Beware of bogus Software Awards

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 19, 2007
Updated • Sep 1, 2013

I found this story at the Donation Coder blog and thought that I would pass it on because it is something that deserves more attention. A software author who submitted his software to various download sites before took a closer look at some of them only to find out that some download sites gave awards to every software in their catalog.

He decided to create a bogus executable and submit it to the sites in question to see if they would test the software at all. He named the software 'awardmestars' and used the description 'This program does nothing at all' and a screenshot with a similar message.

Take a educated guess on how many download sites would still give the software an award? The total number is 16! The software author suspects that this is done to increase the chance that software authors add those awards on their own websites as a proof of quality of the software program. This often results in a link back to the software repository which improves the site's exposure on the Internet.

This is not the end however. The software author decided to aim higher and submit his software to 1033 download sites.

According to the report I received 2 weeks after submissions began Awardmestars is now listed on 218 sites, pending on 394 sites and has been rejected by 421 sites. Approximately 7% of the sites that listed the software emailed me that it had won an award (I don’t know how many have displayed it with an award, without informing me). With 394 pending sites it might win quite a few more awards yet. Many of the rejections were on the grounds of “The site does not accept products of this genre? (it was listed as a utility) rather than quality grounds.

It is interesting to note that some software portals give awards to all programs that are submitted to them. This in turn means that you should not really trust those awards that much, considering that you do not know if the software has been reviewed at all by the site.

A good way of making sure that it has been reviewed is to look for the review itself. If a site posts a unique review of the program you are interested in, you can be fairly certain that someone looked at it at the very least. source: successful software


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  1. Joe-Bob said on October 20, 2013 at 2:04 am

    This is no surprise and it happens in every industry. Have you ever walked into a car dealership that DIDN’T have an entire trophy case full of various “Dealership of the Year, safety, reliability, and god-know-what-else” awards? The car companies send this garbage out to ALL of their dealerships to display proudly. And it ain’t hard to be-bop over to XYZ Trophy & Plaque Shop to get your own awards custom-made for petty cash. It’s all crap.

  2. Michael said on August 26, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Here is another description of the issue with a bit more detail

  3. Software Download said on August 19, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Is quite a socking news…

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