Got A Camera And Some Free Time? Work For Google!

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In an effort to gather even more information for Google Maps and to promote advertising on it, Google is offering now work (as an independent contractor) under the role of Google Business Referral Representative:

As a Google Business Referral Representative, you’ll visit local businesses to collect information (such as hours of operation, types of payment accepted, etc.) for Google Maps, and tell them about Google Maps and Google AdWords. You’ll also take a few digital photos of the business that will appear on the Google Maps listing along with the business information. After the visit, you submit the business’ info and photo(s) to Google through your Local Business Referrals Center, and we’ll pay you up to $10 for each listing that is approved by Google and verified by the business.

I think you can see an example here for the best pizza in Portland. $10 a pop? Seems easy enough on the surface; However, digging deeper I found a lot of variables that may affect your payday.

Referrals are approved by Google based on the completeness and quality of data supplied by representatives. Businesses verify their information either by sending us a response postcard or verifying their information online.

You only get $2 for each business approved by Google, and then $8 more if the business actually verifies your information. What are Google’s quality expectations? (Do you have to do an entire spiel about Adwords?) What is the likelihood that the business will verify their info? Also, it’s not clear if you can just pick any old business. You may end up earning at lot less than you think, and still owe self-employment taxes.

On the other hand, it may be fun for those that have the right combination of free time and efficiency. Get a crowded location, sell it right, and maybe make $20-$50 an hour. Soon we’ll all be working for Google in some way… Found via DumbLittleMan.

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  1. I signed up last week, the day it came out, and still have no received info from Google that I was approved.

  2. Have to be the devil’s advocate here, I bet the businesses will be bludgeoned by calls from Google telling them about the benefits of adwords. This is a relatively low paying sales job in disguise.

  3. “confirmed by google” = “signs up for adwords account”

  4. I’m going to sign up and see how it works. It would be a good source for secondary income. If I could get an extra $100/month, that would be pretty nice.

  5. Call frommers or contact them through, if approved for a freelance position, you can make up to $25/hr for simply calling the venues and gathering that same information. I did it last year while I was in college using Skype. Just be prepared to call China at 5 AM.

  6. Joe, I went to but did not see the freelance position you mentioned. How do you apply for it?

  7. wll not have a clear cut link to apply for this position. It is best that you find an e-mail adress that is not just or Find an e-mail that is a personal address for an employee at frommers and then inquire about a freelance position that could be available. They may not have any positions available at this time, but it’s better than google.

  8. Look for a personal e-mail address on Contact them and inquire about a possible freelance position

  9. If its not publically available from Frommers, it is likely unavailable.

  10. actually i work for them.. it’s a matter of inquiring.. but thanks for your input..

  11. Joe: Since you work for them, do you think you could provide us with your email or perhaps someone else’s? Thanks, much appreciated.

  12. I would, but I don’t want to be responsible for a ton of people inquiring about a freelance position. I was actually doing research into money-related blogs for a few of Wiley’s business books coming out this fall. Try going to as opposed to, and look up job opportunities. There may not be one listed specifically for a freelance position with frommers, but it is likely they will have some sort of job opening in the frommer’s department, in which case you can use that contact information to inquire. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  13. Joe, your story sounds fishy.

  14. lol okay pat whatever you say.. i’ve interned for them 2 years in a row and did in fact work for them as a freelancer during my sophomore year of college. I couldn’t care less if you believe me.. I am simply trying to steer you in a better direction than what Google has to offer. But sure.. I’m fishy, in fact I am a fish, and smell like fish too.. I’m not forfeiting my future at John Wiley & Sons Inc. so that you guys can make a quick buck. Just trying to help, but I’m done trying. Your loss.

  15. Hi Joe , can you email me at

    Thanks man appreciate it.

  16. Reminds me of the “mystery shopper” thing. I actually signed up for one company and got one once to shop a cell phone shop when T-Mobile was first introduced to California. I went in and pretended I was a shopper and asked them some questions (sent to me by the shopper co.) and then left. Reported my findings on their website and got a check for $15 a few weeks later. Took me about 20 min at the store, which was a mile from my house.

    They sent me many more assignments but I never picked any more up because I was busy.

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