You probably already tried googling for new sweepstakes using something like “sweepstakes canada 2010”, and realized that the results weren’t exactly what you were looking for. Many sweepstakers use forums and linking sites to discover new contests simply because it’s not very easy to find them in Google, not knowing how to look for it.
Better Your Odds
Of course, popular linking sites and forums are still #1 resource for finding new sweeps. But often, new contests on those sites get posted 1-2 weeks after the contest has started. What if it was a daily contest for your most desired prize? You would miss out on all those daily entries and therefore worsen your odds to win.
You could vastly improve your chances of winning by getting the first dibs. Keep in mind that Google takes a couple of days to display newly updated sites in the search results. Even then, you would still be ahead of most sweepstakers by finding out about it earlier.
Strategic Search Phrase
The first thing to do is to enter a search phrase. We recommend:
We use ‘no purchase’, because in general 90% of the rules have this phrase in them. The wording varies: ‘no purchase necessary’, ‘no purchase required’, ‘no purchase is required’, etc. Therefore it’s a safe bet to use ‘no purchase’ and the word prize next to it. You can of course use alternative key phrases, like ‘winner selection’, ‘how to enter’, but in our experience, ‘no purchase’ works the best. We also use ‘-forum’ to exclude forum posts and only have actual contest sites in our search results. Strategic search phrase in place. Press ‘Enter’.
Filter for Your Country
Next, use the sidebar on the left to filter results so that you only have results for your country. Select this option:
Of course, if your country is United States, that is what you would filter by. After we will be done with all filtering options, you will notice that in addition, your results get sorted so that you see results for your area first. For example, I see sweepstakes hosted in Ottawa first. And only then, elsewhere in Canada.
Filter for Past Week
Next, choose a time filter, called ‘Past week’:
Certainly, filter the time according to your situation. If you’re googling for new contests on a daily basis, you could use ‘Past 24 hours’ option, or if you’re doing it only once a while, use ‘Past month’. You will notice that as soon as you choose time filter, the number of results will be reduced. Just to let you know, the time filter does not mean the page was created in the past week. It means that the page was created OR updated, in the past week. Usually pages for old and expired contests don’t get updated, and our filtering method relies on this fact.
Filter for Unseen Contest Pages
Next, choose to filter by ‘Not yet visited’:
Google remembers which pages you have previously seen (unless you cleared you cache in browser settings), and can exclude seen contest pages from your search results. This is a very nice feature.
Customizing the View (Optional)
If you like, you could use the ‘Page previews’ option:
If you do, you would have a sweepstakes page preview, and see more text describing each contest. That way you wouldn’t necessarily need to visit the actual page to decide if you want to enter the contest:
Although this setting is potentially amazing, at the time of writing this post, it has several issues. First, you cannot choose both, ‘Not yet visited’ and ‘Page previews’. It’s one or the other. Second, page previews take a while to load, and often don’t load the first time you run the search. You’d have to refresh the page, to see more previews loaded. I guess Google is getting the previews on demand, and it takes longer than if they would be stored somewhere in memory, in advance. In summary – great feature, but Google developers should work on it a little more.
Find Great New Contests
Then you will be all set. Go ahead and claim your improved odds on those great contests and sweepstakes!
Additional Result Set (Optional)
Our strategic search phrase is good, but not perfect. Some contests might not mention the word ‘prize’ in them (?!). If you want to see the sweepstakes that you missed, repeat above steps, using the following phrase:
This will eliminate the previous results, and use winner as the key indicator that we are looking for contests.
Target Particular Prizes (Optional)
If you have a dream prize that you want to win, and don’t really want to spend time searching through all new contests, you could use this phrase:
Then you will only find sweepstakes that mention your awesome prize! Your search will be … Targeted. Aimed. At it.
Use “no purchase” prize -forum phrase.
Pages from <country>
Not yet visited / Page previews
After you look through all the results, run “no purchase” winner -prize -forum phrase.
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