Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Swagbucks Review

Ugh.  I've had a rough weekend.  I was stricken with these terrible stomach pains that haven't all quite gone away.  They hurt so bad I started contemplating how the re-enactment would play out on "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant."  Luckily, things are getting better and there was no surprise baby.  Yay!

Today I want to give a quick review of Swagbucks - in case you've never heard of it or haven't used it and want an honest review.

Swagbucks is a search engine that rewards you for using them instead of Google/Yahoo/etc.  I've been using it for about 8 months and have been pretty pleased.

This is the homepage.  First, you create an account.  You can download a special Swagbucks toolbar if you'd like, but I just added the homepage to my favorites toolbar so it's always just a click away. 

Then, whenever you want to search for something, go through Swagbucks and you might win some points.

Here is an example search that I did where I won 10 Swagbucks.  (Does anyone else put "blog" in front of most of their home-related searches?) 

You can then spend those Swag Bucks on various items.  You can use them to enter contests, buy merchandise, etc.  The only thing I've ever used my Swag Bucks on are $5 Amazon.com gift cards.  They cost 450 Swag Bucks.  Once you redeem your points for a gift card, at the end of the month they send you the code for the gift card - which you enter when you check out on Amazon. 

This is not a get-rich-quick deal.  In the 8 months that I've been doing this, I've gotten about 9 or 10 $5 gift cards.  But it's free money.  You get the points for doing something that you'd be doing anyway - searching the internet.  You can save them up to purchase something big, or (what I usually do) buy a used book from the Amazon Marketplace.  It's a nice feeling to get something for free, right?

The biggest issue with Swagbucks are the search results.  When I used "blog dining table redo" as my criteria - here's the first part of the results I was given.

If you can read it, the first 4 results listed are advertisers.  Not real results.  See how it says "Sponsored By" next to the web address? Then you get 2 real results followed by another advertiser.  Compare this to the same search done on Google.

None of the advertisers being pushed in your face.  But you get roughly the same results - only with advertisers thrown in.

There are a few cases where I give up on Swagbucks results and go through Google to find something.  But I usually start with Swagbucks.  You just have to be careful to use the real search results and not click on "Sponsored by" links.

Feel free to chime in with your own Swagbucks experiences if you have them - good or bad.

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