Once upon a time a couple of years ago, I signed up for a program from Google that would pay you for surveys that they would send out to you in the form of their Play Store credits. Sometimes, you could get around $0.10 or $.08 and rarely $1.00 per question depending on their systems. This often turned out to be a nice incentive to purchase apps on the Play Store for free since they were paying you in the form of credits. Since I signed up on 12/9/13, I have amassed a total of $80.89 in credits with the last survey taken on 03/31/17, Not every survey paid anything. Eventually, in March of this year, the surveys stopped.
With Google stopping the survey flow, it was not alarming to me, they have gone months sometimes 6 months or so between questions. As it is a free thing for me, not really a top priority. Since we have moved to the Portland area, I had noticed though that they had prompted me for more survey questions, I discovered that they are more motivated by where you have been more than anything. Often times, I would get questions like:
“When were you at Dollar Tree Last”
- July 1st
- June 30th
- June 29th
- July 2nd
- None of the above
You would choose the appropriate date that you were there, and then depending on if you answered honestly or not, you would usually pick up $.10 for answering it. Now, if they thought you were not truthful, then they would not pay anything out and put you on the ‘naughty list’ and not send surveys out. Google has said:
“We don't always have surveys to send you. In general, surveys are given out randomly and depend on our available inventory. Additionally, we use a number of techniques to discover users who are lying or trying to game the system. If we determine that you are not answering surveys truthfully, you will receive fewer surveys. Therefore, the best way to maximize your earnings is to be honest and answer accurately and completely.”
That’s all fine and good -but I know that I have never lied on the surveys. Anyway, I have Google tracking my movements based on where my phone is, partially for reasons of me being interested to see my daily travels (Really really boring!), or if in the event that a question came up as to where I was on a certain date at a certain time, I could show where I was. With their tracking, I know that It could see through any lies I would have told which I never did. ;)
Also, since we have been in Portland, they had taken a keen interest in getting photos from inside stores to share on their Maps. In addition, you could take surveys within Maps (Not paid), and earn your way into the ranks gaining things like drive space and other perks from their services. I did this for a while but have stopped doing this. They now send me questions almost daily about shops I have visited usually the same day, as I am there or a day or two after. Usually, things like:
Is this place usually busy?
It is handicap accessible?
Is it spendy?
Then, after you answer those types of questions - it pushes you to another place it thinks you can answer about. I have grown tired of the information gathering they are doing on their end. While I know that they are a search company who has their primary goal of data aggregation, and ad revenue, I have quite frankly grown tired of giving this information so freely to them.
With all this said, I think my view of Google is changing a bit more. I still rely on them for my searches as well as mapping around the area. Until I can find a better service, I will still use them at least for those things.