Corporate Eye

Google Consumer Surveys Add Monetization Options to Websites

Google Consumer Surveys were launched last week, and the media world took notice. Could there be another way to monetize websites other than ads and paywalls? At a time when major news organizations like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are bringing paywalls back to life, Google wants to make sure the best content is available through its search engine and to all Internet users. That’s where Google Consumer Surveys come into the picture.

The new tool is actually very simple in concept. Advertisers create the surveys. When people visit websites that sign up to publish Google Consumer Surveys, a survey is shown, which people must complete in order to view the page content. Publishers can choose to display surveys on as many pages as they want, and they’re paid $0.05 per completed survey.

For publishers, Google Consumer Surveys enables them to generate revenue from their content. For advertisers, Google Consumer Surveys enables them to affordably gather market research data using self-service tools similar to buying ad space through Google AdWords. While Google expects the new product to be most attractive to small- and mid-size businesses, large brand advertisers and publishers are key targets, too.

Watch the video from Google that explains how Google Consumer Surveys work:

Surveys should be quick. As Google product manager Paul McDonald told Adweek, “We feel like spending six to eight seconds on a survey is a good trade-off compared to watching a 30-second ad.” I think it’s safe to assume most web surfers would agree with that.

However, the problem comes with the accuracy of the data collected through these surveys. Is it also safe to assume that once people get used to these surveys, they’ll just click any response to pass the roadblock and get to the content they want quickly? Google claims to have built some safeguards against this within the survey tool, but the problem is nearly impossible to mitigate completely.

Bottom-line, Google Consumer Surveys offers great opportunities for publisher to monetize their content and for advertisers to gather market intelligence. However, until we learn more about Google’s methods for ensuring results are reliable, those advertisers need to use the data collected through these surveys for exploratory and directional purposes only.

What do you think of Google Consumer Surveys? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.