SwagBucks is a Los Angeles-based “online rewards” website, which allows its 4 million users to make money by earning virtual currency for watching videos, completing surveys or clicking links, then exchanging it for cash. It is a ruse used by other websites to boost their traffic; they offer ‘SwagBucks’ for users who click on their links, boosting performance related advertising revenue. One website that appears on SwagBucks is theGuardian.com. As you can see below, users are being offered the chance to “earn an easy 1 SwagBuck when you watch 2 videos or read articles”
on the Guardian website.
Click on the offer and you told you will have “1 SwagBuck awarded when you watch 2 videos or read articles from our trusted partners”. The links from the “trusted partner” go to videos on the Guardian website.
Digital revenue for the Guardian was reported to be up 28.9% to £55.9 million last year. Guido wonders what the Guardian’s advertisers, who pay up depending on how many impressions its website receives, think about its traffic being inflated by users being paid to read its content…
*NB Nobody we contacted from the Guardian admitted having any knowledge of Swagbucks.