The Software Awards Scam

By Deane Barker on August 17, 2007

The software awards scam: This guy created a text file with the words “This program does nothing at all,” changed the extension to .exe, then submitted it to a bunch of software download sites. He has since “earned” 16 awards for it.

The obvious explanation is that some download sites give an award to every piece of software submitted to them. In return they hope that the author will display the award with a link back to them. The back link then potentially increases traffic to their site directly (through clicks on the award link) and indirectly (through improved page rank from the incoming links). The author gets some awards to impress their potential clients and the download site gets additional traffic.



  1. I had to justify some design changes on a corporate website some years ago. Since all my arguments didn’t work (top brass and design don’t go along well) I submitted my site to a couple of “web award sites” which are – basically – only link baiting schemes. In due course, I acquired some “silver”, “gold” and even “platinum” awards for the website, together with some nice logo-stickers. For authenticity, I even got one “bronze” award.

    The suits were duly impressed, and the design dispute got not mentioned anymore.

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