April 20, 2005 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Are any of you familiar with They supposedly pay people for searching the web, but a review of the About and Questions pages make it sound like a spamming pyramid scheme.
posted by Serena to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Looks like a pyramid scheme to me:

posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:02 AM on April 20, 2005

Getting paid to use a search engine? That's one of those "sounds too good to be true, probably isn't" kind of things. I can't see how they would do it aside from some crazy spam/offer email pyramid scheme.
posted by mathowie at 10:12 AM on April 20, 2005

I think it's a pain in the ass, especially if you start asking your friends to join, but I don't think it's a pyramid scheme. What makes it different from a pyramid scheme?

In a pyramid scheme you have to get people to join. If you don't, you don't make any money. With this, you could still make $25 or so /month even if you never referred anyone.

In a pyramid scheme if people stop joining then the whole thing collapses and you no longer make money. Well if people stopped joining these guys would probably go out of business, true...but it wouldn't be quite the same kind of cause/effect relationship.

In a pyramid scheme you have to make an investment that you will hopefully then recoup. No investment required here.

In a pyramid scheme the money to pay people comes from the same group of people who are hoping to get paid. Here the money comes from advertisers.

And yes, the picture is pyramid shaped, but that's because it's a bad picture. Each of the smaller circles is connected directly to the top circle. There are no "levels" among the smaller circles and if those people refer others, you have nothing to gain by that (you only get paid for your own referrals, not for the people they refer). So it's no more a pyramid scheme than when your cell phone company offers you $25 to refer somebody.

So I don't think it's a pyramid scheme. I think it's a company that wants to pay you to look at ads. Do you want to get paid to look at ads. *shrug*

I'm thinking about it for $24/month....that adds up.
posted by duck at 10:13 AM on April 20, 2005

Not every referral scheme is exploitative. If you don't have to put any money in, or you're paying for a service you want anyway, it means there's no one at the bottom to get screwed (Dreamhost's awesome referral system for instance).
posted by abcde at 10:19 AM on April 20, 2005

Ok...well I just signed up, (using a email address, since they do add your email to their mailing list according the privacy policy). I'll report back in 30 days to see if I've got my $24.

Oh...and uhh...if anyone else is planning on joining, I would be happy to provide a referral...(I won't actually put my id here since that would really put the slime-factor of this paragraph over the top).
posted by duck at 10:48 AM on April 20, 2005

But what about the fact that you don't get paid until your account balance is $50? There's no way to make $50 in one month unless you amass a load of referrals.
posted by Serena at 11:38 AM on April 20, 2005

"...I'll report back in 30 days to see if I've got my $24."

They only pay once you've got $50 in your account.

Not bad for a passive revenue stream, and referrals could goose it nicely. Only problem is you've gotta use it every day and those searches must be unique.

It's not clear how they define unique, but it probably doesn't benefit the person they're paying.
posted by Mutant at 11:41 AM on April 20, 2005

Think about it for a second. You've got to do 40 searches a day? With at least 15 seconds between them? So, that's what, at least ten minutes per day of searching. And you're getting paid, what, a max of $.80? That's $4.80 an hour. Wouldn't you rather have that time to do something else?
posted by klangklangston at 4:43 PM on April 20, 2005

Like read MetaFilter, klangklang? :-)

You could spend two hours writing a program to do searches on their site, pulling unique combinations of words from a dictionary file, and you'd be paid $24/month ($72 trimonthly) until they told you to go away.
posted by ldenneau at 5:08 PM on April 20, 2005

I can only work 20 hours a other hours earn me $0/hour. $4.80 is a lot more. And that's only if you sit and do nothing during the in between time. I was doing my email.

Btw...I tried some minor automation (using the windows task scheduler to run a search by opening a web page with an appropriate URL. It ran the searches and showed the ads, but didn't credit me for the searches.
posted by duck at 6:58 PM on April 20, 2005

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