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I guess after over a year of use I should get around to making my views on this search engine known.
I originally signed up when the site was known as mysearchfunds, a few months after I signed up it was renamed myhomepagesfriends, but the site itself is called myhpf.
The site is designed to be a search engine with a difference, you get paid for the searches you do. So how well does it work?
When you sign up you get the option to install it as one of the search boxes on your tool bar, when the myhpf box is the default search it will display your name so that you know it is the right box. Or you can set the myhpf page as one of your homepages.
It originally the searches were an amalgam of several search engines, but it then converted to just use the results from yahoo, this means that the results aren't quite as good as those from google but for most people the difference is slight.
So how much do they pay? You would find on the site no mention of how much you will earn, through my searches I have found I earn on average 2p per search. But it is not a free for all in terms of earnings, they have some fairly strict and somewhat ''foggy'' terms and conditions, for example if they think you are searching for the same thing repetitively you will get a warning email, if you search for the same sites daily you get a warning email and if eventually they decide you have been searching too many times outside their rules you will find your account terminated with no further warnings.
Overall my experience of using the site has been good, in a little over 15 months I have had £120 paid to my bank account and have another £60 owing. They pay once you have reached £20, but 6 weeks in arrears, so if you reached the £20 limit this month you could expect it to be paid mid september. But one of the sites big downfalls has been its somewhat chaotic payment system. There are reports of payments being 6 or more months late, myself I have had two payments delayed one by only 1 month the second by 3 months, and at the moment my payment is 2 months late.
You can of course use the referal system, this means simply refer a friend to the search engine, and you will earn 10% of their earnings, as it stands I have one referral and this has earned me 97p, but the referral is a person who's internet use is sporadic and a person who is set in their ways so they only ever visit a few websites.
Payments can be made by either BACS or paypal. Personally I choose to be paid by BACS, I have a 'spare' current account which has for along time been used to recieve payments from places like ciao.co.uk so I felt comfortable using this account for this purpose also. Paypal of course is as secure as you choose to make it, and due to the manner of payment will attract paypal fees, which was the reasons for my choosing to be paid via BACS, I object quite strongly to having to pay a fee for being given what is at the end of the day my money to begin with (but a rant about paypal is not for this review).
It has had some issues with Denial of Service attacks on several occasions and in recent days there have been some problems with searches being counted but not having been credited, also there have been some occasions when searching has brought and internal server error message up.
It also has on the homepage tabs which with the exception of one all still proudly state 'coming soon' and after 12 months of it having been myhpf shows to me at least a level of disorganisation. Also when trying to contact them to query the delays in payments more often than not the emails are returned as the inbox is full again a level of disorganisation which strikes me as very worrying for any business which tries to run entirely online- as there is also no phone number to contact them on.
So would I recommend this search engine? It does what it says on the tin, searches, and I have found that it has only ever failed to find my search terms if I have searched for something very obscure or misspelled. Payment though not reliable has always been made - albeit late, and for the amounts stated.
Yes I would have recommended this, but earlier this month emails were sent out to all members informing us of a change to the service. It is to be converted to a charity payment scheme, with the only personal earnings being from referrals - and only £1 per person at that.
Sadly for me at least the reported issues with their payouts and the fact that the listed charities are not ones I would choose to support means that once the final day of personal earnings arrives I will be awaiting my final payment and then leaving the scheme, there are other schemes out there which enable you to search for charities and I would prefer to support one of those in the absence of any possibility for personal earnings.
It took them 6 months for them to make my only payment from them. I now have just over £14.00 in my account but as it is under the £20.00 threshold I can't see me getting that. I have suggested a local charity to them for my donations to go to however they have never confirmed that it has been set up and it is still not on the list. So what chance do the charities have of receiving any payment?