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

Help Google Fine-Tune Its Algorithms

woman at computer on white desk in painted white brick office
••• 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, as a means of returning improved search results as well as keeping up with the changing ways people use language and the internet. The search giant 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 ads 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 rates them in terms of relevance. Some might be marked as “vital,” while others are rated as “useful,” “relevant,” “slightly relevant,” and “off topic.” Results can also be marked as "spam."

Obviously, this process is more subjective than an algorithm would provide, 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 the company sometimes imposes limits as to how many hours you can work in a week. But 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. Don'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 for which you'll be providing quality ratings. A deep understanding of the culture in that location is also required.

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." 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 doing 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. Click on the "About Google" link at Google's homepage and you'll find "Careers on Google." Click on "Sales, Service, and Support—Find Jobs."

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

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.