Pros: Flexible schedule, independence, work from home, decent pay, don't have to communicate verbally with anyone, learn something new
Cons: Not as secure as an employment job, somewhat steep learning/starting curve, somewhat monotonous
Doing Web Search Evaluation with Appen is a real job (that doesn't preclude the possible of someone posing as them, but I applied through their website and got legitimate work).
I worked as a Web Search Evaluator for ten months. The pay is good but that's the only compensation- it's an independent contractor position which is 1099-Misc, thus you're paying your own taxes, no health or other benefits, etc.
The way I did it was applying for it while already working at my main job- then I waited until I got the job and did it for a week or two before making the decision if it was something I thought I could continue and then I put in my notice at my main job. It's a risky move- in that you're required to maintain a quality standard and if you drop below that you can be removed and required to retest and potentially/eventually lose your contract for consistently poor performance. Also being independent contractor position they can terminate your contract for reasons pertaining to their end, so it's the sort of job where you'd want some money saved up prior or to know that you might end up looking for a job again if terminated. HOWEVER, one consolation is that there are other companies out there with similar positions- such as Lionbridge and Leapforce, so you could always try with them if things didn't work out.
Working from home is nice. You work four hours a day whenever you want, doesn't have to be all at once- it's up to you to get four hours of work in total throughout the day. The most annoying part about this job would be getting everything set up on your computer- – more... you use Internet Explorer and if you have add-ons that disrupt the loading of pages you have to figure out how to configure all that stuff so it runs smoothly. They provide instruction on that but it's still a learning curve and so know that patience is beneficial. Also, the learning curve of the job requires patience. You're rating web search results based on guidelines, thus what you're doing is applying an external standard and you might find it frustrating if you think a rating should've gone one way but didn't- if you're attentive and adaptable you should be able to pick up on rating things the way they're looking for and thus maintain a quality standard.
I never spoke with anyone- which I actually liked. Just follow their instructions, be able to teach yourself using their guidelines and practicing, and then do your job. The upfront paperwork and learning curve is the most difficult part just because you're investing in something without a guarantee- but if you can learn the job then once you know it it's smooth and easy and you just work your hours at your discretion.
Management for the project I was on were nice- communicating via e-mail.
The job can be a little monotonous but it's also interesting to get exposure to various web-content which is good if you have some interest in anything web-related. You do have to be aware that adult content could occur in results- this is pretty rare and in my project I was able to skip those if I chose, and it's usually obvious when the results will be adult theme.
Pay is once a month. – less