We know about magazines and Web sites (and some CAD vendors) falling over themselves handing out awards. It's a thrill to get an award (I've received two in this industry), but at the same time I maintain that the awards are meant more to give publicity to the giver than recognition for the receiver.
Andy Brice put this to the test by writing a piece of nonsense, and then submitting it to software download sites. Within a short time, his "software" received 16 awards, including multiple instances of 5-star awards.
In The software awards scam, he describes how he went about getting the awards, and explains why sites hand them out:
The truth is that many download sites are just electronic dung heaps, using fake awards, dubious SEO [search engine optimization] and content misappropriated from PAD [Portable Application Description] files in a pathetic attempt to make a few dollars from Google Adwords.