Data Mining: Google Survey

Use:  Create low-cost surveys for editorial content or to gain additional consumer insights

Google Survey allows publishers to create low-cost surveys on any topic they want.  Questions will be presented to users when they try to access certain premium content (from those publishers who are hosting Google Consumer Surveys on their paid content products).   Google  reports more than 200 publishers have implemented GCS.

Publishers present one question at a time and can segment the audience by gender, age, geography, urbanicity and income.  Unfortunately, the smallest geographic area is at the state level.  The question can be in a variety of formats, including single answer, multiple answers, side-by-side images, ratings and open-ended.  Publishers than choose number of responses per question (200, 500 or 1,000) and  frequency (once, biweekly, monthly).  Google charges $.10 per response for general population surveys and $.50 per response for segmented surveys.

According to Google, “Google Consumer Surveys takes a new approach to survey sampling, data collection and post-stratification weighting. This produces a close approximation to a random sample of the US Internet population and results that are as accurate as probability based panels.” A Google whitepaper on Google survey methodology and accuracy available here.

GCS may not replace more intensive consumer surveys for your publication, but could provide a low-cost approach to gaining specific insights more rapidly.


TechCrunch: Google Surveys Can Make Anyone A Professional Pollster

Nieman Journalism Labs: The newsonomics of value exchange and Google Surveys

Forbes: Q&A With Paul McDonald: Co-Creator Of Google Consumer Surveys