Google Consumer Surveys in the wild

A few years ago, I wrote a blog talking about Google Consumer Surveys.

The product allows website owners to monetise their content by asking users a survey questions before revealing the content (or whatever) to the user.

As opposed to a traditional paywall where users have little choice but to pony up cash (usually as a subscription), answering a survey question is a much lower barrier to entry.

Interestingly, the whole paywall debate seems to have died down a bit in the past six months, or at least in Australia.

News Limited bit the bullet with The Australian a few years back and Fairfax bit the bullet with SMH and The Age last year; I am a subscriber to the later.

Though nobody seriously argues that these paywall strategies will do anything other than slow the haemorrhaging of the loses. Which is why I find it interesting that the paywall debate isn’t louder; perhaps newspapers have resigned themselves or feel that they have reached the extent of what paywalls can achieve for them, at least at this point in time.

Anyway, back to Google Consumer Surveys as a pseudo paywall.

Since my blog on it, I have never actually seen it deployed anywhere. Which slightly surprised me.

On Sunday, whilst looking to find out when Google plans to release Android Lollipop for my Sony tablet, I came across this website which I took a screenshot of on my tablet:

Google Consumer Surveys in the wild 

And there you have it! I can’t see the content down the page until I answer the question.

It isn’t the most beautiful looking thing and it is a bit hard at first to understand what is going on, so disconnected is the experience.

Though confident that it wasn’t SPAM or a virus, I had little concern answering the survey and reading the content I was after.

It won’t save Fairfax, though maybe it could work for you and your strategy. 5c is better than no cents right?