Looks like Google is getting into the Survey Business

From Neiman Journalism Lab:

Google appears to be experimenting with a new paywall-esque content roadblock for publishers, and it’s not One Pass. For lack of a better name, let’s call it a “survey wall,” because instead of dollars the system asks readers a question before they can move on to continue reading what they like.

This could get interesting.  Instead of a standard paywall, people may be able to ‘pay’ for content by answering survey questions.  The publisher gets valuable information it can on-sell to advertisers, and Google dulls the old-media knives that are increasingly aimed at its vital organs. A natural extension of this would be that the publisher would become a survey panel provider of sorts.  Survey companies would be able to buy access to the survey-wall to ask their own questions for a fee-per-answer.  There is also no reason why independent panel companies could attempt to step into the role Google appears to be playing as the third-party technology provider.

Of course, there are big questions about the quality of data that may come from these distributed surveys.

  • Would people answer honestly?
  • What can reasonably be done with one or two answers from each visitor? (e.g., it would be difficult to examine relationships between more than a couple of variables)
  • Why would we expect people who visit survey-wall sites to be representative of a given population?
These, and other questions, will keep survey methodologists in business for a while :)

2 thoughts on “Looks like Google is getting into the Survey Business

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