An Update on Those Surveys

Kyle Scott - April 20, 2017

You may have had to answer a survey to read this.

If you’ve read this site for any length of time, you’re likely familiar with the process of answering a few survey questions to unlock content. We’ve been using Google Consumer Surveys for almost four years. Google’s answer to a “paywall,” the surveys contain questions put out by market researchers (companies trying to find which product you prefer, which logo concept is better, or just general consumer preferences) on which we get paid per answer. They have been very successful and one of the most efficient ways to monetize the site, with little to no impact on visits (in fact, they are up substantially since we started using them in 2013). I was sort of shocked at how few people complained about them, and the question I got most often related to confusion over why the text was greyed out.

Lately, however, more publishers have joined Google’s program, which has meant that the number of available surveys has decreased. You likely haven’t gotten as many lately. So we’ve added a backup option from a company called Survata. They look a little different, but the process is identical– answer a few questions to unlock content for the day. Chances are you’ll get one of the two survey options once per day.

There will always be people who intentionally lie on the surveys (mostly the mongrels in the comments), and that’s fine. But for those of you who like the site and enjoy what we do, know that the more honestly you answer, the better the data is, and the better it is for us. When I first put these up in 2013, I told you the money would be used to hire a second full-time writer, and that’s exactly what happened. The plan remains the same– the more revenue the surveys generate, the more I can grow the site. Philly sports are in a bit of a lull, so it doesn’t make sense to have two full-time bloggers at the moment, but I want to be ready for when one of the teams turn the corner so we can fill the homepage with more content every day, produce more videos and podcasts, and be the place for Philly sports content online.

Since the Survata option is new, there might be a few hiccups (I’ve had some people say they keep getting asked their age– this is supposed to only happen once, but if you’re using private browsing or clear your cookies, then you’ll get asked again). We’re experimenting with where at how they’re shown to find a good balance between frequency and annoyance. Some of their surveys are longer than the Google ones, and basically we have to test them live to see how frequently the longer ones show up, how much impact they have on visits, etc.

These are high-paying, premium ads. The alternative is what most websites offer: video pop-ups ads. I still think surveys are the better option, because they can often be completed in much less time than a video ad, and they don’t bog down your computer or start blasting sound at you while you’re at work. All data is completely anonymous. The answers are aggregated based on age and sex and given back to the market researcher. No personal information is passed along, and I don’t see any of the responses.

In a perfect world, we’d rely solely on subscriptions, direct advertisers and apparel sales, and not ad networks and surveys. But for all but a handful of a publications that’s an unsustainable solution. No one revenue stream is enough on its own, and it’s always been about having a healthy mix. The surveys are just a part of that. So once again, thanks for your continued support and don’t hesitate to let me know about any issues you see.

67 Comments

  • You're So April 20, 2017 at 10:25 am

    bad at this, Kyle. Please don’t use your blog as an avenue to pontificate on what you think you know about this industry. Stay to what you think you know about the main content focus of the site.

    Reply
    • In a perfect world, we’d rely solely on subscriptions, direct advertisers and apparel sales April 20, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Yet, not a perfect world and A) no reputable companies would like to be associated with you B) nobody would subscribe to this site C) nobody buys your lame, low quality T shirts. (other than some complete loser I saw at Eagles/Steelers last year in a Carson City tshirt. His neck was stained green from sweating in your honduran t shirt)

      Reply
      • Kyle Scott April 20, 2017 at 11:05 am

        We have plenty of direct advertisers, with several more starting soon. We have a bunch of paying subscribers. And we sold thousands of t-shirts last year.

        Reply
        • ⬆️ April 20, 2017 at 11:11 am

          Alternative facts

          Reply
        • Tom Cochrane April 20, 2017 at 11:12 am

          life is a highway

          Reply
        • Joe dirt April 20, 2017 at 11:26 am

          Life’s a garden. Dig it.

          Reply
          • Ike Reese Doesn't Believe in Dinosaurs April 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm

            Kyle,
            I’ll answer like 3 consecutive questions honestly but when they span out to beyond 5 I start writing in cawk and balls whenever the opportunity arises. I appreciate you need revenue streams but keep them brief and people will be more likely to assist,.

          • Sporting Wood April 20, 2017 at 10:09 pm

            How do you know what Ike Reese believes? Did you ax him?

        • You could have gotten your undergrad for 15K and a few muggings at TU. April 20, 2017 at 1:02 pm

          Just keep the questions to 1 or 2 and all is well. One survey yesterday had a progress bar at the bottom and I was on question 4 of what looked like at least 20. I bailed.

          Reply
    • Nick Piccone April 20, 2017 at 11:12 am

      Has anyone checked out Jim Adair new blog titled Crossing Pattison? Do we have our very own Blog Wars?

      Reply
    • He's right April 20, 2017 at 11:17 am

      You’re not very good at this.

      Reply
    • SEAN BRACES DEAD BROTHER April 20, 2017 at 10:36 pm

      Refreshing the page makes the survey disappear fuckheads.

      Reply
  • Danny fairmount April 20, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Does Jillian mele bleach her butt-hole?

    Reply
  • Sport Talk Radio Programming April 20, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Kyle what does this have to do with Joe Mixon?

    Reply
  • Kyle Scott April 20, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I’m not talking about the industry. I’m talking about the site that I run.

    Reply
    • 13 Yo female April 20, 2017 at 11:51 am

      i for one, love the new surveys

      Reply
      • 65+ FEMALE April 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm

        I’m so happy I was able to explain how much this site means to the 65+ Females like me devoted to reading mindless sports blogs.

        Reply
        • I think Kyle April 20, 2017 at 7:18 pm

          called you a “mongrel in the comments section.”

          Reply
  • John the sign man April 20, 2017 at 10:31 am

    You know what’s really going to suck is howie drafting Conley from Ohio st over Reuben foster or delvin cook

    Reply
  • where's leslie? April 20, 2017 at 10:32 am

    When can we expect the next article?

    Reply
  • Wood Yi April 20, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I like it raw like sushi.

    Reply
    • neneh cherry April 20, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Do you hang in a Buffalo Stance?

      Reply
      • Sporting Wood April 20, 2017 at 10:10 pm

        Too obscure! And no one cares about your reference.

        Keep trying though.

        Reply
    • Gerardo April 20, 2017 at 11:43 am

      So do I.

      Reply
  • bdd April 20, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Completely honest – I highly doubt anyone answers your surveys honestly . I just keep clicking until it goes away

    Reply
    • Speak for yourself April 20, 2017 at 11:02 am

      as a 65+ yr old female I was raised properly. The nuns at the catholic school instilled in us a deep seated respect for internet surveys. I weep for the nihlistic youth the godless public schools seem to be pumping out these days.

      Reply
      • I am also a 65 year old female April 20, 2017 at 11:03 am

        I think there are quite a few of us who visit this site.

        Reply
  • A-Hit April 20, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Dosen you know whose birthday it is? Jahh, jou know who.

    Reply
  • Bob M. April 20, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for the update, Kyle. I had been getting the age survey pretty regularly but understand its the nature of the business. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Kyle Scott April 20, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Thanks.

      Reply
  • howie r. April 20, 2017 at 11:05 am

    pepperoni pizza or sausage?

    Reply
    • Chocolate or Vanilla April 20, 2017 at 11:29 am

      ?

      Reply
    • Spuds the meat gazer April 20, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Always sausage! OOHGAH!

      Reply
  • We need that podcast, kyle. April 20, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Today is day 68 of “Would You Draft Mixon” on the Fanatic. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  • So............ April 20, 2017 at 11:12 am

    you said you started the surveys so you could hire a second employee, but since said employee was canned, and all you’ve given is an excuse on why there will be no replacement in the foreseeable future, you will just pocket the cash? Reminds me of the airline industry with the baggage and fuel fees. They started out at a time when fuel was high and so people begrudgingly accepted that, but then fuel prices dropped significantly but yet the people are still burdened with the fees. You are the Joshua Harris of sports bloggers. You tell us how great the business side of the company is while excusing the pathetic product you are producing.

    Reply
    • Kyle Scott April 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      First of all, I’m not asking you for money. Josh Harris is a billionaire who is trying to sell you gym franchises. And yes, a good chunk of the profits are my salary. I have a house, wife and son. But the Google Surveys have dipped in recent months, and the new ones are meant to fill the gap. Just because I’m not bringing on a full-time writer doesn’t mean I’m not going to put the money toward contributors and production folks. But I’m also not going to throw it away during a slow sports time, especially over the summer, just for the sake of spending it. There are absolutely people I want to bring on to write for the site when the time is right, and I have every intention of doing so, just like last time. But that also requires stable revenue. You’ve never run a business, have you?

      Reply
      • Kicking Jim while he's down April 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm

        Kinda harsh to refer to Jim’s employment as just throwing money away. I mean you are the one who hired him and all.

        Reply
        • Jims Mom is cool with him not having a job so he can take the trash out April 20, 2017 at 12:59 pm

          Jim, you will always be remembered buddy. Keep poppin those collars and keepin it real boooii.

          Reply
        • Kyle Scott April 20, 2017 at 1:11 pm

          I wasn’t referring to Jim. I meant bringing on someone new now would be throwing it away.

          Reply
      • Yes April 20, 2017 at 7:47 pm

        and Kyle did not park his helicopter on your soccer field. So get off my mans’ d…um, get off my mans’ …get off..leave him alone.

        Reply
  • 65+ female here April 20, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Who fuckin tonight?

    Reply
    • another 65+ yr old female here April 20, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Wanna scissor?

      Reply
  • hey! April 20, 2017 at 11:23 am

    It is not nice to call <13 females a mongrel.

    Reply
  • CB Veteran April 20, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Serious Question – Do you have any control over the ten box grid labeled “from the web” right above the comment section? Sometimes the pictures to the links and what not are a little graphic for browsing at the office.

    Reply
    • Kyle Scott April 20, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      I don’t. They are autogenerated, but if they continue to be as racy as they are, I will remove them.

      Reply
      • Josh Innes' personal trainer April 20, 2017 at 12:39 pm

        racy? one picture looks like a c0ck that has been sitting or boiling water or possibly penetrated Ava Graham’s vagina

        Reply
      • Hextall's Glasses April 20, 2017 at 12:59 pm

        I wrote a custom ad block plus query to hide them because they were getting through its built in filters and the images grossed me out. For those of you who aren’t web developers, sucks to be you. Nana nana boo boo, stick your head in doo doo.

        Reply
  • Another Example April 20, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Of the fine line of quality products Kyle continues to produce. After you answer the survey question 15 times be sure to swing by the store and browse the fine knockoff t-shirts. Own a small business some add space on one of the many twitter posts is right up your alley. Oh and don’t forget to tune into the podcast that sounds like it was recorded in a tin can next week.

    Reply
  • RichE April 20, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I understand that the surveys are a necessary revenue stream to the site and I answer them honestly each time. Actually surprised there aren’t more surveys–say EVERYTIME you log onto the site. Increased revenue streams=improved added quantity of articles, i.e. Leslie G’s weekly content, and, hopefully, additional weekend coverage and posts too. Win win situation for both readers and financial success of site.

    Reply
    • Leslie gudel, "weekly" cb columnist April 20, 2017 at 11:44 am

      My weekly column should be coming any month now.

      Reply
      • dan klausner April 20, 2017 at 11:50 am

        Mine too. Hoping to have my eagles season recap ready in time for the draft.

        Reply
  • mongrol April 20, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I resemble that remark.

    Reply
  • Al moronganti April 20, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    How do I get the podcast? I need something to listen to while I’m at work.

    Reply
    • Kyle Scott April 20, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Next Wednesday.

      Reply
  • Adam Eaton's Nutsack April 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks Adblock plus and Ublock, I haven’t seen that garbage on a lot of sites since I discovered those gems years ago!

    Reply
  • Yo MAMMA April 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I am a +65 yr old female EVERYTIME I get these DUMBASS surveys, even though I am not.

    Reply
    • Kyle Scott April 20, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      Rebel.

      Reply
  • PhillyExpat April 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Keep it to surveys and not videos. I primarily read the site from my phone and those pop up videos kill my data.

    Reply
  • Von Hayes April 20, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I hate having to answer 5 questions just to read 1 article

    Reply
    • Nancy reagan April 20, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Just say no.

      Reply
  • Steve Harvey's Agent April 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    And the survey sez: Sorry I don’t do them, but if I must…

    Reply
  • 65+ Female April 20, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    lol

    Reply
  • JG April 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I love filling out these surveys with completely wrong information.

    Reply
  • Duck Hunt? April 20, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    The survey actually asked me if I used decoys to duck hunt. Is that some kind of code? Sounds like it was written by 65+ female as a joke.

    Reply
  • Sporting Wood April 20, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    HEY KYLE, I HAVEN’T SEEN ANY SURVEYS UNTIL THIS WEEK, AND I’VE BEEN ON THIS SITE FOR ABOUT A YEAR. BUT TONIGHT IT POPS UP EVERY 30 SECONDS OR SO.

    SO DAMN ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A tip for my fellow commenters: Say your age is either under 13 or over 65, and you don’t get any more questions. (These parasites aren’t interested in the shopping habits of those age groups!)

    Reply
  • You're Welcome April 21, 2017 at 11:03 am

    To not have to take the survey, just click “13 yr old”. Works every time.

    Kyle, you should just have ads on the side of the page. Everybody hates the pop up surveys.

    Reply
    • skip survey April 23, 2017 at 7:38 am

      Or, if one of the answers to the survey question is “no”, just say no.

      Reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CrossingBroad.com is owned and operated by CB Sports LLC and a partner of USA Today Sports Digital Properties