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

Wix SEO Hero Week 7 Recap

SEO Hero Rankings as of 1/3/2017

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

Wix SEO Hero Competition News


What year is it?

"© 2006 - 2016 Wix.com, Inc" still adorns Wix.com and their SEO Hero entry seoheroschool.com. Let me help you out Wix. Take your pick in PHP or JS Wix and never have to worry about updating your footer again.

&copy; 2006<script>new Date().getFullYear()>2006&&document.write("-"+new Date().getFullYear());</script>, Wix.com, Inc
&copy; <?php
  $fromYear = 2006; 
  $thisYear = (int)date('Y'); 
  echo $fromYear . (($fromYear != $thisYear) ? '-' . $thisYear : '');?> Wix.com, Inc

SEO Tips now on Wix's SEO Hero website

I'm not sure why the URL is the way it is, but Wix has added tips to their SEO Hero website at http://www.seoheroschool.com/seo-hero-tips (They ninja edited this, the original URL was http://www.seoheroschool.com/copy-of-alumni). It looks like they will be doing daily SEO tips, although this is the first day and there are already 3. One additional note is they look to be possibly targeting some autosuggested phrases by saying "Zero to SEO Hero". In our initial research into seo hero we saw one of the autosuggested phrases was "seo hero zero" likely from an older article on inc.com about going from zero to SEO Hero. Wix may be trying to capitalize on some related phrases for their entry.

The advice here so far is pretty terrible. They tell you to add audio and video to keep people on your site longer, and while this isn't bad advice in itself, a lot of people may take this as adding background music or autoplay videos which just annoy users. Wix goes on to say that increasing time on page gives you a boost in the search engines and this is completely false.

They go on to tell you to optimize your page titles which is fine, but the problem I have with this one is their recommendation for 60 characters in length. What year is it? Google actually uses a pixel count, not character count. They're currently running a test of increasing from 512px to 600px, but character count recommendations are dangerous in general. Take a look at these 2 potential titles with exactly 60 characters each and you'll notice one of these things is not like the other:

The third tip is about your domain name. They recommend using your business name and a keyword. That's going to be awesome making Joe's Plumber joesplumberplumbing.com. When I looked at their documentation for SEO recommendations on Wix.com they had actually recommended exact match domains.

Overall I'll give them 0.5/3 so far with their SEO recommendations. Hopefully they'll do a little better in the coming days.

Google: Wix Web Sites Work Fine For Search

Barry Schwartz is on top of things over at Search Engine Roundtable. He wrote up this story where Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller responded in the Webmaster Help forum that Wix works fine in search. In truth, pretty much anything works fine in search as long as Google can see it. What Barry left off is John saying you should think about the bigger picture, and not focus on a single provider. He talks about adding/changing content and features for the mid-term. Wix has a lot of issues with this. You can't even change a template without breaking your website. Then there's all the issues like dealing with duplication that a site will eventually face, and Wix not supporting canonical tags is a problem. Don't expect to setup AMP, or do an internationalized website either as they don't have support for hreflang tagging. You also won't see a speed increase from HTTP/2 since they don't support HTTPS. I think Wix is fine when just starting out, but at some point as an SEO you'll simply need more flexibility and control than the platform offers. See my Wix SEO review for more about where their platform falls short to make sure that the functionality you need to be successful is there.

Very poor SEO website

A post on Wix's discussion forum has a very angry rant and Wix for SEO. Wix tried to help and actually made some decent points, but they also make me cringe when they say things like repeating the alt text on images is "repeat content" and that Google considers it spam.

Can we link to other SEO Heroes?

It's been a few days since @whichseohero asked about rule 14.8 and what it meant about interfering with the promotion of other hero sites. Wix forwarded the question to @wixhelp and there's finally a followup that they're looking into it.

@whichseohero @Wix Hi there! Our team is looking into this, as soon as we have more info we will let you know.

— Wix Help (@WixHelp) January 4, 2017

Over 175 SEO Hero domains

After a few more showed up this morning, as happens almost every morning, my running total is 177 SEO Hero websites. This is not an official number from Wix of course, as it's only the ones I've run across, but at the rate they are showing up lately and how deep we are into the competition I would estimate the total number of SEO Hero entries to be at or greater than 200.

The first emoji SEO Hero

In one of my feeds this morning was the first SEO Hero competitor using an emoji domain. I was a little excited to see this and I'm looking forward to seeing how the domain will perform in the competition.


A new SEO Resource

I've added a new page, SEO Resources that I think will be valuable to people outside of the competition. Seriously, I wish something like this existed when I was learning SEO that I could just go to and read everything. I will be making even more changes and improvements to this, but the goal is that when someone asks where or how to learn SEO, I want people to send them here.

Is Wix really not running Google Analytics?

As you probably know by now, turning over Google Search Console and Google Analytics access is actually part of the rules of the Wix SEO Hero Challenge. One competitor on Twitter took a look and saw no Analytics so I decided to double check. My guess based on another tweet he sent is the guy used a 3rd party tool that told him Wix had no analytics on the website. It's also possible he hit view source and looked for one of the analytics js files, or maybe used a tool like builtwith which again doesn't show that Analytics is there. The problem with websites built on Wix and several JS frameworks is these methods don't work. They're habbits for SEOs at this point and many don't know another way to check. Hopefully those SEO Heroes reading this learn a little something to start the new year off right.

Inspecting the page told me they're running Google Tag Manager. I fired up Google Tag Assistant and what I found was not one, but in fact 2 Google Analytics codes being fired with ids UA-54339416-1 and UA-88453001-1. One of these is likely for internal use and the other is likely the account they will hand over to the judge.

So it appears that wix's entry is not using any analytical tools most importantly @googleanalytics which we all have to use #seohero

— YourSEOHero (@YourSEOHero) January 2, 2017

2 weeks after entries closed and still no confirmation email

That's the case for one SEO Hero who reached out to @Wix for help.

Hi @Wix Still not receiving confirmation email about https://t.co/MMTsnBD9I0 Could you please confirm my website is registered for #SEOHero

— Sylvain Vandewalle (@SylvainVandewal) January 2, 2017

It's a new year and Wix is winning

I talked a bit a couple days ago about how much the link from Wix's main blog to their SEO Hero website seoheroschool.com helped their rankings, bringing them up over 80 positions at the time. Now they are winning the contest, above all eligible competitors. Is it because their SEO is better than anyone else really, or was it because no one else in the competition has as powerful of a domain to drop links? It's sad really, but hey at least Google values this YouTube channel above all the competitors https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC31kJXcrlAe5nKIT8fev-vg and all it says is "SEO Hero" on the page. Good job Google, once again you're saying one thing but what works is still another.

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017!


It looks like betheseohero.com is backed by a powerful SEO team

Judging by links going to the website, it looks like this is the entry Cyrus Shepard is involved with. I know it's a team effort for a good cause and was curious who else was involved so I did some digging. None other than Annie Cushing is also involved with this entry. I'm not sure who else yet, but this website has a team of powerful SEOs behind their efforts and they're sure to be a major contender in the Wix SEO Hero Challenge.

Will you be an SEO Hero or an SEO Villain in the new year?

2017 starts tomorrow and you have a choice to make. You can be an SEO Hero.

SEO Hero Patrick Stox with a Panda and a Penguin

Or an SEO villain.

SEO Villain Patrick Stox with a Panda and a Penguin

Remember that time Wix linked to their SEO Hero contest site from their main blog?

It wasn't that long ago and I know I've covered it a couple times already, but as of today seoheroschool.com is now above every other eligible entry into the contest except mine. An amazing climb from below 144th to where they are now. I checked Majestic and Ahrefs and they have a few links from some of the competitors, but only one of the competitors is using followed links and he links to pretty much everyone anyway. The only other links that Wix's entry has are from that blog, but that's all it took to put them ahead of everyone else who has worked so hard. They could easily link to it again and again and again until they win just from the strength of their wix.com domain.

Is the SEO Hero Challenge a paid link scheme?

I don't think it is, but one user on Twitter does. They're not paying people to add links or even making people link to Wix as part of the contest or anything.

Failing to understand how this @Wix #SEOHero Challenge isan't one giant 'paid link' scheme? #SEO #ORM @Google

— Design.Agency (@designagencyhq) December 30, 2016

Have I been targeted for Negative SEO?

I was checking in Search Console this morning and there's definitely a few naughty links. I'm starting my list but this isn't enough for me to upload a disavow file yet. We'll see how bad it gets. My favorite is from a French chiropractic website where they dropped 4 comments with "seo hero" as the name and a link back to https://beanseohero.com/ and a comment of "SEO HERO". Seriously, 4 in a row. Check out the screenshot below. I'm sure this will get worse and I expect within a few weeks I'll need to upload a disavow file.

Spam comments linking to my website saying seo hero on a French chiropractor website

Am I anyone's SEO Hero?

I may have mentioned it a time or two, but I know it's not prominent on the website who I am. I'm Patrick Stox, a technical SEO specialist, and I'm in a really great mood today. It turns out I have 2 of Search Engine Land's top 10 SEO posts of 2016. I'm in great company along with Paul Shapiro, Larry Kim, Eric Enge, Marcus Miller, Stephan Spencer, Winson Burton, John E Lincoln, and Jayson DeMers. Somehow I ended up with one of the top paid search columns of 2016 as well. Thankfully they have amazing editors who make me a competent writer. I really appreciate SEL for giving me an opportunity to write for them and inviting me to speak at SMX West, Advanced, and East this year. Every interaction I've had with SEL and Third Door Media has been awesome and I'm truly thankful for the opportunities they have given me. I'm really hoping to write more and speak more in 2017 than I did this year, but it wasn't a bad year. I managed to write 14 articles and speak at 5 conferences, 2 webinars, and 3 different Meetup groups. I have much more to share and some great ideas for next year that I'm hoping will blow people away. If anyone here reads my stuff, thank you!

Interfering with promotion of other hero sites

This response should be interesting. The question is basically if rule 14.8 prevents SEO Heroes from linking to other SEO Hero websites. I don't think it would as it's not interfering to link to them, but we'll see. Interestingly, @Wix forwarded it to @WixHelp. Maybe I need to reach out to them for contest questions since @Wix and the judge email always send me to the FAQ or contest support pages that don't answer the questions...

@whichseohero @WixHelp care to chime in? :)

— Wix.com (@Wix) December 29, 2016

Sorry Barry, you're not eligible for the SEO Hero Challenge

Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable jokingly said maybe he'll win, talking about the SEO Hero challenge. He is beating Wix's contest announcements and FAQs and is the number 1 result for "seo hero", but his domain isn't eligible and he didn't even enter. I am amused he is above the contest announcement pages. He was the only SEO news site to cover the competition. As I mentioned earlier today, he's also ranking the very top of page 2 for "wix seo" and I'm sure will be on page 1 by the end, pushing down negative articles about Wix's SEO in favor of contest coverage. If other SEO news websites or more mainstream media jump in and cover the competition as well, I'm sure they'll dominate the first page and make Wix's SEO Hero Challenge possibly one of the most successful ORM campaigns in history. Barry being the first mover will likely still be at the top. He has a lot of additional content thanks to the comments on his website and it seems like half the competition websites also link to his post.

Hmm, didn’t think it was possible, but maybe I’ll win? pic.twitter.com/C4bRFkx0Pv

— Barry Schwartz (@rustybrick) December 29, 2016

Is the Wix SEO Hero challenge working as an ORM campaign?

We've discussed this before and it's looking more and more like the answer is yes. As of today, there are 2 pages on the second page for "wix seo". Barry Schwartz's announcement for the contest on the top of page 2, and likely page 1 soon, and my contest website on the bottom of page 2. We're still fairly early in the challenge so I would think there's a lot of potential for other websites to come up and with $50,000 on the line, I think we'll start to see more coverage on some of the major search websites and possibly some news websites. The pieces are starting to come together for Wix to bury negative artciles about their SEO and replace them with articles about the SEO Hero Challenge.

Another Blog on seoheroschool.com

It's the history of powerball. I'm not even joking. While powerball sounds like it could be a superhero or villain, it's a lottery. Maybe that's Wix's strategy to get links, to write about random stuff not competition related? I honestly don't know why they would write this. They also mention Taylor Swift and the timing is interesting as just yesterday one SEO Hero challenger created a profile and blog on taylorswift.com. Maybe the challenger also works at Wix?

Black Hat SEO Heroes

This isn't about any of the challengers, but about the other websites in the top 10. One that sells a guest posting service on their PBN (private blog network) was there when the contest started. Another changed his website to target "seo hero" and ranked his websites with PBNs but doesn't really talk about his services, but I would guess that he would do the same for clients. Yet another changed their website to make themselves an SEO Hero. They have a PBN service and in the form of many of the "gurus" out there, even named some techniques like the "Fetch 2018 PBN Technique". I hope Google is paying attention, first to these sites but also to the fact that they did use PBNs to rank and maybe Google should pay a little more attention and crack down on them harder in 2017.

Rogerbot hugs vs destroy

Did you know Rogerbot is set on hugs by default, but he has a destroy mode as well!

Rogerbot hugs and destroy switch, set to hugs

What happens when you turn Rogerbot to destroy? He becomes an all powerful robot God that rules over SEO Heroes and controls SEO villains!

Rogerbot on Christmas Tree at night looks like destroy mode

Week 6 SEO Hero Competition Update

Most of the eligible contestants were pushed down. It seems French and German SEOs I've talked to think this may be some kind of filter for new and popular queries. There's definitely a lot crap ahead of most of the competitors. I was pushed down as well but seem to have escaped this again. I've had a few times during the competition where I've just gone down several pages in the SEO Hero SERPs to recover a week or so later. There were the first signs of negative SEO in the competition. More questions on the contest go unanswered by likely automated responses from Wix. Over 9 million search results returned for SEO Hero now, a long way from the 128k when I first checked. One competitor had their website hacked. I also updated the competitor list with new information and made a post to call out all the amazing SEO Heroes who are planning to donate to charity if they win. I also found out there's a group effort with Cyrus Shepard involved that we should have more information about at the start of the new year, but this should make for some exciting competition.

A couple SEO tools finally showed search volume for "SEO hero". Congrats to Moz and Ahrefs! In less than 1.5 months both of these tools picked up the term and had the search volume. To me, this is incredible.

Wix is creating controversy by linking to their SEO Hero site seoheroschool.com with keyword rich links from Wix.com's blog. They may run afoul of the Google Webmaster Guidelines because the keyword rich anchor text used was obviously intended to manipulate PageRank and help their contest website seoheroschool.com rank better. In addition, their blogs are distributed to other websites where these links are also picked up. They've updated seoheroschool.com with a couple new villains, another blog post on outreach, and a page about the contest. One of the more interesting things about the contest page is it does seem to confirm the fact that the contest is in fact an ORM campaign. Specifically, they say "we decided to tackle this reputation problem head on and prove, once and for all, that Wix SEO isn't just good, or good enough..."

I split beanseohero.com into pages and I've setup pagination for the pages through the end of the competition. I was worried about this as some of the weekly pages are basically blank right now. It may cause me some issues in the short run but seems okay for now. I may see a boost in the final week once all the paginated pages are indexed and connected with solid content though but that's just speculation. I shared my traffic and link data from GSC to show the ups and downs in rankings I've had. Also, my wife and I made an awesome Moz inspired Christmas wall tree for my office.

Trouble in SEO Hero Land

Will Chris's website be eligible? That will be up to Wix and the judge. Chris thought he was good but when he checked the domain history with a different tool he found out it was previously registered. Maybe the judge will use the same tool Chris did. He had reached out to them just after the contest entry had closed and asked to enter a new website just in case but it seems as though Wix shot him down by email so he's trying again on Twitter. I hope they let him in, I mean he's trying to do this as a preventative measure so he's not told at a later date that his domain wasn't eligible for the SEO Hero competition.

@Wix I received your email about entries being closed, but I would like you to reconsider. The registrar tools I used... (1 of 2) #seohero

— Chris Countey (@chriscountey) December 28, 2016

@Wix ..did not go back far enough to determine the domains I used were previously registered. It's your contest, so please make an exception

— Chris Countey (@chriscountey) December 28, 2016

Guest posting for SEO

We've all heard the arguments and the declaration from Matt Cutts that guest posting is dead for SEO. My impression of this argument is that not all posts are created equal. If the post was made to inform or educate an audience then it was okay and if it was meant solely to help another website rank by passing PageRank that it was not. One of the competitors, while well intentioned, is guest posting specifically to link back to his SEO Hero contest website. People are willing to let him do this because he's giving the money to a good cause, but these posts are only there to help his contest website. Will this be allowed?

Wix or Squarespace? You can be good at SEO watching a couple videos? Nah

At least one user recommends not going with Wix because it isn't good for SEO. When I looked at Wix for SEO, the platform wasn't all that bad it just lacked some features I think it should have before claiming they are the best. The person who responded is on Wix now but apparently won't be renewing. Some people think SEO is easy and they don't have the knowledge or understanding of the work that it takes. There was another Twitter user who just thinks you can watch some videos on SEO and you'll be good to go. I wish it was that easy.

@MrWorkSmarter wix isn't good for SEO

— matt (@mattrd89) December 28, 2016

@EWWDARKY use something like wix to start up a site, watch videos on how to SEO, pay a lil for advertising and your good to go

— Wandering Eyes (@WanderingEyes__) December 27, 2016

SEO Hero Week