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Blingo is a Publishers Clearing House company and is an internet search engine that awards prizes to searchers at randomly chosen times throughout the day. Blingo makes its revenue like any other search engine -- when a user click on a sponsored link that is displayed with each search. Clicking on a link is not is not necessary to win, and clicking advertisements will not improve a user's chance of winning.



NOTE: It seems Blingo has switched to using a combination of Yahoo!, Live Search, and for its results instead of Google as of March 27, 2008. Results are now a combination of sponsored and genuine results, with very little differentiation between the two beyond a small note at the end of the search result. User response does not seem to be positive thus far, and usage of the site has apparently dropped dramatically in just a short period.

Blingo uses Live Search and for its search results. Except for the possibility of winning a prize, searching images with Blingo is essentially the same as searching through Picsearch itself. The same was true of Blingo web search at one time. However, since the unveiling of Google "Universal Search", Blingo search results have become limited when compared with Google search results. In addition to the web results returned by Blingo, Google integrates images, maps, book citations, video, and news. Additionally, Blingo users are not notified of new Google features, which are advertised on the homepage.

There is also a networking aspect built into the service. If a user recruits a friend, and the friend wins, the user will receive the same prize.

Though according to a December 2004 article in PC Magazine Blingo search results were once supplied by Gigablast, currently Blingo draws upon Google for its results. Blingo's image searching service is powered by Picsearch, which is a filtered image search engine. Picsearch's search results are generally more thoroughly screened than those offered by Google Image Search, and as such, Blingo's image search is generally more workplace and family friendly than Google image results.

Blingo does not require any personal information to use the service; however users who do register also will receive a daily entry into the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes with their first search of the day. If a user does win a prize, standard address information will be required to ship the prize. Because of its nature as a middleman between users and the search engines which it draws results from, the privacy of Blingo users is determined not just by Blingo's privacy policy, but by the policies of the search engines which it queries. Whether Blingo tracks user searches and user activity on a "per-account" basis has not been made clear. Also, while the Blingo privacy policy states how they do use your email address, it does not explain what they do not do. For example, it does not state that they do not sell your email address.

How to Win

Blingo chooses random times during each day to award prizes. If a user performs a search at one of those times, Blingo awards the user with a prize. Only the first 25 searches of the day per user count towards winning a prize. If two users search on the same second that a prize is given out, the user closest to the prize-winning second wins. Nonsense search terms and repeated searches for the same word are ineligible to win.

The Blingo website suggests in their advertising that the best way to win is not to try to win, but to use the search engine like you would any other search engine. Since the odds of winning are a matter of random chance, any ten searches valid in a row would have equal chances for winning, whether Blingo is used regularly after that point or not; therefore any search at any time has an equal chance of winning.

Once a person wins, a special "You Win!" page shows up and asks the user to input some personal information, for delivery purposes. At that point, if the winning user was referred to Blingo by a friend, the referrer will receive a message that he or she won the same prize. The winning user would have to be logged into the system to track this.

Only residents of the US are eligible to win prizes, and US tax law requires that all prize winnings be reported to the IRS.


As of March 27, 2008, Blingo switched to using a combination of Yahoo!, Live Search, and for its results instead of Google. Results are now a combination of sponsored and genuine results, with very little distinction between the two. The result is a search engine that functions more like an advertisement than a search.

In addition, multiple users have reports extremely poor customer service when contacting Blingo regarding prizes. Others report that Blingo staff seems suspicious of large referral lists.

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