thms - 4:49 pm on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)
I wouldn't be so sure that it's ineffective. I've seen this kind of trick a few times and seems it wasn't hurting the sites issuing those awards. Some even link each badge to a different URL, like a special page for each site that is "awarded". Plus there is the collateral that people may start talking about it and the site gets even more links.