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A Promotional Service and More!

By David Bancroft -- Revised August 25, 2000

I have discussed the importance of promoting a web site in previous articles, but have not discussed in detail about why FOCUS Associates developed AWARD SITES! and what it is all about.

The purpose of AWARD SITES! is very straightforward.  It was developed as a free service that would be mutually beneficial to deserving submitted websites and award-issuing sites.

Currently, there are approximately 1800 awards (number can vary do to removals) in eight rating levels with most of these awards listed under the respective rating levels.

David Bancroft, owner of Award Sites and president of F0CUS Associates (business and marketing consulting)

The other awards are topic oriented with all rating levels listed in one of twenty specific categories.  Additionally, every award has an associated description with most including the criteria.  Graphical links are included with 3.0 to 5.0 rated awards and text links are provided for lower rated awards.

Earning Awards!

Site owner's and/or representatives should use the rating levels as guidelines for applying to respective awards relative to the submitting commercial or non-commercial site's quality.  That is why it is also important to read about each award and visit its page(s).  You need to make sure that the site you intend to submit meets all the requirements for a given award.

Visitors should never have a problem utilizing the 400 plus user-friendly pages on AWARD SITES! There are key links on every page for easy navigation.  Plus, the Information Page provides specific instructions on how to use AWARD SITES!

Additionally, there are . . . a ratings page with criteria for rating levels, a rating request page with submit form, a problem submit form, an introduction page, a list of removed awards, and a multiple category discussion forum.

Rating Levels . . . Objectivity the Goal!

Providing a premier, quality service means that every award is rated in relation to its own site, the award's purpose, criteria, image design, and other related factors as discussed on the criteria and rules page.  Moreover, receiving even a 2.5 rating has become more difficult than previous years due to modification / refinement of criteria and rules along with a stricter, less forgiving, AWARD SITES! rating panel.  There is even a review process that was incorporated on August 25, 2000 involving older rated programs in order to maintain equality in the rating system.

Rating Panel and The Process!

The rating panel consists of highly seasoned Internet professionals with strong experience in site development and award programs, who collectively determine initial and upgrade ratings of each award based on the criteria and rules.  And while there will always be some subjectivity by individual judges, their scores are combined and then averaged to determine the actual rating level.

Even large discrepancies in ratings are taken into account by averaging the majority of rating scores that are no more than two levels apart.  Again, this approach allows for maximum objectivity in the rating process.

Remember, the rating panel is invitation only and on a voluntary basis with members taking their responsibility seriously.  (All judges would take issue with any who think it is otherwise.)  However, AWARD SITES! and the panel is not a monitoring agency and issues the rating upon when each member visits a respective issuing site.  And unless AWARD SITES! is notified of a violation that would warrant a rating level reduction or listing removal, the award program(s) in question will be dealt with as AWARD SITES! becomes aware of it on its periodic visits of member programs.

Upgrade Process and Being Banned!

Dissatisfaction from individuals who feel slighted about their award program's rating level is only human, especially when hard effort has been applied.  However, the upgrade process allows for an opportunity to enhance the award program, but make sure . . . as a downgrade is also possible.  Closely reading the criteria and rules along with visiting higher rated awards listed within four to six months of the current date should be done to assist in the improvement process.

And for those very few individuals who do not read the rules about removal and banning . . . need to do so!  Being unhappy with a rating level is one thing, but requesting your award's listing to be removed . . . disrespects all the other rated award programs and the AWARD SITES! Rating Panel.  Requests of this nature are reminded of the permanent banning with action proceeding if the request is not rescinded immediately. 

So whether you want to earn site awards or desire a rating / listing for your award program . . . then AWARD SITES! is for you!

Copyright © 1998-2001
All Rights Reserved
David G. Bancroft

The original article was published by InternetDay on May 15, 1998

About the Author
Besides being the founder / owner of Award Sites! . . . David Bancroft is the owner of FOCUS Associates, a business and marketing consulting firm; founder / owner of USA Patriotism!, a showcase of love and pride of the USA with top rankings at Google and other search engines; Poetry Galore, a showcase of original poems, short stories, and resources; and co-founder of Awards Scoop, an online media kit concerning the awards community.  Additionally, David has authored two fiction novels, Mere Chance and Cemetery Wood, 100+ poems, and many articles.

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