The judge previously sent an email that the .tech domain wasn't eligible, but after emailing the judge the competitor has confirmed that his SEO Hero website will be eligible for the competition. I'm glad they got this straight, but this is also the guy that made a profile with SEO Hero in the title on one of my Meetup groups. I haven't looked at the link profile as I've told myself I will wait until later in the competition, but I can't help but think this link profile won't be pretty. Another with a .us.com still seems to be going back and forth with Wix whether his SEO Hero website is eligible. This is one I'm not clear on myself if you'll recall because basically the "domains" are subdomains that are being re-sold.
They added a blog with the origin of Blogan and added the following courses:
I actually reported on a couple of these 8 days ago when Wix had some information in their sitemap that they shouldn't have. Still missing from their SEO Hero courses that I saw is Sitemaps course on User Experience, but Redirects and CAPTCHA Solving were new surprises. They still don't actually have this courses and they may just be placeholders or they may indicate actual courses that are coming. Time will tell.
In the style of Dean Cruddace's oap.ninja, Nicholas Chimonas has launced a game / test seo-hero-game.com and I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops. This could actually turn into a useful competency test when hiring SEOs, but for now the levels are kind of easy.
The website was getting slow with a massive number of calls to images, Facebook, and Twitter posts. I decided to separate the content by weeks in the competition and have added a quick overview of what happened each week to the main page.
Update: it's gone already. Wix took the forum down. The question remains whether it will make a comeback or if it was never supposed to exist.
I don't think it's supposed to be there or even be public, but it is. Check out seoheroschool.com/forum/
I wonder what else remains to be found. Maybe they setup an ecommerce shop to sell tshirts and mugs for the SEO Hero Contest as well?
With the recent algorithm update and a conversation between Barry Schwartz and John Mueller, I read into John's reply that Google turned up the ranking boost for HTTPS websites. That made me want to see how many SEO Hero competitors were using HTTP vs HTTPS. With new websites, I would have thought that many would go ahead and secure their websites, but what I found is that there are ~2.5x as many competitors on HTTP. See the chart below for the breakdown of 134 competitors.
Today is the first day I've seen their website in the search results. seoheroschool.com came in at 144th.
It looks like Wix might allow one competitor to do just that.
@chriscountey Yes, you can submit a max. of 5 sites to the contest but they need to have a different domain name for each— Wix.com (@Wix) December 17, 2016
The entries are now officially closed. I hope everyone who wanted to compete submitted their entry by now. I didn't get an email at all yesterday from Wix about my SEO Hero contest website. It seems they didn't plan this out well as some people had questions about the rejection of their domain that went unanswered and others like me didn't hear from them one way or another. What happens if someone gets a rejection email today or tomorrow? The entries are closed and it's pretty terrible to not tell people in time for them to register and submit another domain.
In other news my ranking for "SEO Hero" tanked this morning and I'm not sure why. I had this kind of drop a few weeks ago on the http/https switch and adding of some lists to the website, but after putting research on it's own page and Google finally picking up the switch everything seemed to be fine. I haven't made any changes to the website this time other than to add some news and some items to the research and competitor pages. Could just be shuffling because of the new domain or a test from Google. I'll look into it more when I have time, but today my focus is on finishing an awesome article I'm really excited about for Search Engine Land and going to "Novena de Aguinaldos" tonight with my amazing Colombian wife. It's a Colombian tradition and I'm told there will be lots of music and Colombian food.
At least one competitor in the Wix SEO Hero competition has received an email saying that there was a problem with his registration and he didn't enter a valid domain URL. It's sad they waited until the last day to enter to send this, but hey it could have been the day after. I don't see a problem with their URL. I thought maybe they mistyped it when entering but Wix put it right in the email and the only thing I can see is that it's a newer tld, .tech that's only been available for a little over a year. I wonder if they have an automated system checking that doesn't recognize this, and maybe other newer tlds?
We noticed a problem with your Wix SEO Challenge registration. When submitting your details, you didn't enter a valid domain URL. That means your entry is not in compliance with the contest's rules.
You still have time to enter! Re-submit your details with a valid domain URL for the chance to win $50,000. Submissions close December 16, 2016.
The Wix Team
Edit: At least one other competitor has reported the same email. He is on a .us.com which Wix may treat as a subdomain. Honestly I'm not even sure how this would be classified. It's not a TLD or even a second level domain, so I think it would fall into a private subdomain registry. I think this would actually make this domain ineligible based on the rules.
Edit again: Some contestants have now posted screenshots showing an email saying they've been evaluated and are in compliance and even get a reference number. I have not received either email yet.
We are happy to confirm that your domain (domainname.com) has been evaluated, found to comply with the initial guidelines set out in the Wix SEO Challenge rules and has been assigned the reference number (some code here).
Please quote this reference number in all correspondence with us.
Please ensure all rules are adhered to throughout the challenge.
Get your entries in if you've been procrastinating. This is your last chance to be an SEO Hero.
Personally, I think they do look more like wrestlers than heroes, although I guess wrestlers could be heroes to many.
Okay, let me explain. Wix has been hovering between 6th and 9th for their main website, not their contest entry, for several days now. The autosuggest phrases around SEO hero changed and within a couple days they jump up to the top and have 2 and sometimes 3 spots in the SERPs. Is there a connection, as in does more "branded" searches on longer tail phrases have a ranking impact on more generic and shorter queries? We'll see if websites with the other phrases like contest and challenge seem to get an unnatural boost. I've seen this many times with companies breaking into fairly competitive markets in a relatively short amount of time. They'll look for phrases like XX company or XX services and make that their "brand" name. None of the metrics ever seem to match up with the rankings so I've suspected this may be the case for a while so I've been looking for it to happen with SEO Hero searches. It could also be a very big coincidence as there is talk of an algorithm update today, although that would be unlike Google to roll something out this close to the holidays.
Ryan Jones of WTF SEO tried to self-report to an affiliate program and asked for a check payable to "Charitably Acting SEO Heroes", better known as CASH. This guy is awesome.
Jared Frasier refers to Moz as SEO Heroes and Yelp as the internet mafia in regards to their teaming up with a new addition to Moz Local, which I personally think is amazing. I guess Wix thought of Moz and in particular Rand Fishkin as an SEO Hero as well since they used his name and likeness on their competition website.
What? The SEO heroes have partnered with the internet mafia? https://t.co/4mOZpyypfS— Jared Frasier (@jaredfrasier) December 16, 2016
One of the contestants from France has joined a couple of my Meetup groups and was sure to include SEO Hero in his name and drop a link to his website. There's also an SEO Hero Meetup group that was started. What people won't do for a link, even if it's nofollow.
It doesn't look like they're getting much attention at this point, but with only one day left to enter they have to promote the competition a bit more.
Over on seoheroschool.com, the pages are finally live! They announced their villains Tagmeto (who has the coolest cape) and Spamtinels. They also have a ocuple of the courses we talked about previously, Freshness Factor by Evergreen and in a twist, it's not a KW Research Lab taught by Professor F. Instead, he's teaching a Link Building Workshop. Nothing seems to be clickable for the course or the recommended reading. Right now it's basically just course descriptions.
It's becoming too common in the SEO industry for people to take shortcuts. People just don't seem to want to put in the effort to make their content better, get the technical details on their website right, or build the kind of links they should be getting for their type of business. Instead, everyone wants to be featured on Forbes or Huffington Post. Their strategy, instead of hard work is to go viral, but that's not really a strategy; it's a gamble. To make matters worse, it's easy to obtain links on major websites by paying and you can find price lists for this kind of service everywhere, especially my inbox. Many companies take this route, because it's easier than putting in the work and it's a sure thing. One SEO Hero competitor appears to be taking this route. Check out the exact match anchor text with a generic quote in the article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gordon-tredgold/7-discount-shopping-hacks_b_13519258.html It makes me really sad that this is even a thing. My only solace is that Huffington Post changed their policy recently and the link is nofollow, but that won't stop people from buying links to tout they got their clients mentioned on these major news websites.
That was the concern of one Twitter user. While that was the case for a brief period last year, the problem was resolved. Wix answered saying their websites are amazing for search engines, but that's stretching it a bit. It's like the kids who get an achievement award just for showing up. The site will be recognized, but there are some issues with the platform and extensibility from an SEO standpoint. Be sure to check out my page on Wix SEO.
In about 1 months time, the autosuggested results "SEO Hero" have changed. Of note are some new contest related entries such as:
I would imagine there are a lot of things Google uses to decide autosuggested phrases such as new content being indexed, increased search volume for phrases, and probably some tests to see if people will click autosuggested results. I just thought it was interesting to see this changing already.
Now I had another question, going back to the conspiracy theories that the Wix SEO Hero Competition is meant to bury some negative articles on Wix SEO. Maybe it's not just the articles though, are there bad autosuggested phrases as well that this competition might help to push out of view? I wish I had thought to pull these sooner. Here are the first few autosuggested results, and be sure to check out the SEO Hero Research page to see the others.
Obviously problems is not something Wix wants people to see regarding their SEO. It will be interesting to see how many of these are replaced with hero / contest queries before the end of the competition. There were many other potentially problematic phrases that appeared in the autosuggest as well including:
Lots of local SEOs have been tweeting out Andrew Shotland's post that includes some colorful examples of websites built on Wix. This is NSFW.
At least one onlooker wasn't impressed by the top 10 search results for "SEO Hero". Cyrus Shepard took to Twitter to express his disappointment.
Gotta admit, top 10 rankings for "SEO hero" are underwhelming at this point.— Cyrus Shepard (@CyrusShepard) December 14, 2016
But wait, I thought Cyrus liked my strategy?
This is also a *brilliant* content marketing strategy to help win the actual contest.— Cyrus Shepard (@CyrusShepard) November 27, 2016
I followed up, we're still cool.
@patrickstox Oh no, *your* site is one of the few that deserve to be there! My bad.— Cyrus Shepard (@CyrusShepard) December 14, 2016
Not a bad idea. I actually have a little something in the works but not for WordPress.
4 Weeks in and only 2 days left to enter. I'm still leading the competition. Lots of new websites have popped up but many are ineligible because of domain history. Wix's SEO Hero School site has been live for a week now, but they still haven't moved into the top 200 in rankings. Oh yeah, you may have noticed I pulled deeper into the rankings today because I wanted to show how many competitors are lurking just outside the bounds of other rank trackers. While one competitor with a rank tracker shows just 2 websites in the top 100, I have 83 in the top 220 that I'm tracking with searches done from a New York proxy, where the judge will search.
There was some anger about the SEO Hero competition and lots of remarks made about competitors this week. Wix also made a mistake and was exposing upcoming content to the public. I informed them of this and they have corrected it now. There is however a list of upcoming courses from them, even though these pages are not live yet.
As for my SEO Hero website, you may have noticed I moved almost everything except rankings and news to their own pages as my news section continues to get longer and we still have 3 months to go! I reviewed a bunch of competitors to take a look at their content / competition strategy and also reviewed which CMS systems people are using. Twice as many people in the competition are without a CMS as are using Wix and the most chosen CMS is unsurprisingly WordPress with over 5x as many SEO Heroes on WordPress as are on Wix.
It's Be An SEO Hero. I'm not promoting a bean eating SEO Hero. I've had several people ask me this now and troll me with whole backstories. I guess I should make a logo or something.
I'm not sure what it is, but apparently it broke this Wix user's website.
I had an awesome time wrapping up the year at our Raleigh SEO Meetup Christmas party. If anyone has looked me up, you may have seen I'm an organizer for this meetup group. Great people, great venue, great food, lots of donations to Toys For Tots, and lots of giveaways. I couldn't have been happier with how this went. Truly, after having Mike King come speak last month, this was a great way to finish off the year.