Work-at-Home Job Profile: Google Ads Quality Rater

Help Google fine-tune its algorithms

Google jobs
••• Morsa Images / Getty Images

Google isn't known for its work-at-home jobs, but the Internet giant does have a legitimate work-at-home opportunity, a position called "ads quality rater." It's sometimes referred to as a "search evaluator."

What a Google Ads Quality Rater Does

An ads quality rater is a human fact-checker for Google’s algorithm, the mathematical formula that determines relevant search engine results. Google constantly fine-tunes its algorithm, both as a way to return better search results and as a way to keep up with the changing ways people use language and the Internet. It needs actual people to check that the results it returns to users are indeed what they're looking for.

Google has search engines for countries across the globe, and the company hires quality rater positions for many different languages. These positions require a deep knowledge of the local culture and fluency in the local language.

Working As a Google Ads Quality Rater

This work involves analyzing and providing feedback on text, web pages, images, and other types of information for Google using an online tool. Raters log on to the online tool through their Google accounts to select tasks to do on a self-directed schedule.

A quality rater reviews the results returned in a specific search query, then he rates them in terms of relevance. Some might be marked as “vital,” while others will be rated as “useful,” “relevant,” “slightly relevant,” and “off topic.” Results can also be marked as spam.

Obviously, this is a more subjective process than the algorithm, but Google gives raters detailed guidelines on how to choose a rating.

The Pros and Cons

You're working from home, so you can pretty much choose your hours, although you must commit to a minimum of 10 hours a week and you can't work more than 29 hours a week as of 2017. Weekends, holidays, or even the wee hours of the morning are fine if that's what suits you. The Google system is available 24/7.

But this advantage comes with a certain lack of supervision, so you should be suited to working independently. These positions also tend to be temporary. You probably shouldn't count on it as a long-term employment option.

On the downside, you might find that some of the content you come across is vulgar, violent, or otherwise offensive. This might not be the job for you if you're easily offended, although it's estimated that content of this sort amounts to less than 10 percent.

Requirements for an Ads Quality Rater

In general, quality raters need in-depth, current knowledge of web culture and media, as well as the ability to deal with a broad range of interests and topics. Excellent written communication skills and web analytic capabilities are required.

You must have a four-year college degree—BA, BS, or equivalent. You must have college-level fluency in reading and writing in English, and newspaper-level fluency in the language of the location is required for bilingual rater jobs. A deep understanding of the culture there is required.

Both the bilingual and English-only jobs require that applicants have valid U.S. work authorization and the work must be performed in the U.S. Raters must have a secure, private, high-speed Internet connection. They must provide their own smartphones and computers.

New hires must sign a non-disclosure statement because Google keeps information relating to the development of its algorithm and other information about the company private.

Changes in 2017

Be wary of work-at-home scams if you simply do a search for Google jobs to pin down one of these positions. Many openings were available through mid-2017, and Google routed hiring for these positions through a third-party company, ZeroChaos, at that time. Google terminated that relationship on July 31, 2017, and there's no word yet as to what third-party company—if any—it's using to staff these days.

Watching Google's website directly or do an Internet search for the job's keywords might be your best bet, at least temporarily. Search Google for terms such as "ads quality rater" and "search quality evaluator" to find links to likely current third party sources.

How to Become a Google Rater

You can also search for available Google jobs on the company's website, but you might not find what you're looking for here. You'll see an "About Google" link at the upper left corner of the page if you go to Google's homepage. Click on this and you'll find "Careers on Google" about halfway down the page. Click on "Sales, Service and Support—Find Jobs."

Numerous jobs are listed here, and the page has search capabilities so you can enter "ads quality rater" and "search quality evaluator" directly here. You'll also find instructions as to how to apply.

Applicants who are selected for further review might not hear back for several weeks or more. They're then given an online test.

Similar Jobs to Ads Quality Rater

Other companies hire for similar jobs but they might call the positions "Internet assessor" or "search evaluators." Some of them actually contract with Google. These include LeapforceLionbridge, and Appen Butler.