It looks like Be An SEO Hero is back in the SERPs after seoremake.com fixed their mistake. There have been some drops from some of the SEO Hero competitors like seohero.io who was one of the top sites and penrodshero.com also took a massive dive. Wix's Gifted SEO Hero website is also pretty far back, coming in about 40th of the eligible websites. They have a long way to go in a short amount of time if they want to prove they are the best. My feeds were interesting to go through as I saw everything from pure spam like blog comments on .edu websites and even links from porn websites. One German competitor seems to be releasing a ton of press releases every day. The French Team is getting major support from other French SEOs. With less than 3 weeks to go in the competition, this is the time to make a move.
Heroes always have moments where they are weak but then come back strong. I'm figuratively dead from packing, moving, and unpacking. I've got a Raleigh SEO Meetup tomorrow and an early flight to go speak at Pubcon on Wednesday so expect delays or very little in the ways of updates. After finally getting the internet working (no signal), I'm back online and have updated the rankings. I will probably update tomorrow as well but Wednesday is probably out of the question. I will return to my former glory soon enough, just bear with me!
Not websites, but actually moving. There may not be updates the next couple days as I'm in the process of moving closer to my wife's new job location.
On seoremake.com, the site currently showing in the SERPs instead of beanseohero.com but with my content in their cache, it no longer throws an error and instead says "It was a mistake, you will come back soon!". I hope so, I'd hate for the judge to see a different website when he searches for "seo hero". What's to stop anyone or even multiple people from doing this in the final days of the competition? I feel like I need to look through the rules to see if there's a way to file a protest just in case, but with the way the SEO Hero Challenge was setup and run, I doubt it.
TJ of penrodshero.com and a few other competition websites posts and does some very random things at times. This time he's running a BuzzFeed style paid ad. I think he's just bored to be honest. You do you TJ, I support it!
2 of the videos are the latest posts on Facebook, they put it out on Twitter and tried to get Matt Cutts and Rand Fishkin involved (the one comment besides Matt Cutts was from an SEO Team Lead at Wix), but it seems to have been successful and got a comment from Matt saying "cats are often the secret ingredient to success". Since Matt commented, of course Barry Schwartz wrote about it on here.
Another video has been posted and shared from one of the French competitors, Stephane Madaleno, who runs seo-hero.ninja. It makes the SEO Hero contest seem a lot more epic than it actually is. Good job on the video!
seoremake.com is replacing my website in the search results. It's not always there, but is more than it's not which could cause a nightmare if it happens during the judging. Pedro Dias who used to work for Google on the Search Quality / Webspam team said that it shouldn't affect my website since it isn't seen as the canonical for my domain. This was my response, showing the other website in the SERPs instead of me.
All the way back on week 2 I wrote about one of the early hijacking attempts of my website. At the time the one I wrote about had up-to-date content but there were a couple others out there that showed in some of my early rankings reports that had older content from my website and didn't necessarily replace but showed in the SERPs with my website, perhaps because it had changed so much. Interestingly enough, these also have their links showing in my Google Search Console account and makes up a majority of what I thought was spam in there. Russ Jones pointed out an old article from Dejan SEO where he talks about hijacking Rand Fishkin's blog and a few other websites. Interestingly enough, he had a followup article at the time where by doing this, win or lose in the SERPs, you could see your competitors links in GSC. This would explain why I see links to my website "via intermediate link" from domains that were hijacking my website. Interestingly enough I didn't see these until after the recent GSC infrastructure update. It could be they broke something, took out what was preventing these links from showing, or rolled back some code to a time before this prevention was in place. Just looking at it, I believe this tactic will allow you to see your competitors links once again! Unfortunately for me, I'm not sure how the SEO Hero contest judge will interpret these. I haven't disavowed them because there's not actually a link to my website there and I don't believe that disavowing would do any good. Even if I did, it would be up to the judge to check that list and since it's not a normal place to look in GSC, I'm not sure that he would take the time.
Instead of being redirected, seoheroschool.com now goes to an error page. I'm not sure if this was done intentionally while possibly trying to avoid moving a penalty or if they made a mistake.
There's a new leader in the Wix SEO Hero Challenge. The problem is this website is hijacking mine. The website throws an error that it can't be reached, although previously it was 302 redirecting to another website. The Google cache shows my website, name and all. I've filed a spam report with Google but there's nothing stopping someone from doing this in the last few days of the competition. For the SEO heroes, it's time to give the judge access to your GSC and GA, and by time I mean it's literally the last day. There are more SEO Hero websites showing up even though there's less than a month left and the French Team is making a push. It's funny, I haven't seen much from the German SEOs recently other than some press releases, but I would expect to see more of them in the last month. Rand Fishkin officially acknowledged he is not involved with Wix's entry.
What's Wix been up to in the competition you ask? Well they split SEO Hero School into Gifted SEO Hero and Real SEO Hero. Finally their new giftedseohero.com replaced seoheroschool.com in the SERPs, but they're pretty far back, coming in at 25th of the eligible websites in the competition today. I think they know this and want to make up ground as they continue to buy links which is against the Google Webmaster Guidelines and also the SEO Hero Challenge rules. This hasn't deterred them from breaking their own contest rules however. They also made a pretty cool video with their SEO Heroes, Matt Cutts, and cats.
For me the saddest news was already mentioned. Another website hijacked my SERP position with my content. I'm saddened that this still works to be honest. Google did make a connection and added "seo hero" to the related searches for my name, Patrick Stox, so that's something I suppose.
@patrickstox Yikes! That royally sucks. Hope you get it sorted.— Cyrus Shepard (@CyrusShepard) February 15, 2017
http://www.websiteplanet.com/blog/wixs-seo-hero-contest-is-it-worth-a-look/ writes a very confusing article. They ask if the contest is worth a look, get the amount of time left in the contest wrong by an entire month, only look at Wix's website which wouldn't be found by anyone not following the contest, and they read through Wix's blogs and said they are more for advanced SEOs (you can probably see me rolling over here). They dropped a link to the featured snippet article with the anchor "article" rather than using keyword rich anchor text like they have in the past, but that may be just to cover their tracks a bit since I keep calling them out when they break the contest rules and buy links. So why do I think this is paid besides they're writing about Wix's website while knowing nothing about the contest in a very confusing way? How about that the website is also an affiliate marketer of Wix. You will find several previous articles, a likely paid for ranking for Wix as the top website builder, and oh yeah a nice sidebar link on many of the pages for "Try Wix, It's Free!" with an affiliate tracking code on it. Take a look at the running list below and decide for yourself which they have paid for, but my opinion is that all of these are paid.
I haven't covered them in a while because they seemed to have stopped, but Wix has added a couple more SEO tips including submitting your website to directories with no caveat that they shouldn't submit to every directory or use a directory submission service which would likely get you penalized. The other tip is to create search friendly URLs and oh yeah "if you can use a keyword - do it!". How about wix.com/wix-seo-wix-seo-hero-wix-seo-hero-challenge-wix-seo-hero-contest-wix-paid-links? Looks good to me.
This is the story behind the video of the SEO Heroes saving the world from Apocalinks by finding Matt Cutts and taking pictures of cats. There, I saved you the time of reading it. Go watch the video instead, it's actually worth watching.