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

Wix SEO Hero Week 8 Recap

SEO Hero Rankings as of 1/10/2017

Probably not, https://web.archive.org/web/*/seohero.ninja
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/
Probably not, https://web.archive.org/web/*/black-hattitude.eu
Probably not, active as far back as 2007, check http://whoisrequest.com/history/
Wix's entry
Probably not, older domain (yourseohero.com) redirects here

Wix SEO Hero Competition News


Another SEO Hero Quiz?

Not the one from whichseohero.com, who did an amazing job, but this time from Wix. It's not live yet, but there's a placeholder on Wix's SEO Hero entry seoheroschool.com. It will be interesting to see what they can do with this as a second mover with this idea, and it'd have to be incredible to top the first one.

Who's the real SEO Hero?

Wix's new section of the website may be in response to Andrew Shotland's article Wix's Real SEO Heroes! #NSFW. I mean they re-worded the title and called the section "The Real SEO Heroes of Wix", but it's so similar I can't help but think that Andrew's article had them in a panic and they don't want an autosuggested phrases of "wix real seo heroes" without some of their own content there as well.

Wix posts another SEO Hero

While Wix is usually known for having clean designs, this website makes my eyes bleed http://www.blackpearlcanecorso.com/. The falling snow, fireworks going off, and auto-sliding images all at once were a huge turn off for me. The semi-transparent menu I can't read didn't make things any better.

This time the owner actually ranks fairly well for their targeted terms around the dog breed, which doesn't seem to have much competition. The CPC for most of the terms is ~0.30 or less. There actually is a surprising amount of search volume however, and SEMrush estimates organic traffic to the website at about 5.7k a month. The owner has created a valuable resource, with lots of links, information, and great pictures of the dogs.

Looking at Screaming Frog, there's a few 404s and 400 errors, over 50 301s on the website. There's a lot of duplication issues and pages indexed that shoudn't be. The title tags pretty much all have "Black Pearl Can Corso - Top Cane Corso breeders | Cane Corso puppies" before appending the rest of the title for the page, making them all keyword stuffed and too long. The meta keywords are actually keyword stuffed as well which might be a negative signal to Google. There's h1 issues from having multiple to having none. Most of the images are missing alt text or have generic IMG####, or random number strings as the names.

I won't say too much bad here because it's obvious the owner worked hard on creating a great place to find information. She's put in a lot of hard work and it's obvious she loves the dogs but she's not an SEO expert even though she thinks "SEO is really easy to implement". SEO is hard work too and takes knowledge and experience to do well. Her website has a lot wrong on-page and practically has no links, having only 22 referring domains according to Ahrefs. Note to others out there, just because your website is ranking doesn't mean you did a good job with SEO. This website could be doing so much better with only a little more work.

A couple SEO Hero videos on page 1

A couple of new pages showed up on page one of SEO Hero SERPs, with video thumbnails and all. I took a look at the first video hosted on YouTube to see why. The text is keyword stuffed and the backlinks are spam. I'm not sure they could have said SEO Hero anymore in the video description. The links look like pure spam with a combination Web 2.0s and PBNs. It makes me a bit sad to see this kind of result. I know a lot of people will say that it's YouTube so they can get away with it, but the truth is pretty much any authority website has been able to get away with this kind of crap for years now. Anyone who reads articles I write will know I've complained about it many times, but I had hope that Penguin 4.0 would offer a glimmer of hope, but sadly I see that is not the case.

Another SEO Hero tip from Wix

"Make sure your website is mobile-friendly". Yep, especially with the main index switching from desktop to mobile, this one is important.


SEO Hero Tip of the Day from Wix

While the tip itself is vague "Get Clicks from Google Images", the advice for adding alt text to images is actually sound.

New Section for Wix SEO Heroes

Wix has a new section on their website for SEO Heroes and Heroines. It looks like they will be displaying successful Wix customers here.

The first Wix SEO Hero is...

Crystal Etienne of Panty Prop. I respect her for finding her niche, and it looks like she has a lot of success being mentioned in many major news websites. She had a great idea and has a great product. Her traffic is growing exponentially as well (from 37 to 7,233 in the last year according to SEMrush), but does that mean she's doing well with SEO?

According to the post, her target keywords are things like period panties, period underwear, first periods and leak-proof underwear, but I can't find them on the first page for any of these. Instead when I look at SEMrush I find that the searches they are actually showing for are more related to preteen, tween, and swimming. Their main traffic drivers are also some potentially disturbing searches like "young girls in panties", "young teens in panties", and things like "sanitary napkin". The intent of these searches is probably not what she wants her business to show for as indicated by a low PPC value.

Just a quick look at some on-page elements with Screaming Frog shows me a ton of issues. There's plenty of 301s and 404s on the website, no canonical tags, no HTTPS, lightbox images with no way to control the parameters, some URLs with hashbangs and others with just random letters and numbers, half the page titles are too long and many are duplicate titles, there are meta keywords being used (not bad, just amusing), there are issues with multiple h1 tags, and for images it looks like Wix's caching system has replaced the file name, making them irrelevant and for alt attributes I see everything from missing to keyword stuffed. She could be doing a lot better with a little SEO work. Even on Wix's platform there's a lot of optimization that could still be done to this website. I think this company is successful, not because they have good SEO or know what they are doing, but have a good product that fills a niche need and they've gotten decent news coverage. It probably doesn't hurt that she also has an affiliate program and sells directly to stores.

For Wix's part, I'll just say they use the anchor text seo hero and link to the villains page when talking about the lady that owns this business. Is she really a villain? Come on Wix.

WordPress or Wix?

The question comes up almost every day in a variety of places. Usually the answer people give is WordPress and the most common reason is SEO.

@TheLuluLife I'd recommend WordPress. Wix etc. are easy to use but useless when it comes to SEO. If you want help just message me!

— Shaun McDaid (@shaun_mcdaid) January 9, 2017

How's that negative SEO working?

There's about 50% more referring domains showing in Ahrefs for seoheroschool.com since I last checked a few days ago. The real question though is does negative SEO work? Gary Illyes of Google says no, but looking at the results of this so far I'd say yes. While their overall ranking for "SEO Hero" hasn't changed very much, it is the wrong page showing. When I looked at their homepage previously in unfiltered results, it was a couple pages behind the blog. Now it's around 9 pages back in those unfiltered results. I'm not sure if the trend will continue or not, but at least in the short term I'd say negative SEO does work. Just having the wrong page show can be a big deal for a company, and what would happen if most of the pages that would show were also spammed? Would any page show at that point? Then there's the fact that this wouldn't pass a manual review for a penalty at this point. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few weeks.

Wix SEO is awesome?

In a new blog on seoheroschool.com, Wix took John Mueller's comments to mean that Wix has great SEO and they're awesome. In reality what he said is they work fine in search, and basically anything works fine in search so try many platforms and see what fits your needs and has the features you need.

Anything works fine in search as long as Google can read it, I mean you can put a website inside a robots.txt file if you want. Even with JavaScript, it can work fine with different frameworks but can technically go very wrong as well, hence why most people will pre-render to be safe. While you can build a nice looking small website on Wix, when you start to get into some of the cleanup work you would need on a decent size website, Wix falls short. The fact that there are duplication issues and you can't even use a canonical tag is a big deal. For now you can't have HTTPS which is a Google ranking factor, and there's no support for AMP either. In addition, many tracking scripts may not work correctly on Wix because of the placement, and don't expect to run an international website as Wix doesn't support hreflang tagging.

I'm glad that Wix is happy about John's comment, but the platform isn't for everyone. Make sure whatever platform you choose has the features you need to be successful in search. A little vetting ahead of time will save you a lot of headaches later on, especially on a closed platform. If it was open and you need a feature, you can get a dev to add it, even if it's costly or time consuming but on a closed platform your choice is to either wait for them to add support or move to another system.

Also on the blog, they repeated an entire paragraph under Websites are Websites. One has links and the other doesn't, but that's the only difference. I wonder if they had to meet some arbitrary word count number? Edit: they fixed the repeat paragraph issue.

HTTPS a top priority for Wix

Good news for those on the Wix platform, it looks like they may soon support HTTPS. If it rolls out in time this could even help their SEO Hero website assuming they can do the migration. Though, without having support for HTTPS in the past there may not be many people on Wix's team experienced with the process.

@WyoWedding Hey, this is one of our top priorities please follow this link to stay up to date on the feature: https://t.co/Yh4rmGmYMy

— Wix.com (@Wix) January 9, 2017

Better internal linking for SEO Hero School

Wix added better internal linking to the blog in what looks to be a related posts section that appears at the bottom of each blog. I'm not sure if this is an automated solution or something they manually have to add, but I will say it's a good idea. They probably won't see much of a difference yet because they don't have a lot of content, but I'll say I've seen tremendous gains on different systems by doing the same, such as with YARPP for WordPress.


There isn't much going on in SEO Hero Land

There's more press releases, more sitewide links, but nothing new. It's mostly a single competitor using the sitewide links, but he isn't the only one who has done it. Amazingly, almost all of the websites I'm seeing them on have the same template. I'm taking the time to finish an article for Search Engine Land.

I got mentioned in an SEO Hero reviews post

They were talking about the top 10 SEO Heroes and writing a bit about each. They used a picture of beans, so they might think it's bean instead of "be an", or they might be trolling me since I've posted about it before. Anyway, they had some nice things to say about my website and especially my competitor list which was nice.


Sitewide Links and Press Releases are the flavor of the day

My feeds are flooded from sitewide sidebar and footer links and press release distributions this morning. It's interesting that while some of the tactics are generic, many tactics being used seem more popular in certain countries. I'll go into more detail on this when I analyze competitor links next month, but I thought the trend was interesting enough to mention now. It appears SEOs in different countries definitely learn from each other and adopt the tactics being used by those close to them, while completely different tactics are used elsewhere. They also favor websites they are familiar with, for example US and German press releases are sent on different networks of press release websites.

Update on the Negative SEO attack on seoheroschool.com

Since I looked a couple days ago, the number of referring domains has more than doubled. It's increasing every day which means this is likely a sustained attack by an automated tool. But is it working? It's been a few days since a subpage replaced the main domain for SEO Hero searches. Before this happened they were usually coming in around 65th and leading the competition. Now they're 70th with the subpage, but the more interesting part is that with &filter=0 added to the Google search URL to remove domain clustering, the homepage is actually about 4 pages behind in the SERPs. I'm really curious if this will be temporary or if it will be sustained, but I'd say that at the moment the negative SEO is working on the homepage. The overall ranking drop for the competition I'd say is probably a difference in optimization or relevance from the subpage currently showing and the homepage.

Be An SEO Hero mentioned in Digital Marketing Weekly Roundup

I'm honored, thanks so much Sean!

@patrickstox FYI, I wrote about beanseohero and the contest on my weekly roundup. Great job of following everything. https://t.co/8UsMFAiO3k

— Sean O'Rourke (@sean_orourke) January 6, 2017

Does Wix know where featured snippets are?

A tweet from Wix tells you to forget the first page of Google and instead get a featured snippet but.. but... but... a featured snippet is on the first page of Google.

Forget #Google's first page - our #SEOHero has tips on how to land a coveted featured snippet spot! https://t.co/qBUTXy9WFL #SEO #SEOtips pic.twitter.com/E096oCdLCe

— Wix.com (@Wix) January 6, 2017

An interesting SEO Hero eligibility question

I've seen a few websites lately whose domain registration date is actually after the close of entry for the SEO Hero Challenge. I wonder if they submitted the domain for entry before it was even registered if it will be accepted?

What is depressing SEO Hero rankings?

I've talked about it before, that it felt like there was something artificially keeping rankings of SEO Hero websites pushed down below things that should not rank at all like the YouTube page with literally the phrase SEO Hero on it and nothing else. None of the eligible websites have been above 65th position in the SEO Hero SERPs since December 19th, that is until yesterday when I magically landed on page 1. I will be interested in seeing if there is a slow climb or giant leaps from other competitors who break out of the bubble and when it happens so I can analyze why it happens, because right now I honestly don't know.



As an ORM campaign, intentional or not, the contest seems to be helping. Barry Scwartz's article announcing the contest is now on page 1, having pushed at least one negative article off the first page. 2 other contestants are now on page 2 and we're not even half way through the SEO Hero Challenge. It definitely looks like multiple or maybe all of the front page negativity for "wix seo" searches could be pushed down.

I'm not an SEO Hero?

One of the more creative SEO Hero websites, whichseohero.com, really went above and beyond making personas based on popular SEOs and a quiz to determine who you are most like. I decided to take this and found out I'm not an SEO Hero. In truth I probably fall into a lot of categories, but am unique enough to be my own. Maybe I should have my own persona on the website? I think I'd be the all-arounder, not just because I'm a big guy, but because I'm an all-in-one. While I now mostly identify as a technical SEO, I started in affiliate and ecommerce and was not the cleanest SEO around because black hat worked and there were no penalties at the time. I've got a strong development background. I've worked strictly for myself, at agencies, in-house at mid-level and enterprise, and even do freelance work and I'm still doing affiliate and e-commerce as well. I've done it all myself, worked in a team, and lead many teams. I've done traditional marketing, worked with sales teams, PR, and tradeshows and at some point or another I've handled nearly every aspect of SEO including technical and on-page, link building (including citations, industry, and outreach), local SEO, international SEO, analytics, tag management, ORM, UX, CRO, penalty recovery, content strategy and writing, redirects, personas, journey mapping, email, marketing automation, e-commerce, and more. I've also worked with nearly every CMS system out there and many times without one, as well as many different infrastructure setups.

Not an SEO Hero from Which SEO Hero

What happens when you follow Wix's SEO advice

According to one Twitter user, nothing happens. He says he has no Google presence after months of following Wix's SEO advice and making tweaks. He's also complaining about 154 different 404 errors in Google Search Console, which look to be most related to the lightbox and escaped fragments from the AJAX crawling scheme. The guy is definitely trying; he even filled out meta keywords which Wix recommended in one of their articles on Wix SEO and he's using Google Search Console. I'm not sure if Wix actually does SEO or just offers SEO advice. I have a feeling his problems are more related to lack of links than anything to do with Wix though. Ahrefs shows me no links for the guy and it looks like he's been around for 3 years or so. This is a nice reminder to all of us that we need to be careful with our advice. People are at different levels of understanding and focusing your time fixing on-page and setting up tools, writing content, etc. doesn't always move the needle, especially for a new website where links are crucial.

After mths following @Wix advice & tweaking SEO, still 154 '404' errors on google search console!! No google presence. No support. Pls help. pic.twitter.com/cWkwFZiRSe

— Rob Peet Photography (@RobPeetPhotos) January 6, 2017

SEO Hero School targeted by Negative SEO

It looks like Wix's SEO Hero entry seoheroschool.com has been targeted by negative SEO. Thank you @IamSEOHero for pointing it out. The website has picked up links from nearly 100 different domains since the start of the month according to Ahrefs, mostly with exact match anchor text of "seo hero" but followed closely by some Chinese characters that translate to [home]. There's also some German and English keywords mixed in. Many of the links appear on guest books, forums, and blog comments. It will be interesting to see whether this negative SEO campaign works or just serves to make the website stronger, but at least in the short term it looks like Wix's homepage has instead been replaced in the SERPs by their blog www.seoheroschool.com/seo-hero-blog, perhaps indicating some kind of anti-spam protection for too many new links to the homepage or too many links containing SEO hero? Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google Gary Illyes said after Penguin 4.0 launched that they'd never seen a real example of negative SEO. I think the likely case is that this spam will actually help Wix in the SEO Hero Challenge, but I'll definitely monitor to find out. Of course there's always Manual Actions and some SEO Hero might just report Wix's website, or the judge may even disqualify Wix from the contest. While we're spouting conspiracy theories, we wouldn't be complete without saying that maybe it was actually Wix who built these links. It's not like they've been very white hat in the past with links to wix.com, but that's a story for another day. Check out the screenshots below for information on the links being built to their website.

SEO Hero School links from Ahrefs
SEO Hero School anchor text from Ahrefs

A rule to stop negative SEO?

That's apparently what rule 14.8 was meant to prevent. We've seen some negative SEO in the contest, but how is a rule supposed to prevent that? Wix, judge guy, seriously how will you determine who did the spamming? Most of the spam will be on random websites and those website owners will have nothing to do with the spam. It's not like they'll post with their own name or anything. This rule does nothing to prevent negative SEO.

@whichseohero this rule was added to the T&C to clearly forbid "negative SEO". Nothing here stopping you from linking to competitors :)

— Wix.com (@Wix) January 5, 2017

The daily SEO tips are back

After a day without one, I was getting worried Wix was going to stop posting them on seoheroschool.com. I worried for nothing and there is a new tip today: "Do Proper Keyword Research". Wix's daily SEO Hero tip is about as vague as it gets. What's next, "Create great content", "build authoritative links", "have a website"? I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with their daily SEO Hero tips.

SEO Hero link wheels?

I had to do a double take on this one. A post recommending link wheels was just published on one of the SEO Hero websites. I hope you all know by now this is not the right way to build links.


Week 7 SEO Hero Competition Update

Wow has it been 7 weeks already? There's a lot going on in the SEO Hero competition. Competitors are pulling out all the stops and using every SEO tactic that they shouldn't be using. I was surprised how popular guest posting and press releases have been this week. The front page is mainly news, Wix, and some SEOs who may not be so clean with their tactics looking to pick up some business from the competition. The leader in the SEO Hero Challenge as of today is arguably the biggest spammer in the competition. This website clutters up my feeds contantly and posts on css award websites, forum comments, profiles, and pretty much everything Google tells you not to do as an SEO. I have no doubt this website wouldn't pass a manual review.

My list of SEO Hero websites is now over 175, but the highest rank I've seen for any of them that are eligible in the last couple weeks is 65th. Even though Google says they don't have a sandbox, something feels like it's artificially pushing down the SEO Hero websites and I can't help but think it's somehow related to the popularity of query and how new all the websites are. There are definitely websites ranking above the competitors that should not be, and those competitors with in my opinion worse content and links who registered expired domains seem to be immune to this artificial ranking wall. I'm starting to wonder if anyone will be able to break out of this by the end of the competition, and if so will it be everyone all at once or just a few websites? Will it be a slow climb or a giant leap to the top? This is the most interesting part of the competition for me and you can be sure I'm watching it all.

What's Wix up to in the SEO Hero Challenge? They posted a couple more blogs on their SEO Hero website seoheroschool.com about featured snippets and powerball. They also added a daily SEO hero tips section to their website. They were leading the challenge at one point this week after jumping 80 positions by linking to SEO Hero School from their Wix.com blog.

I've written over 35,000 words on beanseohero.com so far related to the competition. I would actually expect this to pick up as we get closer to the end of the competition and there's more news to cover, so I think I will have more content than most books by that time. I've made some silly pictures with a Rogerbot Christmas Tree and with a panda and penguin I found at a local Chinese Lantern Festival. I got 2 of the top 10 SEO posts of the year on Search Engine Land and 1 for their paid search category as well. There's been some spammy comments left on various blogs saying SEO hero with a link to my website, so I've already started my disavow list. I built an SEO resources section that I'm proud of but still plan to make better. I really had some fun trolling Wix a bit by providing them code snippets to update their website footer to the proper year and tearing apart their daily tips.

No new daily SEO tip from Wix?

I was looking forward to seeing what they posted today after the poor tips they gave starting out. I'm not sure if they decided not to do another one today because they posted 3 when launching the page, or maybe they read my feedback on their SEO tips and didn't want any more fodder for me. They were definitely on my site to check out what I had to say. According to my Google Analytics report, people from wixpress ltd have started 20 sessions on my website in the last 3 days. Seems I'm pretty popular with the folks from Wix. I wonder if they're second guessing the daily tip strategy or maybe vetting their SEO tips a little better now.

Wix posted another blog on their SEO Hero Entry

This time, the post is about Featured Snippets. You can find it at: http://www.seoheroschool.com/single-post/2017/01/03/How-to-Optimize-Your-Site-for-Google-Featured-Snippets. The information in it isn't bad, afterall it's mostly info taken from Moz or SEMrush with a few things changed like "Rank 0" and making it their own by calling it "Zero Rank". I was amused at the purple links in their screenshot examples of Wix snippets, as this indicates a logged in and personalized result. When I search for the query they used in incognito, I show jimdo.com and not Wix for the snippet.

Really? SEO Hero press releases

Do you think that your entry into the competition or your announcement about your fake SEO Hero business is actually news worthy? Apparently some people do, or they're just doing it for the links.

SEO Hero Week