; Date: Mon Oct 04 2021
Tags: Make Money Online
On a list of great side hustles I found SerpClix one of the intriguing choices. It sounded easy, you'll be given search phrases to plug into Google, which links to click on, and you'll earn a few cents per click. But....
A side hustle is supposed to be an effective way to earn enough money to make it worth your while. If you divide your earnings by the number of hours involved in the side hustle, you get an equivalent $$/hr income. If you earn $5 doing something, that's some money you didn't have before, but what if that takes 10 hours of your time? That's equivalent to $0.50 per hour, which is not worth it.
There are a range of possible employments we could pursue. We could take employment for pleasure, for fulfillment, or any of a number of other reasons, but most of us also need the income. Since we're in the position of trading our time for money, it's best to seek the employment that offers the best pay rate while satisfying any other desires you have.
With that in mind, let's take a look at SerpClix. As we'll shortly see, it is probably not worth our while, but let's give it a shot.
What is SerpClix?
SerpClix makes this promise to their customers: "Grow Your SEO Rankings Using Crowdsourced Click Traffic". Their customers pay SerpClix to in turn hire humans to click on their search engine listings, and in turn land on their website.
In other words, SerpClix "crowdsources" (their word) real live human people, who will search in Google for certain keywords, then click on specific links in Google search results.
You might wonder, why would someone pay money for such a service? The purpose is to hopefully improve the click-through rate (CTR) of the clients search engine results page (SERP) listings. The click through rate is the number of times users click on that search engine result versus the number of times it is displayed. That is, Google (and other search engines) use click-through rates as a signal for ranking websites. When Google lists a website in the search engine results, it wants to know if it's a good candidate or not.
Increasing the click-through rate should improve the search ranking of specific web pages. The higher the CTR, the higher the item will be listed. In theory.
CTR is one of the zillion and one data points Search engines like Google use to determine ranking of search results. It's known that higher search ranking leads to more traffic. Over the years this race to the top of the search heap has led some folks to develop all kinds of crazy schemes.
SerpClix claims their service is constructed to present to Google what looks like a human organically looking at and clicking on search results. Because of that, SerpClix claims it won't trigger any alarms with Google.
For SerpClix to deliver on this promise, it needs to hire (a.k.a. crowdsource) humans to be the non-robotic entities that perform the clicks. That's where the Side Hustle angle exists. Instead of hiring these people as regular employees, Clickers are hired on an ad-hoc basis as with many other gig worker employment opportunities.
Signing up as a SerpClix Clicker
I attended four years of college, pulling several all nighters along the way, just so I could have a career as a Clicker? That's really the name SerpClix has for the humans performing its service. Clicker. That's because SerpClix is hiring humans to click on search engine results, so as job titles go this is very descriptive. It's far more descriptive than when I had the title Software Architect.
To land this job, simply, head over to https://serpclix.com/ and read the pitch on the home page. It's important before signing up with a side hustle to understand what the gig is about, and whether you agree with it. Pretend for a moment you're a potential customer, and ask yourself whether this service sounds enticing.
As is usual for these services, you need to find the portal for potential workers. The link to that page where one signs up as a Clicker is waaaaaaay down at the bottom, in the Administrivia section. You'll find there a link, Become a Clicker, to, uh, become a clicker. Click on that link.
The signup process is pretty easy, just full in some particulars about yourself. You can be signed up within a few minutes.
Installing and using the SerpClix browser extension
Once you're signed in and authorized, you need to install the SerpClix browser extension. This is your portal to working as a SerpClix Clicker. To view the list of available tasks, click on the extension and start working.
Once the extension is installed, a new icon shows up in the toolbar. Click on that, and then login to SerpClix using the username and password you created.
Before logging into the extension, you should first login to the dashboard area of the SerpClix website. Here you'll find a full introduction to using SerpClix. What you'll learn is:
- After logging into the SerpClix extension, you'll see its icon, and next to the icon is a number showing how many Orders are available.
- Clicking on the icon you'll be taken to the list of orders
- An order is two things:
- A keyword phrase to enter into Google
- A URL to look for and click on in the search results
- Click on an order, and a new browser tab opens to Google.
- Enter the search phrase, and start scrolling through search results. The extension helpfully marks the desired search result in red
- Click on the search result... then wait on that page for 60 seconds
- After waiting a sufficient time, the browser tab closes, and you'll collect your reward
Using SerpClix is actually far easier than I just made it sound. You click into the extension, then the list of orders is shown. You click on any interesting order, hit COMMAND-V to paste the search phrase into the search box, and look for the desired result.
Clickers are paid upon successfully clicking on the correct search engine result, and following the prescribed waiting times. The time commitment is:
- Paging through search engine results (up to 10 pages) to find the desired result
- Clicking through to the page, and waiting for at least 1 1/2 minutes
That sounds simple enough.
What SerpClix does not describe up-front is the number of dud orders. Meaning, not every order results in a success of being able to click on a link. In the orders I took, there were 5 or more duds per successful click. Since you aren't paid for a dud order, that's wasted time.
What's the earnings potential of a SerpClix clicker?
I'm very disappointed with the result I got. I am completely turned off by the whole experience. Not only is the pay rate excruciatingly low, but it is morally questionable.
There are two possible sources of revenue, Clicks and Referrals. Clickers earn between $0.05 and $0.10 per click. It seems that the only way to make lots of money with SerpClix is through Referrals. To earn that $0.10 I had to go through 6+ orders.
The word "Pittance" comes to mind.
Each order is something like:
- Phrase: Hot Brown Potatoes
These are fictitious examples. It's a search phrase then a pattern match against the URL. Fortunately the SerpClix extension takes care of matching the URL, so you don't have to wear your eyes out hunting for the match. What that means is, your task is to page through search results looking for the one which is highlighted in red.
What happened to me was for several of the orders I handled, the desired item didn't show up in the search results at all. In one case the order called for a YouTube URL, and the search results included several which looked like a match, but which the SerpClix extension did not highlight.
Once you have clicked on a successful match, there are two enforced waiting periods in order to be paid. First, you're required to spend 1 minute on the destination page. After that the extension closes the browser tab, and you're back in the extension, waiting for another 30 seconds before you can do anything else.
Clicking like a human
For SerpClix to deliver the promised service, the action of Clickers must look like organic search traffic. First, the extension pops open a browser tab, just like we might do for a sudden need to search for something. We are instructed to enter in the search phrase ourselves, which we can do by pasting it in with COMMAND-V. We then browse through the search results, just as one might do, and then click on one, as one might do.
By one measure, SerpClix is delivering on the promise.
Do I recommend SerpClix?
First -- this service borders on black hat SEO. Meaning, it is a form of search engine manipulation. The whole idea is to create for Google a false impression of organic traffic to specific pages. I simply don't agree with this service. This is about gaming search engine results, and I don't like it.
The orders I handled were all for the name of a specific guy I've never heard of. He seems to be a movie director who's also a billionaire cryptocurrency investor. Another turn-off was earning a pittance so that some rich guy can amplify his presence on the Internet. Surely my life is more important than wasting it on such a trivial sort of work. Surely companies can invent more worthy tasks to hire humans to perform.
Is the service as authentically organic as I described above? Not really. The tasks given to Clickers are more artificial than they are organic.
SerpClix did do an impressive job of constructing its service to look like an organic search session. They're carefully skirting around any system Google might have to detect such a string of artificial actions.
The last issue is the earnings potential.
For each successful order the time commitment is about 3 minutes. This means a maximum of 20 orders per hour. At $0.10 per order, that's about $2 in earnings per hour. But, that's not counting the unsuccessful dud orders.
"Pittance" is the operative word.
Bottom line is that the work is karmically bad and the pay is ridiculously low.
On a range from 1 to 5 stars, I'd give it 0.