The subject of
survey downloads is one of the most controversial subjects in paid
People wonder: “Why should I permit an outside
marketing company access to my hard drive? Isn’t this like permitting
spyware on my computer?”
Yes… and no. Nielsen Net Ratings, Nielsen Homescan
Panel, Permission Research and Opinion Square are the best known of
these so'called, "download surveys." These survey companies ask you to
download their software. In this way they can contact you when surveys
are available. These are reputable surveys. Nielsen has been giving us
television ratings for decades using the old-fashioned method of phone
surveys. Nielsen is trying to provide the same ratings system for the
internet, and it is much-needed.
The way it works is this: At some point in the survey,
you will be asked to download some software. Usually, you simply click,
the save the file to your desktop. Then run it, which completes the
install. Sometimes, it runs automatically. In some cases, you will need
to disable your anti-spyware program in order to activate the download.
These download surveys can pay very well in exchange
for making the download, so in the end, the decision is up to each
individual survey-taker: Is it worth it to me?
Unfortunately, the decision is not quite so clear. Some
unscrupulous email marketers posture their spyware as a survey download.
It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Once you make the download, you’ll find
yourself redirected inexplicably to sites you did not request. Adds will
be display where they should not be, and popups and popunders will
So in the end, as with all matters on the Internet, you
should know the source of the download. If it is trustworthy, such as
Nielsen, Permission Research or Opinion Square, then you can trust the
survey and their download. If you don’t know the source, then beware.
Copyright 2007 The Survey Doctor