Methodology

Google Surveys offers two panels of respondents: (1) internet users reading content on a network of web publisher sites using Google Opinion Rewards for Publishers, and (2) smartphone users who have downloaded and signed up to use an app called Google Opinion Rewards. The publisher network uses inferred demographics, while the mobile app asks users to self-report their age, gender and zip code.

We evaluate the representativeness of a survey by balancing its sample demographics to match the demographics of the target population: adult (18 or older) internet users. We match based on three demographic dimensions: age, gender, and geography. In the US, we use estimates for the national internet population from the US Census Bureau’s 2015 Current Population Survey (CPS) Computer and Internet Use Supplement. In other countries, we rely on a combination of government data and internal Google data sources.

Google Surveys uses a two-step process to ensure each survey’s representativeness. First, we use stratified sampling to dynamically target respondents with the goal of matching the demographics of the target internet population. Next, we apply post-stratification weighting to more closely match those same demographics of the target internet population.

You can find a full description of the Google Surveys methodology in this whitepaper or in the product overview.

Learn more about the differences between representative samples and convenience samples, and how each option provides relevant data.

AAPOR's Transparency Initiative

Google Surveys is a member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research's (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative. The initiative was founded in 2014 and establishes disclosure standards for organizations who run and publish surveys. By joining the initiative, Google Surveys pledges to uphold these disclosure standards when publishing results.

AAPOR Transparency Initiative logo

Learn more about how to follow transparency guidelines of AAPOR's Transparency Initiative when using Google Surveys and check out AAPOR’s website.

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