Yesterday Google launched a new program called Google Consumer Surveys - it is basically taking an expensive thing to do, market research surveys, and making it fast and cheap. Will it last - I am not sure, but it does look exciting at this point.
How it works is simple.
Business and organizations looking to get market research data go to this service, create a micro-survey and decide who they want it to go to, how many responses they want and what questions to ask. Here is the step by step survey creation wizard:
Then when you buy it, results start coming in. Where do the results come from?
These surveys will begin showing up on select publishers web sites such as The Texas Tribune, the Star Tribune and Adweek in the form of a micro-survey box. In fact, many folks saw this happening before the announcement and felt it was a new ad type or AdSense type from Google. I received an email from a friend asking about it and there is a WebmasterWorld thread.
Here is a picture of one that we spotted:
Then as people see these surveys on publisher sites, they answer the questions and the responses go to the survey creator. The results look interesting, for example, Matt Cutts posted on Google+ a survey he ran for 150 as a beta test of the product asking the general US population, Have you heard of 'search engine optimization'?" The results said that only 1 in 5 people (20.4%) in the U.S. have heard of SEO.
Here is a video on how it works:
Now anyone can create market research studies and get flawed results based on how they ask the question. I am not implying that Matt's survey is flawed here, I don't think it is. But trust me, it can lead to issues. Fuzzy math.