After ten years offering a cost-effective way of fielding survey questions, Google Surveys will be "sunset" today (1st November 2022).
It was launched in 2012 with the aim of enabling businesses of all sizes to conduct affordable market research. Google's key innovation was to field surveys via a publisher network rather than maintaining a panel of respondents.
Google Surveys were easy – and cheap – to field which means many users will now be scratching their heads to come up with new ways of achieving quick answers to their burning questions.So what now?
If you are one of the people typing ‘Google Surveys alternatives’ into Google looking for answers, we’ve pulled together some thoughts on the subject to help.
The way that Google survey data is collected, means the cost is low - from as little as $0.10 per question per complete.
There is a limit of 10 questions, so a 10 question survey would cost around $1.00 per complete interview.
So, the hardest part about finding an alternative will be finding something at a comparable price.
However, there are a few options that you can consider.
Traditional market research provides a full range of survey options, but most will likely fall outside your budget.
Probably the closest you’ll get is to put some questions on an Omnibus Survey.
The Omnibus has been around for more than 30 years in Market Research and the name reflects the analogy of individual people joining a bus all going in the same direction: Each client can take a few ‘seats’ on the bus, which once filled, is cost effective to launch.
They often field weekly, with options for both UK and Internationally.
Aurora Market Research for example, offers six standard questions for around $1,200 based on a sample of 1000 UK adults.
Omnibus surveys are also offered by Kantar and Ipsos, amongst others.
The last 10 years have seen a "Cambrian explosion" of self-service online tools for marketing and market research.
Google Surveys itself was part of this explosion but there have been plenty of others as well.
One provider worth mentioning is Pollfish because their method of recruiting respondents feels philosophically similar to that of Google Surveys - namely, recruiting respondents via ad networks during normal online activity.
The cost for running a survey in Pollfish seems broadly comparable with Google Surveys too (see this side-by-side comparison, if you're interested).
Most other online tools provide access to survey respondents via panel(s). These are large databases of opted-in participants who are available to complete surveys.
Opinions differ on the relative strengths and weaknesses of panels, but it's a fact that this is how most quantitative research is done these days.
There are tools like Appinio that have the simplicity of Google Surveys, as well as self-serve offerings from established agencies such as YouGov Survey Direct and Ipsos.digital. SurveyMonkey is also a familiar tool to many and offers access to their own panel of respondents at prices (in the US) comparable to Google Surveys.
As a minimum, all self-serve survey tools will provide you with simple frequency counts and percentages, plus a file containing the raw responses.
They will often also provide results with your answers analysed by different demographics that have been asked in the Omnibus or your own survey.
But if you have asked an open-ended survey question, you will want to understand the patterns in that data too.
Some tools will provide a basic automated analysis of your verbatim text data, but this is usually quite simplistic and uninformative.
If you want to reveal the detail contained within your data you can use a tool like codeit, which enables you to upload raw data from any of these tools and analyse your open-ended survey comments using efficient tools and AI.
We don't know whether Google Surveys achieved all of its aims during its 10 year lifespan.
However, to mark its closure, and while there's still time for the rest of us, we thought we'd run one last Google Survey to find out what's on your bucket list.
We created a questionnaire and asked people to "Name something on your bucket list..." - within an hour we'd collected around 1,200 responses from UK-based respondents, which we analysed with codeit's toolset.
By far, the main thing most people want to do is travel - and after the last couple of years, who can blame them? The most popular destination is North America (mostly New York, Hawaii and Las Vegas) with Europe (Italy, mainly) a close second.
As you'd expect, "once in a lifetime" experiences also feature quite heavily with Skydiving, Hot Air Ballooning and seeing the Northern Lights being most popular.
Money and material items also come through quite strongly, with 43 respondents wanting nothing more than a lottery win before they too are "sunset".
Google have been fairly vague in their announcement of what is to come next, stating simply that they are:
working to find new ways to bring the scale & insights of our research network to customers via Google Ads products for advertiser, customer, and market research.
We will certainly be interested in seeing what they come up with.
In the meantime, I'm off to Vegas for a spot of sky diving - lottery ticket in hand!
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