@seoherobot taunted Wix and expressed his frustrations on the need for clarity in order to make this a fair contest. I'm sure Wix will send him a link to the rules as well. With so much open to interpretation, we don't know what the judge will and won't allow.
I have to say this one made me laugh. I asked for clarifications on the rules and the SEO Hero contest judge pointed me to the rules. I know where the rules are, it's points in there that I want clarified. My tweet mentioned he sent me a link to the rules and Wix jumped right in on Twitter trying to be helpful and provided me with another link to the rules. What a joke.
HAHA, I wish. I did reach out to the judge, Eran Hurvitz for some clarifications on things Wix has said such as the contest will be judged from Desktop, Chrome, Incognito, and from New York, even though Eran is listed as living in Toronto. I asked about the re-registered expired domains that they posted a clarification on. Because of something I noticed recently from one of the competitors, I asked about redirected domains. I asked about combating spam and disavow files, and asked about some of the particular strategies some of the competitors are using like setting up a fake business and doing local citations. There's just so much room for interpretation or misinterpretation of the rules, yet that's where he sent me, the contest rules. I guess I'll dig through them and do what I think they say since we can't get any clarification. The email response is below.
In connection with your email regarding the Wix SEO Hero contest, please note that as the contest's moderator I am not in the position to provide any consulting, counseling or assistance in connection with the contest or any website created for the contest.
You can refer to the contest rules for any information that you need.
At least one competitor must have read my post Fun with robots.txt last week on Search Engine Land. They now have 2 SEO Hero related ASCII art images in their robots.txt file.
I decided to dig in to see what this term is all about. It will make a nice before and after comparison to see how the query and any associated entities or even intent changes over the next months. Anyway, I pulled the current Google autosuggested phrases, identified entities and concepts with AlchemyAPI, found the most used terms, found the co-occurrence of those terms, checked how much content top pages have, and ran a TF-IDF analysis of the top pages. If any of that is interesting you, go check out the research into SEO Hero.
A user on Twitter asked Wix about editing the URL structure for a blog. Wix gave a couple suggestions, but in the end what the user wants isn't in Wix's platform. I checked myself on my test website, and while I could edit the URL, I could only edit the end part, the whole /single-post/YYYY/MM/DD structure doesn't seem editable. More points off for another example of basic SEO functionality not in Wix's platform.
@Wix How come something so simple such as creating a custom blog URL structure is not possible? How can you not have that?— SFSeaford (@sfseaford) November 27, 2016
Have any of the keyword research tools picked up on the change in search volume for "SEO Hero" yet? I checked SEMrush, Moz KWE, and Ahrefs to find out. SEMrush gave me no data. Moz gives me nothing, but tells me the term has a difficulty of 30, opportunity of 92, and potential of 30. Ahrefs gives me no search volume data, and tells me the keyword difficulty is 8 and that I'll need backlinks from ~9 websites to rank in the top 10. I'm not sure on the feed cycles, but I would expect with clickstream data being used by some of the tools, that soon enough they'll start to show keyword volume.
I added a ticker of Google Alerts for the latest results for "SEO Hero" searches. You can see just how bad the spam is already at any given time.
I added a section where you can vote for your favorite, add them if they're not there, and even leave comments to tell us all why they're your hero or heroine! Go check out SEO Heroes and Heroines
I went through some of Wix's blogs and resources related to SEO. What I found was a lot of inaccuracies in their provided information. Some of it is debatable, some of it is just wrong or misleading, and some of them are pretty common myths from drinking the kool-aid. Anyway, check out what they had to say in the new section Things Wix has said about SEO that are Wrong!
I setup CloudFlare as a CDN this morning and moved from HTTP to HTTPS. I wanted to do this as the site gets larger to increase the speed and decrease the server resources being used. Luckily for me, CloudFlare makes this easy and the whole process took about 10 minutes and now my website is loading over HTTPS with support for HTTP/2.
It was as simple as inputting my website, letting their tool pull the DNS settings, setting a couple page rules so everything goes to secure (HTTPS) and updating some internal links. One really cool option I was told about recently and I tried out for the first time here is "Automatic HTTPS Rewrites" which you can find under the "Crypto" section on CloudFlare. This updated my image links and canonical tag automatically when served from CloudFlare. I still went back and updated internal bookmark links manually, but it was just a simple find and replace. Check out these before and after tests from https://www.webpagetest.org/. Even though I had added some content after, the website is still nearly twice as fast.
If you've been wondering who you are up against, wonder no more! I've added a list of competitors for the Wix SEO Hero competition to the website. These are the websites I've found so far that were registered after the competition start date and appear to be competing for the $50,000 prize. Don't forget, you can also check their rankings, updated daily, to see who has made it to the top 100.
And it doesn't appear to be eligible either. igetseo.com was registered after the competition start date and appears to be targeted toward SEO hero, but the website was previously registered back in 2012. One day soon I'll be able to point out a real leader in the Wix SEO Hero competition.
As I reported previously, the search results returned for "SEO hero" have shot way up since the competition started. I decided to dig in and see what kind of websites had popped up and I gotta tell you, there's a lot of quality crap out showing up. I've already reported on some black hat tactics, but now I've decided to take it a step further and create a Cheating Section to write about the kind of crap people are pulling.
Apparently Wix's experience with SEO is that it's "a process that involves a lot of trial & error".
@GodsOfFighting From our experience, SEO is a process that involves a lot of trial & error.— Wix.com (@Wix) November 26, 2016
Paul Martin has offered a free beer to the winner of the SEO Hero contest if their website also outlines the crappy SEO of Wix. I think I might be a front runner for that beer.
I've setup a system to pull in rankings for domains competing in the Wix SEO Hero competition. You can check out the SEO Hero rankings section for daily updates to see who is leading the competition!
An email from Wix made me chuckle. I already reviewed some of Wix's SEO issues at least from a technical standpoint, but this email made me go check again. The email headline says "Get the Best SEO with Wix" and in it they claim: "Thanks to Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI), you're already ahead - your website comes tailor-made with quality content that gives you good SEO. And Wix has all the tools you need to make it great." Wait, what, my test website came with content? Sure enough I went to check out their tailor made quality content that's supposed to give me good SEO, and unsurprisingly after trying a few phrases, I found the same content across hundreds of websites. They likely have several defaults they use to cut down on the number of duplicates, but it should be obvious to them this is a bad idea and selling it as "good SEO" is just misleading if not outright lies.
Twitter user @GodsOfFighting said "@Wix I love you guys, my site looks beautiful but, my SEO status and ranking is very low even with the tips you offer and your posted info." Anyone else have any issues? Have you seen my take on Wix SEO?
@Wix I love you guys, my site looks beautiful but, my SEO status and ranking is very low even with the tips you offer and your posted info.— Gods of Fighting (@GodsOfFighting) November 25, 2016
I received a suspicious email from "JUDGE SEOHERO" claiming to be the contest judge. The email is from firstname.lastname@example.org which does seem to match the admin email from this page. They want me to upload my content to Google Drive which I don't really want to do since it changes daily. Below is the full content of the email.
Thanks for entering your site in the Wix SEO Challenge. As the challenge moderator, I'll be making sure that the competition is run in accordance with the Google Guidelines for SEO.
To help me do it, feel free to upload your SEO Hero website content to this Google Drive folder once the content is created. In the event of dispute regarding your compliance with the rules, this may help you demonstrate your compliance with the guidelines, so your site may still be in the running (providing you meet all of the challenge rules).
CEO of MRKT360 INC
*The content of this email shall not be deemed as confirmation of participant's compliance with the challenge's rules.
There's some spam now showing on the first page of the search results for "SEO Hero". I noticed these in the results a few days ago but they have gradually been moving up in the rankings. The creator is using Google Sites and while there don't appear to be any actual links on the page, I'm guessing there will be eventually.
People are curious about and having fun playing the Eyeflow SEO Hero game. I mentioned a couple days ago that they were likely one of the big beneficiaries from the contest.
I found a domain in the SERPs (nautiguide.com) that redirects to Wix's SEO Hero competition main page, but when I check in Google's cache, it's the content from my domain. I looked up the domain on Who.is and it was registered privately November 24th. I'm not quite sure what's going on here but I will monitor this and look into it if necessary. Seems like something underhanded for sure and it's still early in the competition. Edit: Julien Berard, Sr. SEO Strategist at EA has pointed out that this is likely someone attempting 302 hijacking. Paul Shapiro says he's been seeing a lot of these redirecting to the Wix SEO Hero contest page.
Good news for those whose domains had history, Julien Nauaulo reached out with the question: ". @Wix According to the 5.8 rule of SEO contest, can we submit a new entry if we made a mistake on domain (already registered) ? #seohero" and the response he received was "If your domain does not meet the challenge requirements, please enter the challenge again using a new domain." It's still early in the competition, so if you have doubts about the eligibility of your domain, it might be best to start over. Check your domain history with the Internet Archive https://archive.org/web/ and I would also recommend checking the domain history with a tool such as http://whoisrequest.com/history/.
Wix has posted a blog Become a Google Master - Find Exactly What You Need Online" that provides some helpful tips to use when searching with Google.
Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable has mentioned the competition again in his SEO Video recap. This will likely bring a few more eyes and new competitors to the competition. Watch the video below.
When Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes requested that people send him spammy EMDs, SEO David Iwanow wondered how many of these examples are going to be for the Wix SEO Hero competition. Fair question as many of the entries I've seen are exact match domains.
There's a ton of Black Friday deals for SEO out there. There's a nice thread on Reddit's /r/seo listing many of the discounts.
The folks over on Reddit are grabbing links, there's now a small list of websites who are competing in the Wix SEO Hero contest.
A very fun entry in into the Wix SEO Hero competition puts optimization in overdrive. seoheroseoheroseoheroseohero will be a fun one to watch.
A participant that I said was ineligible due to the rules and the domain having a history contacted Wix for confirmation. Unfortunately, they were neither able to confirm nor deny eligibility and simply said: "Dear Participant, please note I am not in the position to provide any consulting, counseling or assistance with the contest. You can refer to the contest rules for any information that you need." I did find more information on this from Wix here where they clearly state: "The domain you submit must be a new domain purchased on or after November 16, 2016. Note: It isn't possible to re-purchase and use an expired domain for the competition. The domain cannot have a domain history prior to its current purchase date."
Wix is running a 50% off Thanksgiving Sale for Yearly Unlimited &eCommerce Plans.
Happy Thanksgiving from the only up-to-date source of news on the Wix SEO Hero Competition.
One week into the Wix SEO Hero competition and I'm digging in to find out who is winning. As I mentioned previously, seohero.ninja and yourseohero.com appear to be ineligible based on the rules. I thought I found the next one with beseohero.com, but same story as the others, the owner either chose the domain because it was aged or didn't check, making this one ineligible as well. Next up is seo-zero.com and it's the same story again, registered in the right time frame but on an aged domain. I'm through 10 pages of the search results and nothing, not one eligible domain. The hunt for the leader continues.
There are now more results returned for "SEO hero" (currently 785,000) than there are for "Wix SEO" (currently 755,000).
The real winner in the Wix contest so far I bet is Eyeflow Internet Marketing with their videogame SEO Hero: Will White Hat SEO Prevail? In case you're curious, the description of the game is "Think you have what it takes to be a SEO Hero? Guide the White Hat Hero to SEO success! Adventure through four levels collecting Google likes and stars to increase your score on your way to the final flag. Avoid the obstacles set in play by the Rock Monster along the way to keep your campaign free of dirt."
It's been 1 week since the contest was announced, and still Wix's entry seoheroschool.com is just sitting there parked. When will they make their debut? I setup changedetection.com to tell me when the website goes live.
I made some Thanksgiving SEO inspired images people can use.
Some SEO companies are taking advantage of the Wix SEO Hero competition and are ranking pages in order to drum up business for themselves.