to change its practices after it learned it had been tracking non-users' searches across other websites via third parties. This revelation prompted several high-profile celebrities (including Beyonce) to delete their accounts. And just as Apple did following previous scandals involving iPhone location services, Google announced changes to its privacy policies. In both cases, the public outcry led to much greater scrutiny over online advertising. Could this be the beginning of "user revolt" against all advertisements?
Not likely. But if you want to test out the possibility yourself, here's how you can make money by searching the internet.
It depends. No matter where you go looking for information, you've probably seen ads popping up at some point. For example, if you're logged into Twitter, clicking on someone else's tweet could potentially lead you off-site. Ads would then appear under every single tweet until you clicked through. You'd also find ads throughout pages you visited regularly. These ads aren't always obvious because they hide behind hyperlinks and images. Some sites even place ads above videos. So before you hit enter, consider whether the site you're visiting offers something worth viewing first. If yes, watch those ads!
A more common way people use search engines today is to perform simple tasks like checking prices, finding coupons, comparing products, etc. With that said, the most lucrative way to earn income with search engine results has nothing to do with clicks. Instead, website owners offer visitors the option to buy goods and services directly from within search result pages. A quick look at Amazon shows plenty of examples of such promotions.
As mentioned earlier, Google recently changed its policy regarding the collection of personal information. However, according to Google's own transparency report, only 25 percent of its revenue comes from display ads. That means that 75 percent of its total earnings come from providing search results. Of course, some small portion of that amount goes back to publishers for showing relevant sponsored results, but the lion's share still remains with itself.
According to another recent study [PDF], nearly half of U.S. adults use search engines to help decide which product or service to purchase next. More than three quarters of respondents reported feeling comfortable sharing their browsing history with businesses, and 68% felt happy doing so.
So, does this mean that we need to start thinking of search engines as legitimate ways to make extra cash? Not necessarily. Search engine marketing involves promoting a business, brand, or project with organic SEO techniques. Organic methods involve no hidden code words or tricks, and focus solely on optimizing a page's quality score based on keyword relevance. Since these tactics typically don't require payment, they tend to be free. Paid strategies include PPC campaigns, where marketers bid on certain keywords, thereby receiving higher placement among search results. While PPC may seem tempting, it's important to remember that unscrupulous scammers sometimes abuse these systems, too.
Another thing to keep in mind is that although search engine providers receive a cut of each sale made from a given domain name, that doesn't necessarily translate into actual profit. According to MarketWatch, in 2015 alone Google earned $4.3 billion in gross profits from displaying ads on partner domains. Yet despite this huge figure, only 6% went toward compensating partners. The rest went towards running servers around the world, keeping track of customer requests, protecting user safety, improving security measures, and more. What better motivation is there for good behavior?!
While it's true that search engines generate billions of dollars per year, it's difficult to say exactly how much of it actually stays within the system. As previously discussed, only 6% of Google's annual revenues go to compensating partners. Most of the remaining percentage goes toward operating costs. Therefore, it's safe to assume that none of it makes it straight down to your bank account.
However, you can certainly maximize your chances of earning a little bit of extra spending money by creating personalized landing pages. We spoke with Chris Hoffman, founder of BackLinko, who explained how he earns part of his living simply by performing research. He says that he gets between 5 cents and 20 cents per visitor depending on how long they stay on his website. When asked how he determines this rate, Chris replied, "I know my conversion rates pretty well."
Of course, this isn't going to replace full time work. Even though Chris dedicates less than two hours per week to building traffic, it takes him months to complete projects. To put things into perspective, it took him approximately 1 month to write the book How To Make Money Online Without Spending Any Money.
Still confused about how to get started? Check out our beginner's guide to affiliate marketing.
The majority of browsers now feature extensions built right into the core. Extensions allow you to add functionality to your browser, customize features, improve performance, and access private areas of various sites. Extensions usually plug themselves directly into existing functions, allowing developers to modify pre-existing elements without having to rewrite entire sections. Because of this fact, many popular extensions are updated frequently to fix bugs or incorporate new technologies.
When extensions update, however, older versions of the same extension must download everything anew. This waste of bandwidth can slow overall speed significantly. Fortunately, Mozilla provides a tool called Aurora Addons Manager, which allows users to install newer versions of compatible extensions simultaneously. By downloading updates incrementally, Aurora reduces wasted space and improves overall efficiency. At the moment, it supports Firefox 4 - 22.1, Chrome 14 – 43, and Chromium 45.0.2454.101.
Chrome extensions range wildly in price. Generally speaking, the more functional a particular extension is, the pricier it tends to be. A simple bookmarklet, which adds a button onto your toolbar that performs a specific task, can cost anywhere from 0 to 10 bucks. An extension that lets you manage your bookmarks easily can set you back 50$. On average, premium extensions costing $20+ are installed roughly 3 times faster than cheaper ones.
Yes. There are dozens of ways to make money online without ever leaving your home. One of the easiest ways is to become a freelance writer. Simply sign up on Fiverr or Elance, provide samples of your writing, and wait for orders. Once you establish credibility, clients will begin contacting you asking for articles or blog posts. Many of these jobs will require very little effort since writers already possess vast knowledge on topics related to their field. Others will ask you to create original pieces for a flat fee.
Freelancing is great for individuals who enjoy working independently or prefer flexible schedules. Writers can choose how many assignments they wish to accept during a given period, and generally charge a lower hourly wage compared to salaried employees. Freelancers can also benefit from tax deductions associated with self employment. Unfortunately, freelancing also poses unique challenges. For instance, once you lose control of your schedule, it becomes harder to predict future earnings. Although you can try to mitigate risks by diversifying your portfolio, it's impossible to guarantee success forever.
To sum things up, the answer is yes. You can definitely make money searching the web. Just remember that it won't happen overnight. Be patient and persistent. Also, give creditability to your sources. Read informative blogs, follow experts in your field, and seek advice from friends. Eventually, you'll achieve financial freedom.
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.