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When surveys don't pay...

Not every survey you take online is a paid online survey. You might be answering questions free of charge soon enough, and doing it often. 

Google Inc., the search engine giant, is working to put online surveys into thousands - perhaps millions - of pieces of online content using Google Consumer Surveys. As an Internet user , you may be answering questions a lot more frequently in the coming years, except you won't get rewards to do it.

Make your opinion work for you by visiting Opinion Outpost regularly. Otherwise, you might be sharing your thoughts for fewer benefits than normal. Here's how.

How do Google Consumer Surveys work?
Google has an incredible amount of leverage as one of the world's largest online advertising profiteers. In 2011, 96 percent of Google's revenue came from selling online advertising space to companies, according to an infographic by WordStream. In other words, a huge amount of businesses purchase space from Google to put their advertisements.

The basic concept behind Google Consumer Surveys is that companies can use that advertising space to host survey questions that Web surfers answer. Questions can be sent to targeted groups of people, for example women between the ages of 20 and 40 in the Midwest, and Google will actively try to target those users using their IP addresses and search history.

Businesses could use this strategy to pick what logo they like best, gauge customer satisfaction with a product or analyze other important insights. Survey questions are hosted on mobile apps, on news and entertainment sites, and injected directly into Web content. But you're not getting paid to answer those questions, so what's to encourage you to give your opinion?

Sometimes, you may not have a choice
For many of the survey questions, you may not have to answer. Some of the inquiries will function like any other Web advertisement. You'll see it on the side of the screen or it may pop up while you're reading an article, but you're free to ignore it and move on with what you intended to do beforehand.

However, there are other times you may not have that option. For example, there are certain sites that require you to answer a question or provide some information before proceeding to view content. You might want to view a report published by a research company and the site may ask for your email address and age before giving it to you.

In that same way, a site partnering with Google Consumer Surveys may have content that you cannot access without answering a survey question - like identifying what design you like on a product.

Suddenly, you're doing what many paid survey users do every day, but you're not receiving any of the rewards they do. It's just one way you might be putting in the same work as paid online survey users without getting the benefits.

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Why sign up?

Nobody's voice is as powerful as yours. As a consumer, you are uniquely positioned to share your perspective with businesses, telling them what you expect in order for them to receive your money in a transaction. So, why not make money online by taking surveys that provide information to your favorite company?