Google has secretly launched Prizes.org, a new service which allows people to create competitions which centre around tasks and questions. The new service allows users to offer cash prizes for questions and tasks. According its FAQ page “Prizes.org is a place where you can create contests and let people compete for a prize of your choosing. The best submission wins the prize!”.
It is a rather useful service. Users can enter contests and offer their solutions, each submission is then voted up or down by the rest of the community and the winner gets the prize. Currently creating contests are invite only. Furthermore, the service allows you to follow users as well as contests.
For example, user has created a contest to find a suitable name for her printing company. See below:
Surprisingly, Prizes.org allows users to sign up using Facebook Connect and Twitter. Although on the surface this all looks normal I personally think this project’s underlying aim is to divert Facebook and Twitter users to Google+ which was launched a few days ago. It should be noted that Google’s sees Facebook as its arch-rival. So why would Google place “Sign up with Facebook Connect” button on Prizes.org with such a prominence? On the other hand signing up with Twitter is rather small.
The domain name itself was registered on 18 May 2011. According to domain registration records Google Inc. owns the domain. See below.
On the bright side, I think Prizes.org is a SEO goldmine.