I’d like to point out that Ron, an employee of Swagbucks was kind enough to visit the site and address some of the concerns I had with the program and I have to admit I was impressed that they took the time to do some damage control. Please read the Swagbucks response to the post. I am now using the system and testing it out.Â I have also written a positive review of Swagbucks based on the last few months of rare usuage.
My original intention with this article was to write something positive about a search engine called Swagbucks.Â As the name suggests the site gives out random swag bucks as you use their search engine just as you would use any other.Â The thing that drew me to to this unique concept was the fact that they use the Google Search engine to bring you your results.Â I’ll be honest in that while I may not agree with all of the ways that Google assigns rank for search results they do have the most extensive searches and usually provide fairly accurate results.Â Their sponsored results are also kept fairly out of the way and are easily identifiable.Â Sponsored results appear at the top of your search and on the sides only, never in between searches.
How Swagbucks works is they provide you with a search page similar to any search engine landing page with a box provided to enter your search term.Â Hit enter or click the search button to be on your way.Â Randomly throughout your searching you may win swagbucks.Â You know you’ve received some because they insert a small notice at the top of your search page advising you of how many swagbucks you’ve won which can range frmo $1 to $5.Â You can then trade in yoru swagbucks for merchandise at their own shop.Â The merchandise can range from a $5 Starbucks gift card to a $50 Best Buy gift card to a wide variety of other interesting gifts.
One $5 Starbucks Gift Card would cost you 60 Swagbucks.Â Examples of some of the gifts you can receive from Swagbucks
I thought this was a golden idea.Â I spend 12-15 hours a day on the computer and have Google as my homepage and if I could earn a few extra bucks while searching then I figure why not.Â It was the fact that I could get a free cup of coffee once a week or even save up for a new mouse or keyboard using a Best Buy gift card even if it took a few months.Â Great so I signed up for an account which is obviously free and started to check it out and get familiar with it and right away I noticed the problems.
While it looks like they have completely styled their search results to look like Google they appear to be providing filtered custom results with injected sponsored listings.Â I opened google in one window and swagbucks in another window and ran the same search.Â The number of results was drastically different.Â Here are my beefs with this new search engine.
1.Â Drastically different number of results returned although they claim they are using Google’s search engine for results.Â I searched for the term “Fight Club” in both engines and this is what I got back:
Now… This may not necessarily be a problem.Â As we all know Google usually has tonnes of duplicate search results so swagbucks may be omitting the duplicates automatically.Â That would be cool IF there was a way to even see that many results.Â Just like the normal Google Search Engine Swagbucks has pagination at the bottom which lists how many pages of search results there are.Â At the bottom of a Google search page you usually see numbers from 1…….10 with a Next button.Â Swagbucks, despite telling you there are 4 million results for “Fight Club” will only let you see up to 4 pages of results.Â If you click the 4th page on swagbucks thats it.Â The end of the road.Â No more pages after four no matter how many results were found where on the other hand with Google if you click the 10th page it just adjusts and shows you the next 20 pages.Â Swagbucks has limited you to only 4 pages of the millions of possible results.Â Big no no!
2.Â Swagbucks injects sponsored search results inbetween the normal results.Â This is deceiving and I hate visiting websites that trick me into clicking their ads.Â Everyone needs to make money especially sites providing services.Â There are high costs and such hosting fees and technical support & upgrades where needed however tricking your customers into clicking your sponsored results is sneaky and just plain wrong.Â With some of the more reputable search engines such as Google their advertisements are clearly labeled as such and are removed from the actual search results.Â The advertisements do not appear highlighted.Â I did that on the image to illustrate where they are placed.
3.Â Now even if the first two things discussed above were non-issues, this last point here would almost definitely turn me off from Swagbucks.Â On the search page they have a banner labeled, “Be the next winner! Winning Tips.”Â So you’re thinking great… they’ve got some tips on how I can earn more swagbucks while surfing and searching.Â They offer 8 tips on how you can win more swag.Â I’m not going to get into the first 7 because in my opinion their 8th tip trumps the previous 7 by a longshot.Â It goes like this
Doing a TON of Searches Will Not Help You Win.
Really. While you may think it will help you win, it will actually ensure you won’t. Only your first 20 searches in a given day make you eligible to win a Swag Buck. The best way to win is to use swagbucks.com – search & win whenever you need to search the web. Clicking links, whether they’re sponsored links or search results, will not help you win. swagbucks.com – search & win offers no incentives or rewards for clicking on them.
Now come on.Â Their 8th and final tip is that by using their search engine too much it will ensure you won’t win anything.Â So the more I use the site the less likely I am to win anything until it gets to the point where they make sure I don’t win anything.Â Now where’s the incentive there?
That last paragraph there just about sums it up.Â Since when do companies penalize you for using and enjoying their service or product.Â Thanks swag for saving me the time of wasting my time!