How to pass the Leapforce (Raterlabs), Appen (Inca) and Lionbridge exams? (Exam Guidelines 2019)

Featured

How to crack Leapforce exam? How to pass Yukon exam? How to pass Lionbridge exam? How to pass Inca exam?

Before you can start working on various tasks, you must pass the qualification exam. The qualification exam you will take covers two types of rating tasks which will make up 70% of all tasks in the project: Needs Met and Page Quality.

Once your candidature is approved for certification, you will get an exam email with detailed instructions. Within seven days you have to study 160 pages of the General Guideline which consists of rating rules and concepts which teaches you how to do the rating of search results and assessment of quality of web pages. You should follow these rules and not use your personal judgment. What they want is for you to represent a typical user in your country. Before you proceed with the exam you need to study the Guideline at least twice paying particular attention to practical task examples. Keep in mind that it’s 160 pages long. As I always advise, don’t wait till the last minute.

Note: At the stage of examination, Lionbridge provides candidates with very good exam preparation support. You will get access as an exam guest to the Lionbridge learning portal where you can listen to webinars and even try to do a few practical tasks before the exam!

Important update: Lionbridge is very selective in terms of recruiting new raters, up on revising exam results they will check  your activity on their exam preparation portal, with this in mind, I strongly recommend you go through all the webinars and tasks simulation on their exam preparation portal before proceeding with the exam itself. Make sure that you get a pass for Needs Met simulation tasks. You may do them several times until getting a pass.

There are three parts in the exam: you can proceed with the next part only if you pass the previous one. Once you complete any part of exam, within 3-10 minutes you will receive an email with information about results.

Google updates the way the exam is done from time to time. The main feature that has been changed recently is that you must rate pages from your smartphone (Send to Device tasks). If you do not have smartphone, they say you cannot apply for this job. This is due to the fact that the number of mobile users is constantly growing and the company wants to assess websites from the perspective of on-the-go mobile users.

Note:There is a recommended schedule that will give you plenty of time so that you’re not rushing to complete the exam at the last minute:

  • Day 1 – Study the Guidelines – Make sure to setup your smartphone so that you are ready to take the final portion of the exam.
  • Day 2 – Start the Theory part of the exam making sure you are taking time to CAREFULLY read each question. Some of them can be tricky and that’s meant to make sure you fully understand the concepts.
  • Day 3 – Go back and study the guidelines once again starting with the Page Quality section.
  • Day 3/4 You can start the second part of the exam which is the Page Quality section if you feel comfortable on day 3. You may want to study this entire day, and you’ve got plenty of time if you decide this to take the exam on day 4.
  • Day 5 – Read the Needs Met section of the guidelines again and make sure to take your time. You’ve still got two more days to finish. And as it has been mentioned before, have your guidelines open in case you need to refer back to them.
  • Days 5/6/7 – Get started on the last part of the exam ‘Needs Met Rating’

Part one Theory (Leapforce exam part one)

In this part of the exam you will be assessed on how well you understand the theoretical part of rating concepts, as well as on your ability to interpret questions and search for information in the General Guidelines. It is an open book exam, so you can use the General Guidelines to find answers to the test questions. This part has 32 question sections; each section has 4 parts, so in fact you have 132 true/false questions to answer. Read questions carefully, some of questions can be tricky in terms of their wording. You can consult with the guideline book while passing the exam and it’s strongly recommended to use this opportunity.

Note: Do not leave incomplete tasks more than for 1 hour, otherwise they will expire and you will fail the exam automatically. If you need to take a break,complete tasks and press “Submit and Stop rating”.

In most cases an hour would be enough to complete the theoretical part of Leapforce exam. The following message will be shown to you once you have submitted the last page of questions:

No tasks are currently available. Please try again later. 

Within 10 minutes a result notification will come to your gmail, and in the case you are successful with part 1, the next part will be available in 10 minutes.

Part two Page Quality (Leapforce exam part two)

In this part of the exam you will be asked to assess 7 web pages for their quality. My advice for this part is to check all quality aspects, and fill in the online form very carefully so you can give a correct overall quality score (from lowest to highest) to a page. You should expect 2-3 low quality web pages, 2 high quality web pages and 2-3 medium quality web pages. Keep this in mind. In order to give correct ratings, examine web pages for ETA (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness) criteria very carefully.

Also, keep in mind that in this part of exam you need to give a PQ rating mainly to a web page and not to a website, although some quality aspects of a website have to be taken into consideration when assigning overall PQ rating, in particular in case of YMYL (Your Money Or Your Life) content which Google takes very serious.

Do not forget to write useful comments where required, otherwise the system may show an error.

You don’t need to finish this part at once. If you want, you can take a rest. The tasks are still available when you sign in. Again,  if you pass this part, the company will send you an e-mail saying that you can proceed with part 3.

Note: The url/web page may not open on your PC, in this case do not mark these as “Did Not Load”. During the exam you should not expect to give a website this flag. If you do so, your answer will be incorrect. To solve this issue try to open link using incognito mode on your browser or/and give rating using other sources of information (website reputation, etc).

Снимок экрана 2016-01-10 в 17.25.24

Page Quality Task

Part three Send to device (Leapforce exam part three)

This is probably the most difficult part of the exam, and many candidates fail the exam at this stage. There are 7 tasks, and each task contains 8-12 result blocks. In each task you will be given a certain query, and a list of search results blocks with links where you have to give a usefulness rating to search results using a scale from “Fails to Meet” to “Fully Meets”. Lionbridge  and Leapforce exam passing score: in order to pass this part you have to get an overall score of at least 80%.

Note: while doing Leapforce and Lionbridge exam part 3, keep in mind that all links have to be opened on your phone because Google analyses web pages from the point of view of mobile users. If you do not have a smartphone, you may use any android emulator for this purpose, in some cases it is even more convenient than using a smartphone for opening links.In order to open the link on your mobile phone, click the  link on the result block on your desktop and then go to www.raterhub.com/url  on your mobile browser  (Google Chrome) to visit the link. You must be logged in your gmail account in order to have access to raterhub platform on your phone. The same rule works if you use android emulator.

Note: Some candidates when accessing the link (www.raterhub.com/url ), got informed that Gmail account was unauthorized to visit the link. Most likely reason for this error is the fact of being logged on multiple Gmail accounts on a device. The solution for this problem is to go to Android setting -> Users & accounts -> add project associated Gmail account, then restart your device. This setting should fix the issue. 

When you are evaluating landing pages in the exam, don’t place too much importance on the Page Quality slider. The focus needs to be on Needs Met Ratings. Do not worry about using flags in the exam such as the ‘Hard to Use’ flags.

One of the most important things is to absolutely know when to use Fully Meets. Fully Meets ratings are very rare compared to Highly Meets ratings. Avoid being too generous on landing pages. If you have any doubts at all, you should not be rating a page ‘Fully Meets’.

Additionally I would like to give general tips on how to proceed with Leapforce (Lionbridge) exam part 3:

1. Make sure that you fully understand the query and user intent. If you do not fully understand user intent, make additional research on the Internet.

2. Determine what type of query (user intent) is:

o Single entity (business) query with local or non local or both intent/to visit in person/navigate to a website

o Business chain query or query which is looking for business within one category (e.g. car repair service near me)

o Simple know query (where the user requests a specific piece of information, do not assign the Fully Meets rating to any particular result, the correct answer must be present in an SCRB).Examples of simple know queries:paris weather, delta airlines customer service number, current time in Amsterdam)

o Information query seeking a long answer/piece of information (what cases stress)

Types of SCRBs (Special Content Result Blocks): ny weather (simple know query), how old is universe (simple know query), does god exist (long answer seeking), berlin airport (single entity), burger king amsterdam (chain), coffee shops amsterdam (categorical).

o URL/website query

3. Consider the following aspects while giving ratings to result blocks: user location, for local intent queries far away results are useless or slightly relevant. This aspect is very important for the following types of queries: tire shops near me, where to eat near me, Walmart near me, etc. When you get a task with this type of query do use in built map for researching user location/view port and results.

4. Make sure you give correct ratings to special content result blocks for single entity and business category queries. In case of business chain/category query, the result block with a list of businesses is always better than just result for a single business within one category.

5. Consider expertise and trustworthiness of search results for financial, legal, and health related queries; low expertise and trustworthiness automatically reduce needs met rating of the results.

6. Think of dominant, possible common, and minor interpretations for the query and take this aspect into account while giving ratings to a result block. Minor interpretation results should get a low usefulness (Needs Met) rating.

7. Take into account how well the web page/website is optimized for mobile users.

8. Once you have analyzed and considered all listed above aspects, you should give a rating to result blocks one by one.

Note: In some cases there might be some results (links) which are not accessible from outside U.S. (usually websites of well known retailers such as Target, Walmart, etc. They ban access from foreign IPs to prevent hacker attacks). Raterlabs or Lionbridge do not take into account this factor and therefore rating such results as fails to met may lead to overall fail.

To make sure you do not miss anything before proceeding with part 3, follow pre-exam instructions to pass this part. There will be a link to a video. Watch it and follow the instructions.

Снимок

Examination Need Met Task

Note: In part 3 of the exam (Needs Met), most of results blocks have Needs Met and E-A-T (previously PQ) sliders. Main focus should be on providing correct Needs Met rating, which in some cases might be affected by E-T-A (PQ) rating when it comes to YMYL queries and results. Leapforce/Google re-named PQ to E-T-A in part 3 to make it clear that the most important aspects in PQ are expertise, trustworthiness and authority. In general it is similar to PQ concept. While giving E-T-A rating you should evaluate MC under these 3 criteria. In most cases you may do it fast at a first glance approach, but be sure to provide good evaluation for E-T-A when you have YMYL query.

Note: If the user location map does not show user location correctly, and you have a blank page, hit the black arrow button. The task will be closed, but you will see “Incomplete tasks” on the evaluation platform. Click continue and come back to your task with the updated user location field. Remember that it is very important to take into account the user location while giving ratings to block results. Also keep in mind that there is no need to finish the task in one sitting. You can take a break if you need to.

Once you complete 7 tasks you will get this message:

No tasks are currently available. Please try again later.

NEW!!! Welcome to Search Engine Evaluation Exam Simulation Tool!

What is exam simulation tool? 

I have created a special tool that will help anyone who is getting ready or considering taking the exam. This tool was designed to assist candidates with exam preparation with the main focus on practical rating tasks that include Page Quality, and Search Results Satisfaction ratings. The tool has 5 Page Quality tasks, and 5 Search Results Satisfaction (Needs Met) tasks of all the major query types. (If you’re not sure what a query type is, that is the keyword that a user searches Google for). These include; simple-know, local search, information search, website/navigation, visit-in-person/business which cover basically all rating concepts/tasks types and skills which will be tested during a real exam.

How using this tool can help you pass the exam?

You might be wondering how using this tool can help you pass the exam. The way that it is designed will show you exactly your problem area that you need to focus on. It helps you identify your level of understanding of the rating concepts, and your ability to apply them by practicing first, and then identifying your weak points. You will receive your overall score (pass or fail), detailed feedback on your mistakes and know exactly what you need to go back and study in the guide. Of course we need to disclaim that there are no real actual exam tasks because that isn’t going to help you understand anyway. Each one of these is hand designed from most typical exam tasks, and is designed to be the best simulation possible. If you pass this, you will be ready to pass the actual exam!

Explore the tool here: examsimulation.passleapforceexam.com

Leapforce exam results and Lionbridge exam results

You will get overall exam results on the exam due date from Leapforce and exam due date plus one day  if your vendor is Lionbridge. At Leapforce you will be  asked to sign a few electronic forms and in 2-4 days you will be given access to live tasks. At Lionbridge you will have to complete educational course with no pass/no fail quiz before you are granted full access to the tasks.

US Raterlabs and Lionbridge raters

Once you pass the exam you will then go through the employment process which might take up to 3 weeks. You will be asked to complete an online version of the IRS Form 8850 (Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit), and a tax credit questionnaire from a vendor payroll provider. After you have completed these two forms, you will be presented with a formal employment offer letter. After acknowledging your offer, you will still need to complete the required activities in a timely manner. Try not to postpone the completion of these important steps: Providing bank details for ACH payments on Paycom website. Providing your I9 Employee Section 1 and I9 Employment Eligibility Documents (section 2) must be completed by specified deadline. It is very important that candidates complete all required steps as soon as possible to avoid termination of your employment.

Leapforce/Appen/Raterlabs candidate? If you get a job at one of these places, you’re going to need Payoneer account because that is the only payment option available for these companies. Simply sign up for Payoneer under my referral link and you’ll get the simulation tool subscription fee back as Payoneer subscription 25$ bonus once your account is loaded with 1000$! Normally it takes 1-2 months to make 1000$ for EU/USA/Canada raters and 3-4 months for raters from another countries.

The following posts are recommended for reading:

Payoneer As a Payment Method for Appen, Raterlabs, Leapforce, Lionbridge and Utest

You Failed the Leapforce (Raterlabs) or Lionbridge Exam – Now What?

Common issues of new raters (Yukon Raterlabs/Leapforce and Lionbridge Google Rating Projects)

What Should You Do If You Fail Leapforce or Lionbridge Exam Twice and How to Re-Apply?

Advertisements

How Google Tracks Your Personal Information?

How Google Tracks Your Personal Information?

google-zna-700x1047If you’ve ever wondered how it is that Google is able to give searchers the results they were looking for, it all began back in the early 2000’s when people allowed Google to have their data in exchange for Google products and the possibility of seeing more relevant ads. The whole idea is to provide marketers with data that can be exploited. And by the way, if you were ever curious about whether applications can listen to your conversations or see things through your camera, there really wouldn’t be any need because the data that Google gets would tell so much more about you and your habits. It’s really not that hard. With that said, there really isn’t any reason for some company to hijack your camera or microphone.

This is due in part to your search habits; I.E. the things you do with your Google accounts, whether that be Google Play or Google Email, and this also includes searching using the Google search engine for whatever it is your after. And Google gets a LOT of searches. There are about 40,000 search queries on Googles search engine every second. That comes out to around 3.5 billion searches per day, which equals around 1.2 trillion searches per year.

Every time you search for something using their search engine, your query travels to a data center where an army of up to 1000 computers work together to retrieve the best results based on your query and deliver them back to you. It takes just one-fifth of a second to get those results back to you, but you probably already understood this knowing that it doesn’t take too long to get back search engine results.

Google has several methods for you to see what data it collects :

You might be able to figure out what you were doing 3 years ago on this exact date, including what video you watched on Youtube and what searches you did.

However, what most searchers don’t realize is that there is even a faster and more mysterious process that is happening.

User Profile & Google Ad Systems

As many of you know, when you search something you are entering in keywords, and those keywords are fought over by advertisers, because they are likely offering a product or service that are related to your keywords and they want their ad to be seen and clicked on by you. These are generally the first four search results at the top before having to scroll down. You might recall that before this, Google had some ad boxes on the right of their screen. Those were done away with and instead now you simply see top links which are paid ads. Actually, if you didn’t know this, then you’re not alone, and unless you did, you wouldn’t know those top search results from paid to organic except there being a little tiny box under the link that says ad. Now you can probably see why Google got rid of the ad boxes on the right hand side that people generally wouldn’t click on. Once you click on one of these ads, your information is passed right to search engine marketers where its stored forever in an AdWords account which is never erased.

What is a user profile ?

And if your curiosity goes even further than what you’ve already read, there is a huge checklist of everything that Google knows about you. In fact, it would be much simpler to tell you what Googles DOESN’T know about you than what they do. The thing is that, there really isn’t much to add to this list since everything you do online builds what is called a ‘citizen profile’ on every person who uses Google search or any Google products. Everything from your age, income, gender, sexual orientation, parental status, relationship status, your location, the device you are using, your long and short term browsing status, the products you buy, and even the contents of your email and how close you are to a cell tower is known. Talk about Big Brother.

But things are probably about to get even more interesting. In 2019 there will be what some people have called the Holy Grail of search engine marketing: multi-device attribution. When this technology is realized, as will follow searchers seamlessly across all channels and all devices meaning; social, organic, email, and from mobile to laptop, and laptop to television, etc.

Imagine watching a football game, and an ad comes on for Nike shoes. Your television will emit a super high frequency undetectable by human ears, but can be picked up by a nearby smartphone. So, picking up your smartphone, you suddenly see an ad for Nike shoes the first place with ads you visit.

The thing is that internet marketers know so much about you, and if you’re a daily commuter, they show you ads that people on buses and trains would be interested in buying like some cool new headphones or a nice backpack to carry your stuff in. By the way, if you were curious how marketers could possibly know if you are a daily commuter or not, keep in mind that the smartphone you carry pings passing cell towers. If you are passing the towers uninterrupted at a fast speed, then you are most likely on a train. Stopping once in a while and then moving? Bus or a car. But that’s not all, search for some product on your phone and then physically walk into some department store and chances are good that Google used your phones GPS data to connect your ad click to your in-store purchase. And if you have ever searched for anything non-product related, such as some health problem such as high blood pressure, be ready to see ads based on fixing this problem across all your devices. Google is getting smarter all the time.

Today, 3 out of 4 smartphone owners use Google first above anything else to find what they are looking for or buy some product. You are then presented with a whole bunch of ads or results. These ads speak to what you seek, play on the emotions that are unlike you, and fit your age, income, gender, location, and browsing history, not to mention all the other things that were previously mentioned.

But something changed a while back that helped Google get the most relevant search engine results to you. Google might actually sound like the bad guys, the ones who are snooping in everyone’s business to find out what you like and what new toy or service you are looking to buy.

How Raters Improve the Google Algorithm?

Google is simply a business trying to provide the best service they possibly can. It’s their business model: Provide the best and most relevant results to anything you might be looking for or whatever may solve a certain problem you are having. Their idea is you involve as many people as possible by providing an excellent search experience and related online services as well, such as YouTube and other internet giants.

And unknown to a lot of people, this whole gathering and fine-tuning of information isn’t completely automated….

This is where the Google search engine rater comes in. Google hires company’s like Lionbridge, Leapforce, Appen, etc. to help them sort through all the search results and give feedback on the websites that meet or match the needs of a search engine query. Sometimes we don’t always find what we are looking for in the first search. But search engine raters sift through the stuff that isn’t so good, and give good marks to the websites that are actually providing the stuff you need. In fact, most rating projects focus on content improvement of these two business streams of Google which are the Search Engine evaluation projects to improve search system, and the ads rating projects to improve ads targeting. Search engine raters are the ones who actually improve the results. Sure you can game the system as an internet marketer and use a bunch of black-hat techniques to improve your chances of being at the top of search results, but when a search engine rater gets a website up for review, that website better fit the Google guidelines.

Google is constantly evolving and will continue to do so. They are always changing their algorithms, and doing their best to weed out the bad from the good. However, the search engine rater’s job is very important in giving Google the feedback it needs. There are two major Google rating projects: Yukon/Internet Assessor/Inca which forcus on Search Engine Improvement and Ads Rating/Arrow/Aztec which forcus on improving Google ads system.

Arrow Leapforce(Appen Aztec) and Lionbridge Ads Rating Projects Review

It would be very interesting to see Google stop using these virtual assistants one day, but the chances of it happening are fairly slim. Search engine raters have done a fantastic job of helping fine-tune the search engine giant over the years, and look to continue doing so.

The Evolution Of Human Data Collection Companies In The Last 5 Years

How do Social Media and Search Engines use human raters in improving its services?

uTest Software Testing Platform – How to Become a Successful Tester and Make Decent Money Online?

Getting started

utestRegistering and applying for the first jobs is explained quite good in UTEST SOFTWARE TESTING AND FEEDBACK PLATFORM

If you would like to obtain a job as a tester, you are probably wondering what sorts of skills does it take to become one. I would definitely recommend starting with some basic tutorial on “how to test”, you can find those on official uTest Youtube channel, and there are couple of good books for beginners: “Software Testing” by Ron Patton; “Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams” by Lisa Crispin and many others. But to become a good tester these kind of skills you need to have for starters:

– Great English skills (written);
– Analytical Thinking;
– Attention to Detail;
– Thinking Outside the Box;
– Persistence.

Tasks availability

There are no restrictions on amount of work, but it really depends on the platform and your rating as a tester. There are projects that I get invited daily. The project really depends on the hardware you have. Mostly there it’s a web or app based projects. For instance – some hotel website, or booking service. There is so much to test, starting with a web forms, ending with validation of every input field. They are easy for beginners to start finding bugs right away. I worked from US, and got what the platform offered me for the region, but I do know that project can be different depending on country you are working from.

Types of tasks

Usually is’s a whole functionality testing of some elements of the site. For instance: the customer wants a tester to be precise in Log-in page. So the tester focuses on those bugs which occur only on a login page, not considering the other parts of the website. Sometimes there are localization task. Let say you know Chinese, and customer requires the testers to check the spelling and grammatical errors of specific language.Most of the tasks are ad-hoc (exploratory testing) for functional issues. (App crashes, buttons not working, etc).

How to become a successful rater and make decent money

But there is no deep inside mentioning of a rating system and how it works. Let me explain why is it so important on uTest. This will be a more “in depth” article on earning on uTest. There is this system where it takes your results (amount of submitted bugs) and amount of rejected bugs and counts the successful percentage rate.

Based on this rate there are classifications of testers: Rated; Proven; Bronze; Silver; Gold

And there are different Testing Types, for each of which there is a rating: Functional; Usability; Load; Security; Localization; Automation

But don’t worry, most of the tests are functional and Usability, and polishing skills on these Testing Types can set you with a good additional income for each month.Getting more in those ratings, as I mentioned earlier it is the key filter for uTest to invite you to the project. To become a Gold rated testers it takes quite some time and dedication. Not to mention the quality of your bug reports should be on very high level.

Once you get a couple of rejections it is really hard to achieve the Gold rating. The highest rating gets you not only the more amount of offers, but you also get more paid, and those rare and exclusive projects available only for best testers out there.

Apart from this rating there is also a very cool and interesting opportunity on becoming a “Favorite tester”. Once you have basic rating of Silver or Gold you might end up becoming the one.

Let me explain simply how it works. There is certain person which manages a test cycle a TTL or Testing Team Lead. This person is responsible for other testers to follow the rules and code of conduct of Utest platform, and the project in particular. Sometimes there are even NDA’s which are needed to be signed. TTL is responsible for all this and more.

Let’s assume you have submitted 10 bugs in 1 test cycle, and all of those issues are either very valuable or exceptionally valuable bugs for the customer, Testing Team Lead can easily forward your account to the customer, so that they can give you a “Favorite Tester” status.

What does it mean? Well, you get to be automatically invited to each testing cycle this customer has and many more. Some customers always slot a test case for a favorite tester, which leads to more earnings.

I’ll go into more detail with the favorite tester part and test cases. Why is its important?

How much really you can make of uTest?

Once you become a favorite tester, usually it’s a big project with a big company, and the pay is really good. Some test cases can be up to 50$ per/case.

Once you start doing those cases, simultaneously it is easy and very practical to look for the bugs, (the inconsistencies between an actual and expected results). It really pops in the eye, once you get going through a test case.In that moment when you have found an issue and reported it to the system, apart from getting those 50$ for the test case itself, you can earn a lot more for reporting bugs additionally.

Talking about rates paid for bugs filled… Well, it absolutely depends on the person, the amount of details he/she is giving, the amount of devices the person holds, and the overall work ethics a freelancer sticks up to.

Bugs may vary from 3$ for “Somewhat valuable” to 30-40$ (per bug) for “Exceptionally valuable” issue, depending on the customer.

For sure you are willing to know the real numbers, and the sacramental question needs to be answered.  “How much really you can make of Utest”? I will repeat myself stating that everything depends from the person. But, you can crank out a fair 1000-1500$ per/month of income depending on your dedication.

Payment

Everything is done via PayPal and Payoneer. Sometimes the bugs are not approved by customer for as long as 35 days. After that period, they are approved automatically by the system.

Use this link for applying for signing up to Payoneer and we will both benefit by earning 25$, once your account is loaded with payments.

%d1%81%d0%bd%d0%b8%d0%bc%d0%be%d0%ba-%d1%8d%d0%ba%d1%80%d0%b0%d0%bd%d0%b0-2016-12-04-%d0%b2-19-31-58

 

 

 

 

Productivity 

There are many factors on becoming successful on this platform. Speed is one of them.

Sometimes it’s critical to start testing immediately, as other (hungry) testers will beat you to that critical issues, while you’re yawning.

The same rule is applied for the test cases.

Test Cases are usually limited, and not everyone can claim them, so it’s lethal to be fast.

To make the numbers I mentioned earlier, it really takes time to pump your account to a certain rating level. Usually it will take around month or two to get going, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day either.Once you become an experienced tester and acquainted with a platform like a “Pro”, you actually might get invited easily on becoming a Testing Team Lead.

Who are Testing Team Leads?

The roles of this person are really dependent of the customer you are working for.

My roles were:

Writing test cases;

Participating in meetings with other TTL’s, Project Managers and Software Delivery Managers;

Create and control a test cycle;

Check and forward bugs for the customer (yes, TTL has the power to approve or decline bugs);

The income story is completely different, as the TTL starts working on per hour rate, and once again it really depends from the customer on the rate. (It is near to a very entry level junior position in software testing working for an onsite company in the States).

The benefit of becoming TTL on one project is that very rapidly you become noticed by others, and easily can get invited to manage some other cycle.In addition, TTL’s are still allowed to do the functional testing as other participants, though some customers forbid this.

In conclusion, now that I completely moved to an onsite job I can say with a share amount of confidence – Utest is a great place to start. It takes that will power, but sure does pay off. Good luck fellow freelancers!

How to Work while Traveling Abroad and Do Not Violate Vendors’ Conditions? 

 v-20_c-1_b-4_g-m_9-1_1-3_16-1_3-6_8-1_7-1_5-1_12-3_6-35_10-1_2-18_22-1_15-4_4-1Public networks and foreign IP addresses

When you are working as a rater, you understand that you have to use your computer, and that the IP address, which is the numerical address that your internet service provider gives you, must belong to project locale, it means that you cannot work from abroad. Companies like Leapforce, Appen and Lionbridge do record your IP address. The main reason they do this is for security. The job is considered ‘work at home’ and that is where they want you to be when you are connected to their system and doing ratings. Let’s say that one day you decided to leave home with your laptop and go to a McDonalds or coffee shop with Wi-Fi and connect to dashboard for any one of those companies. Their servers can detect when your IP address has changed and that your IP belongs to a public network and will flag your account and you could lose access. We don’t need to go over how insecure Wi-Fi really is, especially in a public place. This puts their information and servers at risk and this is why they want you at home on a secured connection. If you’re on your laptop at home, you’re still behind your IP address, so they aren’t going to detect this. They will however detect when you go to a friend’s house, or library, etc.  

So you see, this really is a work at home job that doesn’t give you any flexibility at all. And it’s very important that you maintain the integrity of their security systems or you could very well find yourself suddenly terminated. It’s easy enough to lose a rating job for no good reason, and so it’s a good idea to not break the rules when it comes to their security.  

There is, however, a way that you can work remotely and securely from anywhere. You might be asking how that’s possible with everything we just talked about. But there is a way that you can control your computer remotely.  

Working from abroad via TeamViewer

Many of you are probably aware of the software TeamViewer which allows you to connect to any computer remotely, and then take control overt that computer as you normally would if you were sitting in front of it. TeamViewer is not something that is hard to setup and get going. There are just a couple of steps you want to take to make sure its setup correctly. Simply download the installation file from TeamViewer and install it. You are going to want to select the option: Installation to access this computer remotely. You’re just going to set it up for Personal/Non-commercial use. Don’t select the Company/Commercial use unless you want to pay for it and have extra features which you do not need for this setup, nor do you need for your job as a rater. In fact, you also want to install TeamViewer the same way on the laptop computer that you will use remotely. You need to make sure you are setting up unattended access for the desktop computer that you normally use to work. The installation is pretty straight forward and you just need to set a name and password to access the desktop or main computer you will work from. You probably want to access the device quickly and that is as simple as adding the computer to your list of computers and contacts.  

Once you have TeamViewer setup on both computers, it’s the perfect time to test everything and make sure that it’s all working. You don’t want to get remote and then find out it’s not working for some reason or another. There are many things to consider when checking everything out. If you have some problem with connecting, then the first place to check is your anti-virus. Make sure that if the anti-virus you use has the option to allow the TeamViewer program through its firewall.  

What about the smartphone thing?

At this point many of you are probably wondering about the smartphone thing. Some tasks are done using your smartphone at home, and some on your main work computer. But there is also a solution for this, and you can run an Android emulator right from your desktop.  

Lately there has been a need for Android emulators for PC’s, and mostly the need has come on from gamers. However, there are many good Android emulators out there for the PC and the Mac. For your smartphone tasks you just need something that is going to do the job, and most of these will work fine.  

The mainstream emulator is Bluestacks and has been around for quite some time and it looks as though it probably has the most active development team. The newest version is Bluestacks 4 and seems to work pretty good for many applications and will likely work for what you need.  

MeMu is another decent emulator that has a lot of good functions and works well with just about everything. Additionally, it supports Android Jelly Bean, Kit Kat, and Lollipop. That’s important working with some applications that Appen uses because their requirements are a smartphone running Lollipop. The nice thing about MeMu is you can run several instances of the program at once in case you are working on two different projects which can come in handy.  

In our experience, Nox is also another Android Emulator that works well and has good features. The nice thing is that this emulator is really forgiving on system resources which for slower computers might be an advantage. There are other Android emulators and there are plenty out there for Mac that run well. Nox is free and works just as good on a Mac as it does on a PC.  

Of course, you want to make sure to test out your system and make sure that everything is working. There is only one drawback to this system and that is when you want to work remotely, you need to leave your main computer on. You do not need the monitor on, and it can go to sleep. But this also brings up another problem, and if someone uses your computer, or turns it off, then that could be a problem. So if you live with your family, then you might want to make sure they understand your computer is off-limits. 

If you have any questions or suggestions on this topic, feel free to leave a comment bellow.

Lionbridge Ads Rating Project Massive Timesheet Disapproval: on Purpose or Unprofessional Approach? 

Ads Rating Project massive timesheet disapproval: on purpose or unprofessional approach? 

It appears that lately there are a lot of problems with the Lionbridge payment systems and it’s not actually a new thing. According to comments of my readers and discussions on https://www.reddit.com/r/WorkOnline/comments/9b0n2n/lionbridge_scammers/ , it the problem started to happen in May-June 2018. It just seems that now it’s becoming worse and there are more and more raters complaining that the time sheets that are being submitted are being returned. Lionbridge is asking people to carve a lot of hours from their time sheets and it’s obvious that there is a big problem somewhere, but the company isn’t acknowledging that there is an issue, or perhaps they are just doing this to save themselves a lot of money and get away with it. And the raters who are affected by this Lionbridge payment problem aren’t being asked to take an hour or two off, in fact, in some cases, people have been asked to cut 30-40 hours from their time sheets, some of them are asked to remove all hours from July timesheet. This is huge and it’s a lot of money for someone. In fact, it appears that it’s happening to a lot of people as one rater who has been working for the company says that he has 6 friends who all got the same notifications. In one case, one of our readers PrestigiousExplorer says that after working one year for Lionbridge the same thing has now happened to him and the company wants him to deduct 68 hours!  

The problem on their ends appears to be that the hours that are being submitted don’t match their data. What it means is that the amount of tasks completed isn’t matching up with what your submitted amount is. But here’s the thing; if suddenly the Lionbridge payment department starts seeing a lot of discrepancies in time sheets and the data that they have, shouldn’t they realize that there is a problem somewhere? Now suddenly here you have a bunch of people being asked to shave a lot of hours off their time sheets, and even people who have been working for the company for a long time and then suddenly are having issues. It seems that Lionbridge doesn’t care about any of this and are sticking to their guns and won’t budge on time sheets.  

The big question is does no one at Lionbridge see this as a problem? Or is there something else going on?  

As you may know raterhub automatically records the time and the number of tasks completed by each rater on the platform. It is very unlikely that the problem takes place there, however many long-term raters remember that raterhub used to have built-in task counter which was very helpful in terms of recording completed tasks, but for some reason this useful tool was removed from the raterhub functionality.

More than likely this is some kind of problem some database issue, it looks like the Lionbridge system is just an Excel spreadsheet which corresponds with data from raterhub (time recorded/the number of tasks completed) with their internal timesheet database and the problem is likely there. Many raters worked lots of hours in July and got an email with 0 hours/0 tasks recorded by the system. Lionbridge seems to be very unprofessional in the handling of this problem. It undermines the project and the company’s reputation.  

But the fact that no one has caught the problem or made any statement about it since it started happening in July leads one to believe in some kind of conspiracy here. Some people are calling Lionbridge scammers because of what is going on. If you’re suddenly asking a lot of raters to cut hours off their paychecks, there’s an obvious problem somewhere.

It does appear the company had the same kind of problem in May in which they sent out incorrect data. It’s quite possible that this is the same issue, but instead of trying to figure out what is going on, it looks like the raters are getting the short end of the deal.

A company can’t just suddenly take away your pay when you put in the hours and did the required tasks to the best of your ability and as per your contract. There are some laws that protect freelancers and independent contractors, and if you are doing the work, then you should be paid. But for freelancers and independent contractors, your options are limited depending on what country you live in.  

Real timesheet correction required due to low productivity vs. Lionbridge error 

In some case raters might be asked to correct heir timesheet due to low productivity and it is OK, keep in mind that your average productivity per a week should be 2 minutes/per tasks.  

In this project, most of the tasks do not have any recommended time limits. Raters have to manage their own productivity and their own time. The customer does not indicate average estimated time because the priority is quality in rating the tasks rather than productivity, or how many tasks you rate. Raters have to keep in mind that the productivity and time invoiced should be within reasonable metrics. It is OK to spend more time in the beginning and increase your productivity when becoming a more experienced rater. 

Appen and Lionbridge have productivity metrics called RPH. It is assumed these metrics are based on the average raters’ performance in the project which is calculated as the ratio between the number of tasks and the time spent within an invoice period completed by all raters. In my view this metric is not useful, because in many cases raters get different types of tasks which require a different amount of time to complete, therefore the RPH matric is not accurate at all. This can lead to a situation where if your productivity doesn’t fall within their RGP metrics, your invoice will be returned for correction and they will ask you to align your RHP to average even though you spent a reasonable amount of time for completing more time-consuming tasks. The customer understands this issue. That is why they do not indicate the average estimated time. But it would seem that Appen and Lionbridge have again invented their own metrics to pay less to its raters. 

What raters can do in this situation?  

  1. To calculate the number of tasks completed weekly and entered into time sheet vs. Lionbridge records, if you have a huge discrepancy (like most of raters have) this is a clear indication of wrong data sent by Lionbridge. 
  2. Send an email to Lionbridge explaining the discrepancies.  
  3. Additionally I recommend sending an email directly to the Ads rating project admin (Google Ads Eval: ads_eval@google.com) to make them aware that this is some kind of issue that really needs to be resolved. 
  4. Do not correct time if you clearly identified discrepancies until lionbridge responds to your email and provides you with correct data 

 Perhaps if the right people receive a large response on the issue, someone will take a look and fix the problem. But as of right now things aren’t looking too good. For those of you who have lost wages, hang in there and hopefully, someone will get this straightened out.  

If you have questions or comments then leave them below.  

Bing Search Engine Rating Projects vs Google

Bing Search Engine Rating Projects vs Google

экрана 2018-08-25 в 14.23.09When getting into jobs as a search engine evaluator, you will find that one company will produce ratings for one search engine, such as Google, while another company will offer jobs as a rater in Bing which is Microsoft’s Search Engine. Like Google, Microsoft also needs research and pages rated just like Google.

As far as the job is concerned, it is basically the same job except you are rating results in different search engines that turn up different results. The pay generally varies depending what company you work for with some reporting earnings in the $12 to $15 dollar per hour range.

Some of these jobs are changing and they are being called different things such as ‘internet analyst’ which puts a twist on the tasks you are given. Previously when working as a search engine rater, you were given results that were based on generic search results. However, as time went by, Google started asking raters for permission to use their personal data. Basically, if you were surfing for stereo’s or smartphones, and you started doing this job, you’d get back results based on your surfing habits as linked to your Gmail address that you use.

The job that Raterlabs offers is a Google Search Engine and Google Playstore project where the raters are now called ‘Internet Analyst’ where the tasks you get are based solely on your personal Google use. It’s a part-time position that currently looks to be for the USA region only, but this does change from time to time. The requirements and skills to get this job are nothing that most people don’t already have if they are good at searching or surfing the internet. With this job they want raters to possess a computer with high speed internet, and also an Android phone with version 4.1 or higher, or an iPhone version 4 or higher. The job most likely involves doing ratings on both the computer and the smartphone. Sometimes tasks are available on only one device or the other. So it’s good to have them both because you will likely get smartphone tasks. It is also noted that in the description that they want raters who use Google Play often. There is a possibility that tasks involving Google Play will be available. This job’s testing and qualification is no different from the previous exams for search engine related jobs. There are three parts to the exam leading us to believe it’s the same exact material for the regular rater. The job is basically the same after all, the only difference is now its personalized to you. It is not known what the pay is for this job as that information is confidential and you sign a non-disclosure agreement about not discussing your pay. But it’s likely in the $12 dollar per hour range if its Raterlabs.

Appen Global also offers this type of position even though they also own Leapforce and likely are using them as a source of experience and also taking advantage of the workers who were already employed by Leapforce along with their experience. Appen calls their position Web Search Evaluator which likely has the same test. It is unknown if Appen supplies raters for both Google and Bing but it’s possible that they do both. All the requirements and testing are the same for Appen since they are providing raters for Googles Search Engine. But it is rumored that the pay for this position is much lower than you would get if you worked at Lionbridge or Raterlabs. This is because Appen is a much larger company with a much larger talent pool to take people from. This allows them to pay much lower wages. So in this case it’s actually better to get these types of jobs at other companies like Leapforce/Raterlabs, and Lionbridge. It’s interesting to hear that Appen is doing some interviews from Skype now.

Speaking of Lionbridge, we are getting to them next. This company seems to have a good reputation for paying people better than the other companies for the same type of job. They also offer opportunities for the Search Engine Rater but they likely offer rating jobs for both Google and Bing. Microsoft does use Lionbridge to hire human search evaluators, but Microsoft calls you ‘judges’ instead of raters. Lionbridge was known to pay raters $14 an hour for these positions although that wage has probably fluctuated over time.

You’re probably wondering what the difference is in rating for Google or the Bing search engine. Bing has a project called Human Relevance System or HRS and it’s the system that they use to have human raters judge search results with. The HRS project is similar to the Quality Rater program that Google employs. However, it’s interesting to know that Microsoft’s version has been around since 2004 since MSN Search began generating its own results.

Not much has been written about Miscrosoft’s HRS project, but leaked copies of the guidelines are floating around that go over the process of rating or ‘judging’ websites. The difference between Googles rating guidelines and the HRS is that HRS uses what is called a rating matrix. This matrix combines the searcher intent with how well the returned document satisfies the searchers intent.

 

You can see the five rating options that judges can use from perfect to bad. This is the absolute heart of how you would rate returned search results. This might actually be a little easier to understand for some raters by judging just the intent and how well the intent is satisfied.

But there is one other aspect of the HRS system and the guidelines go over it in a pretty detailed manner. This is called Freshness and basically you will look at the content to see how up to date it is. Some information can be relevant but be a couple years old when some things have changed and the information isn’t updated or fresh enough to contain those changes. The Freshness system is based on three categories; Fresh Not Important, Very Likely Fresh, and Most Likely Fresh. The Fresh Not Important will be for things where the facts will never change no matter how fresh the article or the page is, while the other two will be based on the articles ability to receive fresh content.

When it comes to the difference between Google and Bing as far as their rating systems, they aren’t really all that different from each other. But if you will be working as a search engine rater, and you are looking for stable tasks, you might want to try and get Google search rating jobs since there is more volume when it comes to this search engine over Bing. Still, both jobs are decent, but it really depends on who you are employed by. Appen seems to be one of those companies that will pay people as little money as possible to make more money themselves. This was their whole point of buying Leaforce; to squeeze out the competition. So this company will pay less. Lionbridge or Raterlabs will be the places to try and get these jobs.

When it comes down to Bing, it’s not a very big project in terms of the number of raters who are hired for this as compared to the raters that are hired for Google. That shouldn’t be a big surprise because we all know that Google has a much higher search volume and a lot more users. The judging platform for HRS is a bit outdated, not convenient to use, and it only works on Internet Explorer of course. Also, the test has a part in where you have to judge the search results for relevance of around 100 items and they give you very little time to do this. Many candidates often fail the test and are unable to pass the exam.

iSoftstone is another vendor and is regarded as the main vendor for Microsoft Bing. They also have the 3 test qualification and that test seems to be the same no matter who you apply for. The first test goes over the guidelines, the second test is an English Grammar test, and the third exam tests your computer and internet skills. All work is done in the HRS platform and you have to complete a qualification for each task. There is a guideline for each one of the tasks, but you don’t need to worry because everything is explained in videos and emails. Tasks are categorized as hits or pages and for each hit or webpage that is shown you get 0.01 penny to 0.20 cents US. If you do tasks/hits quickly, then you can make easily $10-$15 dollars US per hour, and some people even more. You might be tempted to go through some of the tasks as quickly as possible because the more you complete, the more money you obviously make. However, sometimes during these tasks you are sometimes tested so you have to be very careful. Too many mistakes and they will remove you from the project and you won’t receive any more hits. ISoftstone is a bit easier to work for in that they don’t have a huge amount of work compared to Leapforce/Raterlabs.

Basically, what this whole thing boils down to is the individual. Some people might like working for Bing because the workload is lower, but you’re going to make less money because of this. If you need more stable work and higher than average work, then working on a project that involves Google will probably be a better alternative.

Do you work for any of these companies? We would like it if you shared your experience here in the comments. And as always, if you have any questions, let me know by email or in the comments and I will answer them as soon as possible.

iSoftStone and Appen Butler Hill: search engine evalution service for Microsoft Bing