It is Google’s version of offering market research in a “fast, accurate, and affordable” manner. You can create a fast survey and within minutes already get responses from people all over the world. Google works with publishers to embed these surveys on their sites, almost like they do with ads, and pay publishers a percentage of what Google charges the business for the survey.
Saturday, I received an email from a friend asking me about an ad they saw on synonym.com. It wasn’t an ad, but it seemed to be powered by Google. I asked Google about it but never heard back. Now I know why. These ads are indeed not ads but rather Google Surveys.
As you can see, they are embeds on a site that are interactive micro-surveys. Google said they are working with several publishers including this one and The Texas Tribune, the Star Tribune and Adweek. If you are a publisher and want to participate, fill out this form.
Google charges $0.10 per response for the general US population or $0.50 per response for custom audiences. They share that with the publishers running these surveys.
Matt Cutts of Google ran a survey asking what percent of people in the US have heard of SEO? He published a couple of the reports:
Here is how it works:
For more details, see google.com/insights/consumersurveys.