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Can any one help out with advice on Award sites and the usefulness
As far as traffic, yes, I've found awards to be reasonably good traffic builders. You do, however, have to spend a fair amount of time on your program.
As far as the other side of the coin, receiving awards, that can be a traffic builder as well. If you apply for an award, the person giving the award presumably, at least, visits your site. Whether this turns into sales or not? Who knows.
Personally, I think properly run awards programs are wonderful. Poorly run programs are like most poorly run things in life - poor.
My advice: stick to smaller, selective award programs (perhaps in your market) and check the PR of the award site to make sure they haven't already been busted. Avoid automatic awards.
It's too bad that one needs to worry about stuff like this, but with the PR0 death penalty hovering out there (and the reasons for the penalty not fully known), you can't be too careful.