Swagbucks: Boon or Bane? (A first glance review)

It is lunchtime and I finally decided to try something different on my laptop. A friend has been posting for swagbucks.com where she has gotten some prizes (or maybe not, perhaps she is like the MLM people who tell you they are making tons of money to get you to sign up under them?).

As with most geeks, I love schwag (please note the spelling guys). Give me free branded MP3 players, disk drives, toys. Anything at all. I love it. I am not sure why they call it swag on swagbucks, but the idea is the same. Get something for nothing. Woohoo!!!

The idea is this. You join swagbucks and use their engine, powered by Google and ASK, to search the Internet. You can do it from their page, the toolbar or set it as your default search engine. It starts with a link like this:


If you follow the referral, both you and your buddy get bucks every time you search. Just get schwag (swag?) for what you already do. Does it live up to the hype?

Searching for Bucks

I installed the toolbar and completed my first search and got my first buck (had 3 in my account for signing up, so I am at 4). At this point in time, I only have 5411 more to earn. After a few more minutes, no more bucks, so I estimate about 10 years to get my XBox. What a deal?

Quality of Searches

Similar to Google and ASK, but there are often tons of sponsored links in the mix. In general, the sponsored links at least hit the correct words.


Sometimes the sponsored links are way off:


I assume the fact I live in Tennessee makes “Tennessee DMV Info” relevant in a search for ASP.NET MVC?

Speed of search and link clicking

The speed of getting back results is good. There is probably a slight lag over Google or Ask, but not noticeable. Clicking on non-sponsored links is also quite fast. Clicking on sponsored links, however, is often mind-numbingly slow.

My Feelings

I may keep the swagbar on my desktop and make a firm decision whether it is worth it. Personally, I am not sure I could use it for serious searches as the number of sponsored hits is way too high for my tastes. The inundation of sponsors makes the search less useful. This does not mean I won’t try, but if I have a bad hit, I am going to go directly to Google or Bing and avoid this toolbar. And, if I continue to get really bad hits, I am uninstalling this puppy.

If you want to help me earn the XBox in 9 years instead of 10, you can click here. If you feel I, and my adorable gift starved children (yeah, right) are unworthy, try this cancer mom. And if you are not interested after reading this review rating swagbucks less than stellar (and bad spellers to boot), that is okay too. 🙂

Peace and Grace,

Twitter: @gbworld

One Response to Swagbucks: Boon or Bane? (A first glance review)

  1. applessuck says:

    Pretty accurate review here. Bad site is BAD!

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