Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Cash & Prizes to Search Google? Huh?

I was looking at my page statistics today and saw a unusual site referring visitors to my site. Recently I have been getting visitors from a site called "Blingo."

From what I gather, the site uses Google's search results and gives out prizes and cash to people randomly selected. I would guess the site makes money from two income streams. 1) sponsored links and 2) compiling search data (note: I have no proof that the company sells data, but the site says it pays for prizes with the ad revenue it receives). Each search, up to 25 per day enter you to win at the site. The site claims to have given away more than 4,000 prizes and the following every day.

  • A Ford Escape or $20,000 cash.
  • $5,000 cash.
  • A home theater or $2,500 cash.
  • $1,000 cash every Thursday.
  • $25 Amazon.com gift certificates.
  • Fandango movie tickets.
The site doesn't offer any incentives for people who click sponsored links and doesn't have the adsense text ads that appear on Google. After searching a couple times today I must admit the site is pretty clean. I don't know how they are cash flowing enough to support the prizes they give away -- since my searches only showed 1-2 clearly marked one line "sponsored links." However, the ads were unobtrusive and I'll probably give the site a try for awhile since it pulls results from Google which is my search engine of choice.

An important caveat, the site is run by Publisher's Clearinghouse - the same company that is famous for the "Prize Patrol" and showing up at people's homes with checks the size of a Honda Civic.

I signed up and shamelessly will put a link to my Blingo account for anyone who is interested. My compensation? If anyone signs up under the link and wins a prize, they give me the same as a bonus. You don't win a prize? I get nothing at all.