How many times a day do you research something online using your phone or computer? Do you go directly to Google? Instead, you can join a rewards program that will pay you to use their app or browser extension for searching the web.

We’re going to show you 13 simple ways to make money searching the web. It is an effortless way to earn cash, gift cards and merchandise.

Although searching the web doesn’t replace your daytime income, it’s an easy way to monetize a daily activity. You can boost your income when using the internet for work, school or in your free time.

Make Money Searching the Web

The easiest and most common way to make money searching the web is joining a rewards program. With it, you earn points for using a search engine. You will have to install a mobile app or desktop internet browser extension to track your search queries.

In most cases, you will probably use Bing or Yahoo for your paid web searches. While you won’t get the exact same results as using Google, you will see similar answers to your questions.

Each of the options below provides a different way to get paid for your web searches.

1. Wonder

Wonder is a great way to make money if you love to research. This easy side hustle idea is a mix between being a virtual assistant and having a data entry job.

Plus, being a Wonder analyst can be a fun way to learn something new. You will probably research topics you wouldn’t think about otherwise.

As an analyst for Wonder, you get paid to research a variety of topics for individuals and large companies. You provide your research to the client in a written report.

Some of the topics you might research include:

  • Industry research. Analyzing business trends and data including market size, company profiles, organization charts and best practices.
  • Consumer research. Gathering buying habits and demographics of a specific shopping group or generation, fact-checking and proving or disproving hypotheses.
  • Digital research. Collecting information on topics including social media usage and influencer marketing.
  • Prospectors. Finding potential sponsors or vendors for a client planning an event.
  • Personal. Research travel and entertainment ideas for personal travel.

To become an analyst, apply and complete a short quiz. Wonder then assigns you a trial assignment to test your research skills. After that, you can begin accepting open assignments to earn a regular income.

More difficult assignments pay more than easier ones. According to Wonder, Top researchers can earn up to $30 per hour. This is quite a bit more than other platforms pay for web searches. Wonder pays via PayPal every two weeks.

2. Swagbucks

When you only want to use a single platform that “does everything,” try Swagbucks. You can earn rewards points by using their search engine on the Swagbucks website or their browser extension.

Swagbucks doesn’t award a fixed amount of points per search. It’s possible to make multiple searches before you earn any points.

Instead, they randomly choose winning searches where you earn between 1 and 1000 rewards points. A full 1000-point reward is worth $10.

It’s important to note that Yahoo powers the Swagbucks search engine. If you can only use Google search results for your research, Swagbucks isn’t a good fit for you.

Their search engine isn’t the only way to earn rewards points. You can also take online surveys, play games, shop online and watch videos. In fact, these four income ideas can earn more points than searching the web.

You can begin redeeming your rewards points for gift cards with a $3 balance. Choose from the largest retailers and restaurants including Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart and Steam. If you prefer cash rewards, you can get a PayPal credit once your balance reaches $25.

3. InboxDollars

For every four searches you complete using the InboxDollars search engine powered by Yahoo, you earn a cash reward. Each day, you can earn up to 15 cents for your web searches. You also get a search loyalty bonus when performing a web search at least four days a week.

Some of the other ways you can make money with InboxDollars include:

  • Surveys
  • Shopping online
  • Reading email
  • Watching videos
  • Redeeming grocery coupons

Regarding payment, InboxDollars can mail you a check. Another option is digital gift cards to many national brands including Starbucks gift cards.

Use our special link to get a $5 cash bonus by joining InboxDollars.

4. Microsoft Rewards

By enrolling in Microsoft Rewards, you earn points for every single web search on Bing. If you use Google Chrome as your default web browser, you can install the Microsoft Rewards extension and make Bing your default search engine.

The extension credits your rewards account each time you enter a search term into your URL address bar.

You can also download the mobile app to earn rewards points on your smartphone searches. Plus, earn points by shopping online or playing your Microsoft Xbox.

It’s possible to redeem your points for Microsoft online store credit, merchant gift cards and sweepstakes entries. Microsoft store credit is the best redemption value. With it, you can buy games, movies, Microsoft Office services, and even a new laptop or Xbox bundle.

5. Qmee

Qmee is a browser extension and mobile app that works on the Google and Bing search engines. You can also earn rewards points when searching on retail websites like Amazon and eBay. On shopping sites, Qmee also displays discount codes to save money on your purchase.

When researching, Qmee displays their search results in a sidebar next to the search engine results. By clicking on the Qmee suggestions, you can earn cash rewards. But you won’t earn a reward if you choose the regular Google results or Amazon results.

Besides the search results, once in a while, Qmee will display ads that you can watch for bonus cash. On a click-per-click basis, these ads can pay more than the Qmee search results.

You will maximize Qmee if you usually search the web before buying things like cell phones, electronics or insurance. Most of the Qmee search results are from their shopping partners.

They pay Qmee to display their product links which is how Qmee can pay you between six and eight cents for clicking on most links.

Another way to make money with Qmee is by taking online surveys. These surveys can help boost your income when you’re not searching the web.

You receive your earnings through PayPal. Qmee doesn’t have a minimum payout amount you must achieve to request payment.

6. MobileXpression

You might earn more by using an app that rewards you for the amount of time you use your mobile device instead of only when searching the web. MobileXpression works with Android and Apple phones and tablets.

You receive weekly credits based on how many hours you use your phone. These credits are redeemable for gift cards.

It’s an easy way to get free gift cards. You only have to download the app and use your mobile device as you currently do.

If you’re concerned about your privacy, MobileXpression doesn’t track your personal information, emails, text messages or conversations. They track how long you use your phone for each activity and which websites you visit.

For example, they might know you surfed the web for three hours and spent one hour text messaging. But they don’t record who you talked with.

7. Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel

Another app that pays you based on your internet usage is Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel. This platform works for mobile devices and your computer. So this is a good option if you use a computer for searching the web.

You can earn up to $50 a year by keeping the app on your device. Plus, each month Nielsen enters you into their $10,000 monthly sweepstakes.

Regarding privacy, Nielsen doesn’t collect your user ids or passwords. They will track which websites you visit, length of stay at each URL and your general device activity.

8. Google Opinion Rewards

At its core, Google Opinion Rewards pays you to complete surveys. But they might pick you to participate in their invite-only Audience Measurement program. If so, Google pays you for sharing your daily activity including watching TV and using the internet.

This can be a unique chance because it’s difficult to earn rewards from Google searches. Rewards programs like Swagbucks and InboxDollars use Yahoo to power their search engine. As a result, their search results will differ from Google’s results.

9. Amazon Mechanical Turk

You may already know there’s more to Amazon than their shopping site. Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is another project where you earn cash or Amazon gift cards for completing micro-tasks.

Some data entry tasks can include searching the web to find research data. A few examples include:

  • Collecting phone numbers from a web page
  • Finding the address for a vacation home listing
  • Reviewing a website to determine the company name

Other non-web search tasks include audio transcription, market research surveys and matching images with a description.

Not every task pays the same amount. For instance, some only pay $0.01, and others can pay $2.50. You will need to decide if the allotted time is worth the payment amount. If it isn’t worth the time, searching the web with another app can be more rewarding.

Shopping Apps That Pay You to Search

Another easy way to make money searching the web is by using a cashback shopping app. These apps can show discount codes and cash rewards you receive when activating a shopping session with the app. They can also help you make money fast with minimal effort.

Think about it. Before you make a purchase, you might initially use the internet to research which product is the best. Then your next search might be comparing prices to buy from the retailer offering the lowest price.

What if multiple sites are charging the same price for the product you want? These apps can help you find the best store for your purchase based on the cash back rewards.

10. Rakuten

Rakuten helps you get cash back at over 2,000 online stores. This is the perfect app when you know what you want to buy, but don’t know where you’re going to buy it.

First, compare the merchant cash back rates in the Rakuten app or website. Next, activate a shopping session and make a purchase. Then Rakuten will notify you when the cash rewards credit to your account.

When you install the browser extension, you can search cash back rates inside the extension window. And you can receive alerts when the page you are visiting offers cash rewards.

When you join using our link, you can get a $10 cash bonus on your first $25 purchase.

11. Honey

Maybe you like applying discount codes before you pay for an online purchase. Honey makes this task easy by applying every active code to your order. It helps you save time because you don’t have to scour the web searching for codes and hoping they work.

With the Honey Gold program, you can earn rewards points shopping at select retailers too. You can redeem your points for gift cards.

Once again, these are rewards points you won’t earn if you don’t use a shopping reward app.

Become a Search Engine Evaluator

Another growing niche for getting paid to search the web is being a search engine evaluator. The major search engines including Google and Bing hire testers to type in search keywords. It helps them determine how relevant the results are.

If you remember the early internet days, you may recall that some results did not apply to the search query. Search engines have improved their results because of evaluators.

Getting one of these positions is very competitive. And you usually need to meet these three requirements:

  • Own a smartphone with internet access
  • Have access to a high-speed internet
  • Have an undergraduate degree or currently br earning one

You must also have strong analytical and writing skills. Being fluent in more than one language can also increase your approval odds.

12. RaterLabs

If you’re an in-depth researcher, RaterLabs is one of the largest research platforms. They currently accept one person per household to be a tester. You must also have a smartphone with one of these operating systems:

  • Android phone version 4.1 or higher
  • Apple phone version 4s or higher
  • Microsoft phone version 8.1 or higher

You will need to pass an exam to qualify before you become a search engine evaluator.

13. Lionbridge

You can also apply at Lionbridge. They require you to have a desktop or laptop and an Android phone with the latest OS version. Currently, that version is 6.0 Marshmallow. Using social media, Gmail and the Google Play Store work to your advantage too.

Lionbridge offers other positions that test different pieces of the internet including web pages and ads.


There are several simple ways to make money searching the web. It doesn’t matter if you’re browsing or researching an in-depth topic. Consider joining a rewards program that will pay you to use their app or browser extension. This can be an effortless way to earn extra money anytime you use the internet.

How often do you search the web? What do you plan on using your earnings for? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.