Wix has an SEO competition where you can win $50,000 ranking for "SEO hero"

Wix SEO Hero Week 12 Recap

SEO Hero Rankings as of 2/7/2017

Probably not, https://web.archive.org/web/*/seohero.ninja
Probably not, https://web.archive.org/web/*/zerotoheroseo.com
Probably not, https://web.archive.org/web/*/seo-zero.com
Probably not, active back in 2013 http://whoisrequest.com/history/
Probably not, https://web.archive.org/web/*/globalwarmingawareness2007-mes.com
Probably not, older domain (yourseohero.com) redirects here
Wix's entry
Wix's new entry
Probably not, https://web.archive.org/web/*/yourseohero.com

Wix SEO Hero Competition News


Reminder, hand over administrative rights to Google Analytics and Google Search Console by February 16, 2016

What's wrong with the above title? Wix could disqualify all of the SEO Heroes for not following the rules since we agreed to turn over account access a year ago with priveledge levels that don't actually exist. The rules have been updated to reflect 2017 now, but at the time most of us probably signed up for the contest we agreed to hand over access months before we were even told about the contest. Then as TJ points out at http://www.penrodshero.com/what-does-wix-mean-by-administrative-rights/, what counts as administrative rights? Google Search Console shows Full or Restricted according to TJ, but there's actually another page that's easy to miss where you can add an Owner. Google Analytics has Manage Users, Edit, Collaborate, Read & Analyze. I know TJ reached out to Wix about this on Twitter about this, but I'm just going to add the highest level that I can which includes Manage Users in Google Analytics and Owner in Google Search Console, but as I said this owner one is easy to miss and isn't the same page as adding a new user, so if this is the level of access required then a lot of SEO Heroes may mess this up.

A new SEO Hero Twitter bot

That brings the total SEO Hero Twitter bots to 2 now. The first one, @seoherobot I thought about blocking many times because they post so much and it would reduce the amount of time I have to look through Twitter feeds, but I actually like the content that it tweets which is mostly SEO and recent news related. Some of these stories I wouldn't have seen without this bot running. The new one is pure spam and I have no regrets about blocking them. @wix_seo_hero repeats the same programming quotes that are cut off and has the same screenshot of the "seo hero" search results. It looks like this one is run by Terry Kyle who spammed his way to the top of the search results with websites that aren't eligible for the SEO Hero Contest.

Wix updated one link to their SEO Hero website

Wix updated http://www.wix.com/wix-lp/seo-heroes so that it now points to giftedseohero.com rather than seoheroschool.com.


Any SEO Heroes seeing anything weird in their Google Search Console?

There's a notification about an infrastructure update on January 22nd and now I'm seeing links to my site that when I click don't actually link to my website, though I don't know if they're related or not? It says they're via intermediate links but even those links are redirected elsewhere. The anchor text to my website even shows what was used from these websites to the intermediate links. I'm not seeing these links to my website in Ahrefs. I've tried following the links and even switched my User Agent to Googlebot to see if there was some kind of cloaking involved for Google only but I still got redirected. I'm not completely sure what's going on here but will try to look into it more when I have time. I'm not sure disavowing them would the correct action since neither the intermediate link nor the link itself actually goes to my website, although if Google thinks they do then maybe that's what I need to do.

In SEO Hero world fake news

The villain Kim Jong Un has declared he is an SEO Hero. Kim says he is the best SEO and supreme leader of the contest. He wants it to be clear he said SEO and not Seo (name) because his family is Un. He further proclaimed that Google is one of the 28 websites in North Korea's Internet. In breaking news he has threatened all other SEO Hero contestants and Wix with nuclear missiles made from materials he said North Korea brought back from the sun.

There was nothing SEO Hero related at the Super Bowl

It didn't happen, Wix didn't advertise the SEO Hero contest during the Super Bowl.


Wix's new SEO Hero website is finally ranking

Wix's new SEO Hero Challenge website giftedseohero.com is finally on the board, ranking in at 157th or 47th place in the competition. Keep in mind SEO Hero School was redirected here, so at some point I would expect Gifted SEO Hero to replace it in the search results. Currently it's the quiz page that is ranking for giftedseohero, so when the homepage switches to the new domain we'll see a big jump.

An SEO Hero I haven't seen anything about since Week 2 is ranking

A website that probably should never rank but that I find amusing hasn't ranked until this point despite being one of the earliest websites in the competition. In fact I wrote about the website back on November 24th, 2016. Take a look at the screenshot to see why I am amused or go visit the SEO Hero yourself. Keep in mind that this actually ranked today, coming in at 142nd or 34th place in the SEO Hero competition.

A hilariously SEO optimized page for the Wix SEO Hero competition

This contestant has SEO hero repeated 9 times in the subdomain and 9 times in the domain. Literally every tag is stuffed and every nearly every word on the page is simply seo hero. With the same word repeated over and over, you would think this would trigger any number of spam filters, but for some reason Google is now letting it through.

Editing for further speculation: It seems that there is one line not in the screenshot as I just re-used my old screenshot of the website. It now says "Click here to see the one and only SEO Hero" which may be the change this website needed to start ranking. Even more interesting to me at least is the fact that this links to my personal Facebook page! Thank you for the support!

SEMrush still doesn't have results for SEO Hero searches

I gotta say I'm a bit surprised since they went through a big database update during the competition. SEMrush's database updates are few and far between however so I don't believe they will have results for the phrase until their next big update, and even then, maybe not. Both Ahrefs and Moz impressed me with how quickly their databases caught the new keyword and was added to their systems.

Wix updated their SEO Hero AdWords ads

After pointing it out 2 days ago, Wix has updated their AdWords ads which were still going to their old website seoheroschool.com to reflect their new website, giftedseohero.com.

Wix's SEO Hero site move

I talked a bit about it before, but I was curious what Wix had cleaned up in the site move. We know they fixed the noindex tag, but after a quick check I still found some problems. I wouldn't bother cleaning up the copies of pages that somehow got indexed, but if I was Wix I would be looking into how these got indexed. The SEO villains page still exists as well, even though the page content was moved to the homepage, or actually resides on both now. Then there's the SEO Courses page that was replaced with Bootcamp, the problem here being that it was never redirected. Since it's also in their control, I'd recommend updating all the links from Wix.com that went to SEO Hero School to point to Gifted SEO Hero. I don't believe these links should exist in the first place mind you, but if they're going to be there then they should be updated. This could help with the signals needed for Google to start indexing the new domain rather than the old one, but so far this change has not been made. There are lots of little things here and even more from the site audit I did on their website. The important thing to remember is that this contest is being held in such a short time frame that every mistake matters and it's the little things that will add up and cost them the competition.


Did Wix spam their own SEO Hero website?

The attack is so small, especially for someone that looks to be using Xrumer but the negative SEO would be enough to throw off suspicion and cover buying links. Not only that but they just happened to have a second domain ready to go and registered before the SEO Hero contest entry deadline. I'm seriously starting to wonder if the negative SEO and the domain change weren't to cover up for their plans to buy links during the contest.

What can we learn about Wix employees from Be An SEO Hero's Google Analytics?

Since the start of the contest users on the provider wixpress ltd (Wix employees) have started 252 sessions by 95 users on beanseohero.com. They're all in the city Tel Aviv-Yafo and while there gave been many visits from several cellular and home networks in the same city, I can't 100% determine these are Wix employees although I'm sure many of them are. The demographic data tells me Wix employees are fairly young, with over 70% falling into the 25-34 age group and the rest in the 35-44 age group. The browser of choice by far is Chrome, with only a few hits in Safari and a single hit in Internet Explorer. The majority of the screen sizes seem to indicate they use desktop computers mainly with a smaller number of users on laptops and almost no one on mobile phones. Perhaps they can't connect their phones to the work network and this is why I see many visitors from the city from mobile phones? It looks like there's a 70/30 split male/female. It's about 65/35 split for Windows vs Mac users as well, with the majority being on Windows 7. Over half have come to my website from search and about 30% are direct traffic with the rest being referral/social. The majority of the Wix employees land on my homepage (about 80%) and the rest is split across other pages. They're on my website mainly on weekdays and most of the time they're on the website in the early hours here and with some back of the napkin math puts them on early workday hours through midday mostly but a decent amount in the afternoon their time as well.

When did we go from heroes to superheroes?

The first batch of recorded heroes were sometimes fictional, god-like, religious, or men and women whose tales were so great they survived history. Some examples include Odysseus, Achilles, Hercules, Perseus, Jason, Orpheus, Bellerophon, Athena, Prometheus, Romulus, Quetzalcoatl, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus, Guan Yu, Osiris, Thoth, Horus, Anubis, Rama, Shivi, Susanoo, Amaterasu, Gilgamesh, Thor, Leonidas, Aladdin, Sinbad, Caesar, Brutus, King Arthur, and Beowulf.

Then there were Folk heroes like John Henry, Paul Bunyan, Robin Hood, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Wyatt Earp, William Tell, Alexander the Great, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Guy Fawkes, Geronimo, Wild Bill Hickok, Jesse James, Joan of Arc, Sitting Bull, Nat Turner, William Wallace, Fong Sai-Yuk, and Siegfried.

Not all heroes were fictional, many were historical heroes like Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Leonardo Da Vinci, Mahatma Gandhi, George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Harriet Tubman, Spartacus, Marco Polo, Winston Churchill, Neil Armstrong, Frederick Douglass, Anne Frank, Malcolm X, Mother Theresa, Ulysses S. Grant, Leif Erikson, and that's just scratching the surface.

Along came pulps, the precursor to comics were inexpensive fiction magazines. Some popular pulps include Flash Gordon, Doc Samson, The Shadow, Popeye, The Avenger, The Black Bat, Captain Future, El Coyote, Dan Turner, Doc Savage, Doctor Death, G-8, Hopalong Cassidy, Ka-Zar, Nick Carter, Operator No. 5, The Phantom Detective, Secret Agent X, The Spider, Biggles, Buck Rogers, Conan the Barbarian, John Carter of Mars, The Green Hornet, Dick Tracy, Moon Man, Solomon Kane, Tarzan, and Zorro.

Of course there are comic book superheroes which are all the rage now and many movies and TV shows are based on these heroes. See how many of these you recognize. Some of these include Sheena, Superman, Zatara, Arrow, Crimson Avenger, Batman, Wonder Man, The Flame, The Sandman, Blue Beetle, The Human Torch, Flash, Hawkman, The Shield, Captain Marvel, Electro, Spectre, Doc Strange, Black Marvel, Catwoman, Robin, Doctor Fate, Scarlet Avenger, Green Lantern, Daredevil, Atom, Vision, Red Tornado, Quicksilver, Captain America, Starman, Doctor Mid-Nite, Hawkgirl, Whizzer, Human Bomb, Plastic Man, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Wildcat, Mister Terrific, Manhunter, Captain Commando, Grim Reaper, Superboy, Black Canary, Martian Manhunter, Supergirl, The Fly, Kid Flash, Captain Atom, Elongated Man, The Atom, Mister Fantastic, Invisible Girl, Human Torch, The Thing, Ant-Man, The Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Professor X, Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Zatanna, Silver Surfer, Black Panther, Nightshade, Batgirl, Havok, Space Ghost, Man-Thing, Swamp Thing, Luke Cage, Ghost Rider, Punisher, Iron Fist, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Thunderbird, Power Girl, Moon Knight, Spider-Woman, Firestorm, Black Cat, Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost, Dazzler, She-Hulk, Elektra, Rogue, Lobo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Crow, Cable, Gambit, Deadpool, Bishop, Spawn, War Machine, Hellboy, X-23, Miss Martian, Kick-Ass, and more I've missed I'm sure.

TV and Movie heroes like Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, The Rocketeer, Meteor Man, Power Rangers, VR Troopers, The Incredibles, Zenith Team (Captain Zoom, Concussion, Mega-Boy, Wonder, Houdini, Princess, Marsha Holloway), Katniss Everdeen, Lisbeth Salander, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, The Invisible Man, The Green Hornet, Mr Terric, Kamen Rider, Manimal, Sable, Super Force, Highlander, Forever Knight, RoboCop, MANTIS, Hercules, Xena, The Pretender, The Sentinel, The Crow, Sheena, The Tick, The Phantom, Captain Planet, Aeon Flux, The Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, The A-Team, Nikita, Kwai Chang Caine, Cordell Walker, MacGyver, Ash J. Williams, Harmonica, Dirty Harry Callahan, Hit-Girl, John Rambo, John Shaft, Takuma Tsurugi, Indiana Jones, The Dude, Paul Kersey, Buzz Lightyear, John McClane, Marty McFly, Leon, James Bond, John Matrix, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Lt Frank Drebin, Blondie, Ellen Ripley, Sing, Martin Riggs, Dutch, Det. Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle, Bryan Mills, Snake Plissken, Captain Jack Sparrow, T.E. Lawrence, Lt. Aldo Raine, The Terminator, Joliet Jake Blues, Elwood Blues, Black Dynamite, Austin Powers, John Hartigan, Claric Starling, Han Solo, Butch Cassidy, Wyatt Earp, Luke, Ace Ventura, Eliot Ness, Luke Skywalker, Kakihara, Lee, Mr Incredible, Frank Martin, Judah Ben-Hur, Stanley Ipkiss, Josey Wales, Connor MacManus, Murphy MacManus, King Leonidas, Hellboy, and many others.

There are also tons of celebrities and athletes that people consider heroes. I honestly don't know too many here but I'm sure the list includes Wayne Gretzky, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Pete Samprass, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, and too many others that I'm sure I don't know.

Last but not least are the SEO Heroes. If you haven't already, go check out SEO Heroes and Heroines to vote for your favorites!


Another paid link from Wix, this time to Gifted SEO Hero

This time the culprit is https://www.designersbrasileiros.com.br/seo-hero/. As with past links, there's several tells that this is paid. For one, they just moved the website to this domain and the article is talking about how Wix created the contest for reputation management and says that giftedseohero.com is supporting those in the contest, but that's not true, and this domain has been around for only a few days. If they wanted to link to stuff about the contest they would have linked to the rules, faq page, support page, or the contest entry page. But wait, there's more. Isn't there always more? There's also more articles promoting Wix: https://www.designersbrasileiros.com.br/criar-sites-gratis-conheca-a-plataforma-wix/ and https://www.designersbrasileiros.com.br/crie-seu-site-em-html-5-ou-flash-na-wix/ and oh yeah, like we saw with one of the other websites, when this article was published a sitewide sidebar link to Wix.com was removed that said "Criar Site com Wix" or "Create a website with Wix". They obviously had a pre-existing advertising relationship with this website as we've seen with many of the others. I'm just going to keep a running list now in case any Googler's happen to be reading and want to investigate further.

Wix is still running ads to SEO Hero School

After switching domains from seoheroschool.com to giftedseohero.com, Wix is still running ads to the old domain. Maybe someone should tell them this is a violation? You're not allowed to run ads that show one domain yet lands on another domain per AdWords policy: https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/2643759.

To ensure a positive user experience, our display URL policy requires that an ad's display URL domain match its final landing page URL domain.

Some SEO Heroes are making big jumps in the rankings

For most of the competition Be An SEO Hero has been the highest ranking website in the competition. There's been some swapping of the other places but for a while now it's been the same names, seoherofromzero.com, seoheronews.com, seo-hero.tech, seo-hero.io, and not as recently Wix's own seoheroschool.com. Today 2 competitors have leapfrogged their competition and penrodshero.com and seo-hero.ninja are in the 2nd and 3rd positions. The guy from penrodshero.com had taken a break from the competition recently, but looks like he came back strong. Things are heating up in the SEO Hero Challenge and there are so many SEO Heroes ranked so close together at this point.

Wix's new SEO Hero website is indexed

While it's still not ranking, Wix's website giftedseohero.com is finally indexed. If you recall, they redirected their previous SEO Hero competition website seoheroschool.com to a new address for some unknown reason. They made a mis-step and originally had the pages on the new website noindexed even though they had implemented the redirect, but I would expect the new website to take over the position of the current website soon.

Shameless things to do in New York list to maybe get a local advantage from where the SEO Hero judge will search


Which Search Engine has the best results for "seo hero" searches?

I was curious which search engine had the best results for seo hero searches, and yes this will be my highly opinionated choice. We've seen that Google seems to keep any contest websites artificially pushed down, so what we see there is contest announcement stuff, Barry Schwartz's article about the contest, and a bunch of spam and random stuff before the competitors. In Bing I am seing many of the competitors, but many of these at the top are also some of the ones I've noticed doing the most spamming. Be An SEO Hero is #11, Wix's SEO Hero school is indexed with hashbangs (looks like Wix may have some issues with Bing SEO still) and I went more than 50 deep and didn't find Barry's news or the Wix pages for the SEO Hero Challenge at all. Yahoo's results are the same as Bing's since Bing powers them and looks like DuckDuckGo and AOL are the same. Ask.com looks to be powered by Google. Baidu has a lot of social media profiles and spam. I could hardly find one of the SEO Hero competitors there. Yandex has Be An SEO Hero at #1, some of the other quality competitors, Barry's Search Engine Roundtable article all on the first page but I didn't find Wix's SEO Hero Contest entry page until page 2. Interestingly enough it doesn't look like Yandex can read any of the text on the page at all. I have a feeling if this was a normal html website that it would be on page 1 so I'm going to say that in my opinion Yandex has the best search results for "seo hero". What other search engines are out there that you think might do better?

Wix's new website still not indexed

None of the pages from SEO Hero School have been re-indexed as Gifted SEO Hero yet. I don't think this will have any impact on their rankings when the switch is made, but I'll be monitoring their progress.


Week 11 SEO Hero Challenge Update

It's been an interesting week in the SEO Hero contest. Wix is making big moves and hard at work, while many others seem to have given up on their dreams of being an SEO Hero. I think the filter or bubble or whatever you want to call it has demotivated people. No matter how hard they work, the SEO Heroes appear to be stuck. I'm sad to say that I have my doubts anyone will escape whatever is holding back the SEO Hero websites from ranking before the end of the contest. We're only a few weeks away now and appear to be stuck. It's interesting to watch the rankings move together. When SEO Heroes go up, they all go up and when they go down, they all go down. I'm thinking as many of them have given up that many of the current heroes will likely be SEO sidekicks later on helping support another website in their quest for victory. Tylor Hermanson of whichseohero.com talked about the mistakes he made during the contest.

A lot happened with Wix's SEO Hero entry in the last week. New SEO Heroes, a new blog, new SEO tips, website redesigns, a new SEO villain, courses changed to boot camp, a change of domain from seoheroschool.com to giftedseohero.com where they accidentally left noindex tags on the pages. There were a couple more paid links uncovered linking to their SEO Hero website and in a brazen move sure to make every SEO Hero angry enough to be the Hulk, they brazenly linked from their contest announcement and support pages to their contest website. They also made a commercial that I found insulting, insinuating anyone can be an SEO Hero. Wix also has a job out for an SEO Hero, and maybe they should hire the dog from their video since anyone can do it.

For me, I was in New York for a bit this week where the SEO hero contest will be judged. I lost my motivation for a bit after all the stuff that Wix pulled. I pulled myself together and have continued the SEO Hero contest coverage at least, but that's about it. I did find time to write how Be An SEO Hero was originally pursuing a much different strategy.

Wix fixed the noindex issue on Gifted SEO Hero

On their new SEO Hero website, Wix has removed the meta robots noindex tag from their pages except for the villains page. They rolled the SEO villains into the homepage but didn't redirect it, so it's possible they don't realize the page still exists.

Wix's Super Bowl commercial is not SEO Hero related

Wix released the full director's cut of their Super Bowl commercial for 2017 yesterday. I had wondered about the timing and the theme and thought they might promote their SEO Hero website during the big game, but that didn't happen.

My apologies to Sylvain Vandewalle

Sylvain is the SEO who runs seoherocontest.xyz. I saw he and some other French SEOs were upset I called out his asking for links at conference. I have no idea what was actually said, I just thought the slide with the kitten was cute. It's not my job to judge, just to troll a bit and I've chosen to report on SEO Hero happenings as part of my contest strategy. I didn't mean any offense and I apologize. There's not really a lot of news about the SEO Hero Challenge, so I take whatever I can find at times. I really admire the tenacity of the guy coming back after his website was hacked and for participating in a contest that uses a language which isn't his native language. Maybe that fight comes from all those years he has played tennis. I've played quite a bit of tennis in my day as well and know how things can turn around as time progresses and momentum shifts. I feel bad for calling him out, but I'm glad to see he's fighting on like a true SEO Hero.

One of the SEO Hero contest entries isn't eligible

It's one of the top ranking websites, but as Marie Haynes pointed out on Twitter, the SEO Hero website isn't eligible because it is a pre-existing domain. Marie used to own this and had an SEO quiz on the website. Early on in the competition Marie had a link to this website in the menu of her website, but it looks like that has been removed now.

One of the top ranking sites for the SEO hero competition is not eligible because it was my domain previously. https://t.co/jfvYvejWZa

— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) January 31, 2017

Wix's new website won't rank

They made a mistake in the migration and left a meta robots value of noindex on every page. This will actually prevent the new domain from showing in the SERPs even though they 301 redirected the old website. They'll read my blog and fix it now I'm sure, but this mistake could have cost them the SEO Hero Challenge.

Wix changed domain names, SEO Hero School now Gifted SEO Hero

In breaking news, Wix has redirected seoheroschool.com to giftedseohero.com maybe because of the negative SEO, a re-brand, or a penalty? I'm amazed they would do this in the middle of the competition! The domain does look to have been registered within the entry window for the SEO Hero Challenge so it should be eligible assuming they entered it (of course who could check them on this?) I'm still not sure why they would do this since they setup a redirect and it doesn't really solve any issues that may have been caused by the links.

I was looking back at some of the changes to the website and noticed they added the yoga studio in the Bronx, NY back to their SEO Heroes page. They had killed off links to the villains page and placed the villains on a homepage slider, but the page itself still works http://www.giftedseohero.com/seo-villains and was not redirected. There are also a couple pages that got indexed when they copied pages that are still indexed such as: http://www.seoheroschool.com/copy-of-alumni and http://www.seoheroschool.com/copy-of-seo-villains.

Be An SEO Hero was going to be a completely different website

My original plan for the SEO Hero contest hatched back in November at Internet Summit was going to somewhat similar to whichseohero.com. I wasn't going to have the quiz or anything, but I did want to have a vote system for favorite SEOs which I did end up making with SEO Heroes and Heroines but this was just step one. I wanted to take the top SEO Heroes and Heroines and create a character around each one. I wanted to make caricatures of each of the SEOs in their new personas and create a playing card deck with many of them as characters on the cards. I was going to have people vote on what type of character or persona each should be after brainstorming a few ideas and vote on which card each one should go. I thought the deck would be a cool gift and giveaway at conferences since I don't have a book like many of the other SEOs who speak.

I had many of these planned out already like Rand Fishkin would probably end up being the Wizard of Moz with an obvious Wizard of Oz character and probably Ryan Jones as the Joker because I'm a big fan of WTF SEO. In the end my strategy shifted to covering the contest and making resources people interested in the contest would want like daily rankings, a competitor list with strategies, and contest analysis. SEO Heroes and Heroines was ruined by Russ Jones and some other technical SEOs because apparently Listly doesn't use any kind of authentication and doesn't protect it's script well at all. I went with Listly on Paul Shapiro's recommendation which honestly saved me a lot of time because I was going to develop my own, but mine probably would have been a lot worse. It's still a cool idea I think and I may still make the playing cards, but the moral of the story is that strategies evolve and Be An SEO Hero today looks nothing like it's original concept.

Does Wix buy links for SEO? I'll just leave this here.

@Skitzzo @patrickstox I've sold links to Wix many, many times in the past so nothing would surprise me when it comes to them.

— Ian Nuttall (@iannuttall) January 31, 2017

Another bought link for SEO Hero School?

I thought Wix was done with this tactic after being called out on it, but I guess it wasn't enough to change years of bad practices. Go see https://www.websitetooltester.com/en/blog/wix-seo/ with many of the tell-tale signs of a paid placement like many of the others. The website makes it's money mostly from affiliate marketing and even claimed they refused to sell their top spot to a certain website provider *cough* Wix (see below). In the article they talk about how great Wix is, how they've cleaned up most of the problems, they talk about John Mueller mentioning Wix websites work fine in search (which Wix loves to tout) and then bam, there's the link promotion for SEO Hero School. Oh did I forget to mention they also use graphics from SEO Hero School? There's no reason to link to this in a post talking about Wix fixing some of their SEO issues and reviewing them. It's again keyword rich anchor text, and with a dive into other parts of the website, I found sidebar ads for Wix. This is really disappointing that Wix is keeping with this tactic in the SEO Hero Challenge that breaks their own rules.

In fact, if you have been to other site builder comparison websites you may have seen one specific provider ranking number 1 again and again. Well, they also asked us whether they could buy our top position. Obviously we refused. It may not be so beneficial to our earnings but at least we can be proud of our work.

I checked many of these websites and unsurprisingly it is Wix who is usually number 1. I guess these guys can be proud they didn't sell them a fake review, but it does look like Wix has a sidebar ad on many of the pages on the website as well as the article mentioned earlier which looks to be a thinly veiled paid promotion for SEO Hero School.

And another paid link for SEO Hero School

I orignally missed this as it was before I was looking for paid links I believe, but here's another website http://www.dessignare.com/2017/01/ilustracion-mundowix-presenta-seo-hero.html where it looks like Wix paid for a link. It's got all the signs again like a page for partnerships where they mention they work as promoters, and while the website is meant to "promote the work of independent designers, digital art studios and companies in the creative industries", they're promoting the artistic works of Wix on SEO Hero School. The website has posted about Wix before as we've seen with many of the other links that look paid for. The article itself has multiple links to Wix and their social media profiles and looks like it could have been a written press release from Wix themselves.

I called Wix linking from their contest announcemet to SEO Hero School

The very first thing I wrote for the SEO Hero Challenge was placeholder text while I brainstormed a bit more and got a website set up. The second thing I wrote on November 18 was a piece that was meant to be controversial but never gained traction. This was Why no one can win the Wix SEO Hero Contest. There were still a lot of questions on the rules and what was going to happen. In it, I suggested jokingly that Wix could link from their contest page or even Wix's homepage to their SEO Hero website and that this would be the best link that anyone in the competition could hope for since all of the contestants and news websites covering the contest will link to this and it's sure to be the first search result. This part was meant to be controversial and I never thought they would actually do it. That's like doing a giveaway and having someone at your company win, it just feels wrong and leaves a bad taste in people's mouths. No one running a fair and decent contest would think to do such a thing, but I don't think the Wix SEO Hero Challenge was meant to be fair from the start. I mentioned a couple days ago how Wix has leveraged channels and methods not available to other SEO Heroes such as buying paid ads on AdWords and Facebook, promoting to massive social channels on Twitter and Facebook, promoting on the Wix blog, in the Wix newsletter, and even buying links from people they already had pre-existing advertising relationships with. After the contest Wix will just run a big advertising campaign saying how awesome they are for SEO and their customers and future customers will simply believe it. There will be the 0.01% that know what they did and how they violated the rules of their own contest to win, but the vast majority of the people will not know or care.

SEO Hero Week