Working for Leapforce — what it was like

 

This is a collaborative image, the brown and tan paper in this collage made by bald-faced hornets. Work done by a hive of creatures was in my mind as I started to write this post.

Working for Leapforce

Now that I’m pretty much done with Leapforce (though I still have log-in privileges there, as I write) I figure I’ll add my voice to the reviews that tell how it is to work as a Search Engine Evaluator.

Leapforce handles low-level contracted personnel for Google, hiring people for one of the New Economy’s jobs: six months commitment at a time (unless you screw up somehow, and then they can just shut you out); no benefits no matter how many hours you work because you’re technically an independent contractor. No payment for the hours you spend training (and these are ongoing and considerable). No guarantee of available work. Unpredictable “caps” on how many hours in a day you can work, triggered by unknown actions and lasting for undefined numbers of days – although Leapforce steadfastly refuses to acknowledge the existence of these caps.

And yet… when the wolf is at the door, working for Leapforce is a huge boon. I earned more than half my living with them for about nine months, and during those months I was desperately grateful for the opportunity. But then, desperate gratitude is what Leapforce has going for them, as they freely make use of the crowds of underemployed people out there with internet connections.

Tasks

I won’t go into the details of the actual work, since I don’t want lawyers breathing down my neck about non-disclosure agreements I signed. Google is extremely protective of what goes into refining their search algorithms. What Google does explain publicly is that search evaluators look at two sets of search results side by side, and decide according to various criteria which side is better. One side you’re looking at will be the result of a new experimental algorithm that Google is testing out, and the other side is their older or existing algorithm. And then there are other tests you do as well, which aren’t side by side. Some are interesting, some are insanely dull. The tasks can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 15 minutes each to complete. There are results which include only words, and others which include images or video or book excerpts or even sound files.

Quality

A big part of the job is deciding on the quality of websites, according to various criteria. And, another big part of the job is the quality of the ratings that you do. After being told that your input is valuable partly because you represent the typical user, your evaluation of pages and search results is calibrated endlessly by (unpaid) training guidelines to study, quizzes to take, and practice tasks to do. Seriously, when you first begin the work, your work sessions are probably 75%  unpaid because the learning curve is steep. If you fall short in some invisible way, you get icky little notes in your email from Leapforce, suggesting that you’d better shape up or you won’t have a job pretty soon.

Leapforce Pay

Raw payrate is $13.50 an hour, although as an independent contractor you have to take out the 15.3% payroll tax, plus any income tax you might owe additionally. It’s kind of horrifying, how much you have to skim off for taxes when you’re just a lowly peon and not some clever entity like an S corporation.

But the hourly rate is deceptive. You’re actually paid per task, and you’re only allowed a certain number of minutes per task. If they think it should take you four minutes to do a task, and it actually takes you ten minutes, you can’t bill for more than four of those. On the other hand, if a task labeled as a four-minute task only takes you one minute, you have to kind of just sit around and let three more minutes pass. If you keep doing tasks faster than they think you should, you’ll be penalized by having work taken away from you.

A few privileged souls are “preferred agents,” paid (I think) $17 per hour, but there’s no particular hope of anyone ever being promoted to that status now. They were promoted back in the early days, it seems, when money flowed easily and the world was young.

Part 2 of this blog post is here.

82 thoughts on “Working for Leapforce — what it was like

  1. Pingback: Working for Leapforce, Part 2 | Betsy Sharp

    1. admin Post author

      My ship is sailing on other seas these days. Your comment does exemplify the claustrophobic atmosphere that arises around this work, in which Google’s actual need for confidentiality of tasks (which I totally respect) is confused with Leapforce’s desire for secrecy about their employment practices. Nobody currently working there, expendable and needing the income, would want to rock the boat by ever talking publicly about the hard parts of the job.

      Reply
      1. Mary

        I appreciate your thoughts, but I couldn’t disagree with your idea of oppression more. This work is the least oppressive work that I have ever done. No boss, no schedule…These two things alone do not go along with oppression. Those who are fearful are fearful because they choose to be. They should not depend on LF to make them feel secure.

        Me thinks you haven’t worked in Corporate America too much.

        Reply
        1. admin Post author

          Well, you’re right that I haven’t worked in Corporate America much – I’ve had a couple of corporate temp jobs, but when I haven’t been doing art to sell, most of my “regular” work has been in the field of social services or teaching.

          And I think it’s worth mentioning, as you did, that outsourced information jobs like LF allow workers a greater dignity than if they were low-level employees of some big corporate entity –being guarded every second, and drug-tested, and fired if they have to take a morning off with a sick child. Not to mention victims of real oppression worldwide, like child laborers in a factory.

          Social class, or however we name our expectation of being treated well, certainly forms a context for this conversation. I may not have a lot of income, but my viewpoint is influenced by my own expectation of being treated well. My standards for how employment should be are based on my experience in workplaces that were collegial and respectful of workers’ contributions.

          So, yes. Good point. In a larger overview of all possible work, Leapforce isn’t nearly the worst.

          Reply
          1. Mary

            Again, it is quite obvious you have not worked in Corporate America. I gave no indication that I thought LF was slightly better than the lowest entry-level jobs in Corporate America. That is your own mental filtering device your using to paint a picture that includes only the negative.

            I have not received the oppressive treatment you have received with LF. Although at the same time, I believe we received the same treatment. Rather than oppression, I find it to be quite flexible and freeing.

            While I don’t agree with you about the oppression at all, you make some good points and your entertaining some people in chat too!

          2. anon

            LOL you have got to be kidding me. “Corporate America.” I’ve worked in quite a few offices, one of which had an office manager who often brought her kid to work when needed. The boss never minded, since it was an office that mainly took calls and was pretty relaxed. Try working more before you put down corporate offices, instead of being a robot who’s brainwashed by the media.

          3. Mary

            Definition of corporate America: An informal phrase describing the world of corporations and big business within the United States.

            Anon, that’s great your manager was able to bring her child to work. At LF we can all bring our children to work since we’re working from home. That is the very point I was trying to make. I don’t find the work oppressive at all. Not to be argumentative, but the reason I like LF so much is because of, and I’ll use use the word office just for you, I find.LF is much more flexible than any office job I’ve ever had by far. But the work is not for everyone.

    2. Rece

      Hi Betsy, I was wondering if you got a sense for whether or not Leapforce prefers or hesitates to employ people with too much online experience such as website designers, Internet marketers or search engine optimization specialists.

      Reply
    3. khkh

      I’ve just started working for LF and it’s written that my base rate is $8.00/hr. Is it so because I’m a newbie or the average rate depends so much on my location (I’m neither from USA/Canada nor Europe)?
      Thanks!

      Reply
      1. Betsy Post author

        Hi, khkh –
        It must be because of your location. That’s unfortunate and unfair, it seems to me, since you’re doing the same work as the people here who are paid $13 per hour –but I guess it’s an artifact of the global economy. I regret that that’s the situation.

        Reply
    4. Nelson Sousa

      Hello everyone,

      I have a question related to Part 2 of leapforce exam. Instructions in the mail states that it is not necessary to put comments in page quality form, but if i leave empty comment fields it gives an error in submission. what should I do? Can i write anything without worrying about the comments content quality?

      Thanks :)

      Reply
      1. jansu

        Hello Nelson,
        I encountered the same problem. I’m gonna retake the exam and what should I do next time, I don’t know. The first time I commented every task. Please let me know..

        Reply
  2. Glad You Wrote This Blog

    I am just waiting for the grampa brigade to come in here and stomp on you. Grampa is the real problem with LF, he thinks he knows it all but in the short term he is hurting the new people coming in.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      For those mystified by the previous comment, “Grampa” is the username of one of the long-term LF workers who has put in many unpaid hours as a sort of liaison between workers and Leapforce administration. Assuming an unofficial leadership role is clearly an act which stirs up some controversy.

      Reply
    2. Grampa Brigade Member

      I’d really like to know what you mean by hurting new people. If you honestly have a more helpful way of educating new people, please enlighten me.

      Reply
      1. admin Post author

        To Grampa Brigade Member, above:
        1) Sorry it took so long to post your comment. WordPress stashed it in Spam til I fished it out.
        2) The original post about Grampa was made by someone who signed themself “Glad you wrote this blog”.

        Reply
        1. Grampa Brigade Member

          I realize that, and it wasn’t directed toward you. I just really would like to know who could honestly think that Grampa is hurtful to new people. I have seen numerous new people daily talk about how helpful he is, and I personally have learned so much from him.

          Reply
          1. admin Post author

            I learned a ton from him as well. I feel as though he’s clearly got his heart in the work, and has found a creative way to turn the job into something more than it otherwise is. Others in Chat also have compiled a lot of information to share. It’s a form of generosity that’s very heartening, and I think it’s a super-constructive response to a difficult employment situation.

    3. LFR

      Here is a rater that has spent his own free time compiling helpful information to make the job easier for others, especially new raters, and you somehow manage to interpret him as a haughty know-it-all? Let me guess, you’re one of the holier-than-thou types that advocates ignoring or offering cryptic answers to newbie questions and snickers about it once they’ve left chat. Oh, the nerve of people seeking guidance from those with experience, and of those that offer it to them!

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Leapforce, part 3: Discussion Questions | Betsy Sharp

  4. Pingback: Nuances — Leapforce, part 4 | Betsy Sharp

  5. admin Post author

    Hi, geekmom. I know, the tax thing is hard. SE tax in 2013 is 15.3%. But then if you earn more than a certain amount, you’ll have income tax to pay on top of that, on your profit. I just sort of shut my eyes and skim 15.3 % off every check I get, the same day I get it. This year I probably won’t have enough profit income after expenses to have to pay income tax, but I keep an eye on that.

    Reply
  6. Random Guy

    Very well explained. Found my way here from your NYT comment. Did the rating job for a year and it was the most exploitative job I’ve ever had and I’ve had some doozies. The hours I worked for which I was not paid was criminal. This was a couple of years ago already and to think that Leapforce is still getting away with it boggles the mind. Some labor laws we have huh? And Google’s sure living up to the “Do No Evil” mantra they allegedly (it is to laugh) live by. At this point all of the exploited former Leapforce workers/Google raters should unite in a class action suit for our stolen wages. Who’s with me?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi, Random Guy –

      As independent contractors, we only ever submitted invoices for the services we provided. We never were covered by any kind of labor laws.

      I’m curious about what the ratio would be among current and former LF workers. For example, how many left (like me) without being fired, because of the exploitation? And how many who currently work at LF don’t like how it’s run, but need to stay there anyway? How many current LF workers are truly happy with their situations?

      Reply
  7. Newbie

    Hello,
    Thank you for your article(s)! It has been very helpful for me in starting work at Leapforce. I have a question I was wondering if you could answer from experience? If a task is suppose to take 7 minutes, but I submit it after 3, do you only get billed for the 3 minutes? Should you just wait for the 7 minutes to be up and do something else?

    Thank you so much for your reply!

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi, Newbie – I’m sure this reply is too late to be useful to you, but it might be helpful to someone else. My information about LF is rapidly obsolescing, since I don’t have access there anymore, but as of a month ago, yes, you can only bill for 3 minutes if that’s how long you take. Basically, you can bill for either the allotted amount of time they think the task should take, OR the real-life amount of time you took to do the task… WHICHEVER IS SMALLER. If you are really completing 7-minute tasks in 3 minutes, and doing them correctly, then yes, you should just do something else for 4 minutes. Zipping through tasks often gets you capped. (That means your flow of tasks gets shut off.)

      Reply
  8. kallie074

    Thank you for writing this post. It speaks the truth about Leapforce. Having worked in the corporate world for a decade, with some experience with companies that do not treat their employees well (and with others that do a great job), I can say the Leapforce deal is nearly criminal. Had I known how much unpaid time I would have to put in to study their lengthy guidelines, quizzes, simulators, etc., to have some chance at meeting their standards of what they want you to answer, I would not have taken this job. It has made me think less of Google, for agreeing to work with an agency that treats people so poorly and pays them so little. I’m thinking that those who speak in defense of Leapforce are employees of that company, and they simply want to keep their job.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi, Kallie – Sorry for being so very slow in responding to your comment. I’m glad to have current LF workers signing in here. Your information and take on Leapforce life will soon become much more relevant than mine, since you’re still part of all that. Please come back and give updates, if you feel like it. Undoubtedly whole squadrons of people will have questions for you.

      I agree with you that my opinion of Google sank quite a bit after my experience with Leapforce. It’s quite a different story than the glorious campus where the real Google workers get to be all creative and privileged. But then, I guess a lot of the tech industry has its seamy underside.

      I think there are a lot of people, though, who actually like Leapforce. (See Bill E, the commenter below.) Maybe some people are just able to get in the groove of what’s required, and they don’t mind jumping through hoops. You know, some of it is a question of sheer necessity. If it’s Leapforce work or being homeless, Leapforce would seem pretty damn nice.

      Reply
  9. Bill E.

    I have worked for Leapforce for over 4 years. I work when I want, as much as I want. They pay me on time. I have no complaints.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi, Bill –

      You do represent a sector of Leapforce workers. Security has its virtues, and if the job works for you, then nobody can argue with that. I still would love to see better policies, so that people like you would have an even better experience.

      Reply
      1. Bill E.

        I am the rater known as Grampa. I really do enjoy the work, and there are a lot of folks just like me. We work hard, we study hard, we play by the rules, and we reap the benefits of our efforts. Granted, the job is not for everyone. But there are a lot of us who are proud to call it home.

        Reply
        1. admin Post author

          Hi, there. Thanks for commenting here, Bill/Grampa. Your perspective is important because it creates an interesting dialog and represents those for whom this job obviously does work out well. It’s kind of unusual to have a work situation that some people like a lot and that others can’t abide.

          I’m really curious to understand what makes the difference. I want to think about that and ask some questions, and maybe shed some light on the split in reactions.

          It’s important not to caricature each other. Lots of people who don’t like Leapforce also work hard, study hard and play by rules… speaking for myself, the particular atmosphere and rules set by Leapforce didn’t work well for me, whereas the demands of (relatively) high-level content writing feel comfortable.

          I’m a bit weary from my own workday right now: a late night moving chickens around in a thunderstorm, and putting them into crates in my living room for early morning transport, and then my own writing. I will come back to these thoughts, hopefully tomorrow. I feel like you’d be the perfect person to ask a few questions of.

          Reply
  10. James

    The very odd tale of Loop-farce and Giggle

    This is the story of a hypothetical company whose task was to analyze another hypothetical company called Giggle.gus

    Giggle had reached a point where they needed to have an independent arm for a specific purpose: gathering human data.

    The new arm was called Loop-farce. This arm was tasked with analysis based on the judgment of people. So they needed people. Lots of people.

    Giggle is comprised of a series of algorithms. So the arm had the resources to build another series of algorithms. The new algorithms would have a polite, professional, and downright friendly front-end to it. But – sadly – only the front end was that way.

    “Y’all come on in, ya hear? We need ya to take this little test and if you can pass it, well – by golly – you can be a home-based subcontractor. We’ll even give you a nifty title, lots of stuff to read, and an artificial community of people who get to feel superior for no particular reason.”

    Well, not quite that friendly. The point is the algorithm was designed to be comparatively warm and friendly at the front end. And so it is. Beyond that, the ads are almost seductive in their description of life with Loop-farce.

    The only people who are able to build these algorithmic programs are people for whom the word “geek” is not quite sufficient. These guys could actually benefit from taking the Sheldon Cooper short course on winning friends and influencing people. To say they are socially challenged is like saying the universe has slightly more room than your closet.

    So the persona of this – hypothetical – “company” is not a real person. It’s an algorithm. And since its authors are total blanks at social skills, the program goes right into the toilet after initial contact. The result is weirdness of classical proportions. Most real humans are baffled, insulted, and many are badly hurt by it. And well they should be.

    This algorithm presents a persona that is a credit only to it’s mainframe. To the human race, it’s behavior is abysmal. The Better Business Bureau can find nothing wrong with it because the program was carefully designed to follow their required protocols – to the letter.

    But in the actual work, many of the allotted times are absurdly short for the demanded task and level of scrutiny required. The algorithm is laced with fallacy. It does not allow for a normal learning curve – or any curve at all. As such, it’s like sticking your hand into a meat grinder. It doesn’t care what it does to real people. It just does what it does. And it does it quickly and efficiently.

    There are no humans to answer the phones – probably because there are comparatively few real humans in the company at all. There are a few writers and some resume’ evaluators and that’s about it. The writers are fairly good on the grammar side. In over 130 pages of (hypothetical) instructions, there was only a single blatantly misspelled word. They were all over the map with the conceptual side of things. There was an abundance of fractured thoughts and topics. But – of course – this is just hypothetical.

    When the algorithm calculates that you are not qualified for the (hypothetical) Project due to your failure to fit the algorithm, all pretense of humanity is gone. You are brutally, rudely cut off with no redress. Again, you have to understand that you are dealing with a socially primitive computer program written and supported by social Neanderthals. Respect for the individual equals absolute zero.

    They simply don’t have the skills to write (or program) something even so simple and civil as : “we’re sorry, but your score fell outside of the program parameters to continue at this time with this evaluation. Please try again next month.”

    This company (or algorithm) has a fatal flaw in it’s implementation that will ultimately cause it to receive the same (“unacceptable”) evaluation from Giggle. Hypothetically speaking – of course.

    Although it has created a set of parameters that were deemed “efficient” in some geek’s wet dream, his (or their) sterile inexperience has rendered the entire project fairly useless for the true objective.

    People are required to behave within the “accepted limits.” That requirement both biases and predetermines the information being gathered and creates an illusionary “solution.” The outcome – not unlike mob hysteria – is a predictable train wreck. It will happen.

    These genius types are so arrogant, they have failed to realize that the human variation they encounter on the rating side are not merely flaws. They are characteristics – also found in those who use Giggle. They are not just ignoring useful information. It’s a fundamental part of the equation they are excluding. Turns out there are also a lot of things beyond their comprehension – hypothetically of course.

    Written by 10(-34th)

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hi, James. Wow. I’m finally reading through the comments, and this is the first time I’ve read your little story. I like very much this part:

      “…they have failed to realize that the human variation they encounter on the rating side are not merely flaws. They are characteristics – also found in those who use Giggle.”

      I think you’re exactly right: it always seemed bizarre to me that they consider our unique personal responses and judgments to be errors. Isn’t the whole point of having human evaluators to learn how we feel about the search results?

      Reply
  11. A mind full of doubts

    Hi!

    Thank you so much for your post, I was looking desperately for an insight to this job at LP an you truly were the only one giving me the details I needed to start. I have a couple of doubts on regards to the payments:

    1) How long does LP take to send the 1st check?
    2) Is it normal if they ask you for your SSN?

    Thank you again!

    Reply
    1. james

      My advice is to not invest yourself in them. If you want to put your big toe in the water, then don’t allow their line of BS to lure you into believing you are dealing with anything warm and fuzzy. They were anything but that! In fact, they are incompetent when it comes to human skills. (my opinion). They will pay like a champ if you make it past “first base” – meaning actually perform according to their brutal standards and submit an invoice made out in excruciating detail with exact times, tasks, etc. all done “on the run” while you are trying to perform more of said tasks. Also, be prepared to read a short college course for each task. Somehow, you are supposed to turn off the “timekeeper” program while you read up on how they want you to perform the task. Then you turn the timekeeper back on and perform the task, The task may – likely – take less time than the (unpaid) reading about how to do it part. Finally, before you even begin working, you will have to read and be tested on about 131 pages of materials.

      Obviously, it works for some.

      Reply
      1. Sarah Thompson

        131 pages? I just applied and got 160 pages. Reading this and starting to wonder what I’m in for. I still plan to try it out as I’m in a situation where I need to get into working from home as soon as possible, but thinking I need to pursue multiple options.

        Reply
        1. james

          If you want to get a perspective on “what you are in for” and you really like science fiction that incorporates a subtle perspective of companies like these, watch the movie “Oblivion.” It pretty well nails it – or at least it did for me in retrospect.

          Reply
    2. Betsy Post author

      To “mind full of doubts” (a few comments above) – This reply is too late to be useful to you (sorry!), but may be helpful to others reading this blog. If the billing and paying still works the way it did when I worked for LF, they direct-deposit money in your account within 30 days after you turn in your monthly invoice — which you do at the end of each calendar month worked.

      And yes, it’s normal for them to ask for your SSN. They are required by law to fill out a 1099 tax form for you if you earn more than 400-some dollars in a tax year. You will be paying self-employment tax on your earnings, so be sure to set 15.3% of what you earn aside – plus more if you earn enough to owe income tax in addition to self employment tax. (You won’t pay 15.3% on your full gross earnings because you can deduct some expenses, but at least you can feel safe if you set that much aside.) Not that you even asked about taxes. :)

      Reply
  12. Nelson Sousa

    Hello everybody. I want to start working for Leapforce. In their requirements LF asks for a gmail account with Google Play accessed at least once per week, Google+ more than once per month, with more than 11 people per circle and the web history turned on.
    I have two google accounts: an older with web history until one year ago and a newer with all requirements except that the web history wasn’t enabled. which one should I use? Is it possible to send information from both?

    thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. james

      When I made the same mistake you are currently making, I gave them what I had, which was a Google account I had not used for anything – although I had it for years. It fulfilled none of these requirements. After all the B.S. about the specifics it didn’t seem to matter one way or another. I think the algorithm presents these details to see if you are going to allow them to cause you to disqualify yourself. If you stop and think about it, there is no earthly reason why they would require these insane little details – is there?

      Reply
    2. Betsy Post author

      Oh, ick. Really? They require a Google Plus account? I think when I was doing the work, the personal web-history thing was still somewhat optional. Maybe it was required for certain tasks, but not for most of them. And I didn’t have to have a Google Plus account. That’s creepily personal; they should just let their cogs be cogs.

      If I were you, I would simply create a brand new Google address, with history enabled, and a brand new Google Plus account, and add a bunch of boring commercial entities to your circle, and then don’t use that account for anything except Leapforce.

      Reply
  13. Kaye

    HI Betsy. This is with regards to my first invoice that I am creating today. I discovered of late that my computer time is off by about four minutes vs. the atomic clock from http://time.gov/widget.html. I am worrying how it will affect my invoice that I have already finished (haven’t submitted it to the system yet, just a draft.) Now I am caught in this bewilderment if I have to go through each task time and make the changes :-( thanks and more power to you.

    Reply
  14. Betsy Post author

    Hi, Kaye.

    Oh, good grief…your worry about a four-minute discrepancy is evidence of the mechanistic impersonality of this job, although I understand. And of course there’s nobody available at LF for you to ask.

    If it were me, I’d probably just submit the invoice as is and see what happens. Maybe they don’t actually match up times… maybe they only match up number of minutes and number of tasks. Worst case scenario, they will kick the invoice back to you for revision, which I think creates a slight delay in receiving payment. (That happens to a number of people for various reasons each month. You won’t know they’ve accepted your invoice for quite a few days, until you receive the “invoice accepted” email. — IF they deal with it the same as they did when I worked for them.) They WILL pay you for your work.

    A better idea: go into the LF chat and ask your question. Chat functions as an informal support network and many folks there have been around for years and really know the ropes. You’ll probably get the best advice there.

    Best of luck to you.

    Reply
  15. Kaye

    Nice to hear from you Betsy. I needed that :-) And yes I was trying to ask LF folks from the chat network but the answer I got is always, ‘maybe’. Well I’ll never know what I’m gonna get until I get it so I’ll go ahead submit it and not to waste more energy for this. Then I will post in here the result so it may help others who maybe in same situation in the future.

    Reply
    1. Kaye

      An email from LF today says invoice was approved. Your suggestion is right! And I am happy It went through without any delays so I can now buy my candy :-)

      Reply
      1. Betsy Post author

        Kaye, thanks for coming back and sharing the result of your experiment. I’m glad it turned out well; I’m sure this information will be useful for other people.

        Reply
    1. Betsy Post author

      Hi, Newbie –
      Leapforce is an agency that supplies contract workers to Google, to fill various needs. The job you found is obviously totally different from search engine evaluation. It is an onsite Mountain View job, no doubt at Googleplex, 40 hours a week.

      But it sounds like you kind of missed the point of the job posting, if you ended up wondering why it didn’t mention working from home. Did you also you miss the part about needing to be closely familiar with the road network of one of those countries?

      Google probably put out the big LF net for these openings because it’s not going to be easy to find someone with knowledge of SQL, Linux and geospatial systems who can work onsite in Mountain View and who also speaks Estonian and is intimately familiar with the road network of Estonia…

      Reply
  16. Carolyn von Valtier

    Working for Leapforce was suggested to me by my sister. She has a friend that does it and says she lives it. I am starting a business and it is not too busy yet, so I don’t want to commit to a job with set hours, but I need more income right now. I think I’ll try it out. I enjoyed your blog!

    Reply
  17. Mark

    How much money did anybody make in a month with how many hours to have an idea if I want to do this?

    Reply
  18. james

    Now this is just my opinion, but I’m pretty sure you could average as much as $.50/year if you take into account the preliminary work they require you to do before you even start getting paid anything at all. And I don’t mean this is a “one-time deal” either. The preliminary work is done EACH TIME you begin a new “task.”

    Just understand that you are probably not dealing with anything that remotely resembles “human”. You are dealing with a set of mathematical derivatives designed to mechanically extract data from you. If the data doesn’t match the predetermined parameters, you’re out.

    If you hit the ground running and are able to produce the data at the prescribed rate, you will make $15.00 per hour times the exact time you are allowed to be logged on. The time you are logged on is evaluated by a set of computer parameters that are also designed to extract the most data per second from the worker bees.

    Do not allow yourself to be fooled by anything “warm and fuzzy.” That too, is a computer program. For a detailed understanding see the movie “Oblivion.”

    “Are you still an effective couple?”

    Reply
    1. james

      You cannot get an answer because the answer is dependent on a multitude of variables. But it’s safe to say you will not make $15/hour spent on the task. That is a farce. The more time I have had to analyze the experience, the more clear it is that the algorithm was never designed to pay you, me, or anyone else $15.00/hour of actual work performed. Actual work performed is paid at the rate of $7.50 per hour. That’s because 50% of the work required must be done “off the clock.” When you are under the spell of this algorithm, it seems logical. It’s not even remotely fair or logical. I can’t tell you not to do it because that is your decision alone. I can only give you my take on it after the fact. It’s a colossal waste of time for most people.`

      Reply
        1. james

          OK READ MY LIPS. It depends on too many variables. YES it’s POSSIBLE to make $300 per week IF they LET YOU. THEY control EVERY ASPECT of the work. You can work your ass off and make NOTHING in the end because they just CUT YOU OFF. They will pay you for what you CAN PROVE you accomplished, but they will reject the invoice if you claim more than what THEY believe you did. GET IT?? There is no answer that you can rely on and anyone who give you one is blowing smoke up your skirt and doing you a disservice.

          Reply
  19. telstone17Judy

    Fascinating… I’m a career coach and I loved that you’ve put so much effort into giving us the goods on Leapforce. I was researching “work at home” options and came across your review. Thanks so very much! Looks like we’re not so far apart geographically — I’m in Victoria, BC and have a sister who lives on San Juan Island! Love your art, too, Betsy! Really interesting reading your blog.

    Reply
  20. Laura

    Call me crazy, but if you want to be successful at something, it takes hard work. And sometimes that means putting time and effort in even if no one pats you on the back. I find the more I work, the more efficient I become and even if you feel oh so oppressed, at least you don’t have to wear a uniform, leave your house, or even your bed to get the work done.
    James, we know…robots. Point made. What do you expect from a job like this? Don’t take it so personally.

    Reply
    1. james

      Laura. I don’t take it the least bit personally. How can I? It’s just an algorithm. But I grant you that I had to get somewhat dramatic to get through to a previous questioner. In answer to your question: “What do you expect from a job like this?” I expected nothing in particular one way or another. I am one of those who passed all the tests with flying colors. I read and analyzed the 130 pages of material (now 160 pages) which they “require” you to study and be tested on (all for free). I analyzed a variety of websites for them.

      BUT: I also analyzed THEM. I saw what they were doing to (most) people. It wasn’t pretty. So I am simply putting my observations into the mix for those who are trying to find a job online. It is my observation that – for most people – this is a colossal waste of their time. And – in many cases – “time-to-waste” is the one thing they don’t have.

      I don’t care for organizations who have so little respect for the individual that they would victimize them at a point where many are already fighting for their financial lives. They don’t need that.

      As for you, I’m glad you are among the few who are able to function successfully within that environment – and I wish you well.

      Reply
  21. pendoreillerockandgemclub

    Thanks, everybody. I just finished the 15 question test and am awaiting the outcome. You all talked me out of pursuing the job, if offered. I think I have better things to do with my time. Great blog, though!

    Reply
  22. Marcos

    Just took the exame again and finished the 3rd part. I had some troubles with it, specially because the date they gave me on the task page showed a different date from the one in the website I had to rate. “14 hours ago” when the page was actually written in 2012. This bothered me, and I’m afraid I’ll fail again because of this.

    Reply
  23. Muge

    wow thank you for the review on LP. I have decided not to take the second part of the exam after reading how LP treats their employees. I don’t want to work for them anymore

    Reply
  24. Henry Scherr

    Leapforce’s job listing states “Please Note: We are unable to offer more than one Search Engine Evaluator position per IP Address.” Exactly what does this mean? Another applicant (my son, who is not part of my household) and I share the same ISP account, modem and router, with the same public ISP address. Does this mean that one of us will automatically be disqualified? Or do I have to change my IP address before going through the 2nd application process?

    Reply
    1. James

      That seems to be the case. Nobody can look into the “mind” of the source of that statement and get any further information. It is interesting that they phrase it as if they are the victim of unseen forces; stating they are “unable” to offer. Who – or what – is the mysterious force that is preventing them from doing so?

      Reply
  25. Henri Charles

    Leapforce says it requires that evaluators use Google Chrome as their browser. Although I have it installed, I have used Firefox almost exclusively. Has anyone here done the LF evaluation work with any browser other than Google Chrome, without negative repercussions? Would I be wise to familiarize myself with and stick to Google Chrome exclusively?

    Reply
    1. James

      In the past, they allowed Firefox. Since then, they may have gradually moved their requirements over to completely require Google (their “God”) who owns Chrome. Microsoft tried to do the same with Explorer and their email client and – eventually – got rebuffed. But they were more ubiquitous than Google. It’s interesting to watch the sneaky ways a company works to collect a little info here and a little there: an email account here and a Browser there. One day, you wake up and discover they have collected data on everything you do online.

      Reply
  26. James

    Based on the way you are writing, I suspect you are not from around here. They may value your native tongue more than English. If so, they may actually allow you to have 40 hours in that language. But – in English – 40 hours is not likely – at least – that’s my opinion.

    Reply
  27. Henri Charles

    It’s going on 3 and a half weeks since I submitted my Leapforce application and took their 15-question test (which I probably aced). I think I am highly qualified for this sort of work, more so than a lot of jobs out there. But I have heard nothing after 3 weeks. Is this normal for them? I may need this to supplement my cab driver income. Are there any other similar companies, as good as or better, who contract at-home internet search engine evaluators? Is it true that I need to change my IP address so they don’t see I also applied to Leapforce?

    Reply
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