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About a year ago, I heard about the Swagbucks search engine. Every time you search the net with Swagbucks you get a random chance to win 10 or more swagbucks. You can use your swagbucks to redeem gifts and prizes, my favorite being the $5 Amazon gift card for 450 swagbucks. In the past 12 months, I've earned $85 (UPDATE: now over $200!) in real money to spend at Amazon... just for searching the net! How cool is that?!
My strategy has been to set the swagbucks search site as my home page and default engine in my browser's tool (both at home and at work) and never go directly to any website before first entering the name in the swagbucks search. Amazon? Ebay? Yahoo mail? MSN portal? Swagbucks 'em all. Alternatively, in Firefox and Internet Explorer, you can add Swagbucks to the browser built-in search toolbar as your default search tool by installing a plug-in.
Swagbucks uses Ask.com and Google to provide the search results, which include sponsored listings, and if I'm honest, the search is nowhere near comprehensive (UPDATE: It seems to have improved over the past year). For easy searches, it gets the job done, but often I find that after first entering my search terms at Swagbucks to try to win a few, I just go up to the address bar or favorites menu and directly access the site I'm seeking. For more complex or in-depth topic searches, I often end up swagbucksing Google then heading there to do a "real" search. I always laugh deviously at the irony when that wins me swagbucks too.
Full disclosure: If you sign-up for a Swagbucks account using this link or click through from the banner I've posted at the top of this page, you will get 30 swagbucks upon registering and I get a few swagbucks too.
If you are the type of person that only cares about efficiency in your keyboard strokes, swagbucks isn't for you. But over the past year, I would estimate that the extra keystrokes I've entered as a result of using swagbucks could only add up to an hour at most. And earning $85/hour for something I'm doing anyway... that is totally worth it to me.