They added the video on seoheroschool.com which includes a lot of their characters, including Professor F. or Rand Fishkin. I've got it embedded below as well. They broke a link in the video description where it looks like they tried to link to their blog but ended up with "http://SEO Hero Blog/seo-hero-blog".
I reported on the quiz before it was actually live, but it's now up and you can test your SEO knowledge at http://www.seoheroschool.com/quiz. There are some issues with statements like Google punishing your for duplicate content that I don't agree with and if you want to read how it actually works, check out my post on Search Engine Land, The myth of the duplicate content penalty. They also added a question as a brag for themselves from a statement John Mueller made recently that Wix websites work fine in search. When you submit you seem to get a score which I'm guessing depends on your answers and how you score seems to determine which character it shows.
The timing on an updated post at https://www.rankfirstlocal.com/blog/are-wix-websites-good-for-seo/ happens to coincide with the time frame of the Wix SEO Hero contest. This company says Wix reached out to them to update their post. This is one of the highest ranking websites for "Wix SEO", currently only behind some Wix pages and a Moz Q&A thread. The update to the post looks more like a paid advertisement promoting Wix now and even includes a link back to Wix's website. With Wix's history of buying links and a budding strategy of paid links in the SEO Hero contest, it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't drop a few bucks to have this post cleaned up as well. I'd say it's pretty clear that Wix had an overall strategy for cleaning up their reputation on SEO and the SEO Hero contest is a just a part of a larger plan.
And it's about what you'd expect. The article is on the Wix blog and not their SEO Hero website. I have added my comments to the page Wix is wrong on SEO if that tells you anything. Some of Wix's sage SEO advice includes only getting links from relevant websites, Wikipedia links help with your SEO, links from .gov, .edu, and .org are better, you'll drop in rankings if you don't get fresh links, and Wix even recommends strategies Google tells you not to do like guest posting (for the purpose of getting a link) and giving away stuff for a link (you're supposed to nofollow these links). They chose to leave off buying links which we saw the other day that they may be doing for the SEO Hero competition, but yeah you're not supposed to do that either. There's a few other things amusing to me I didn't cover on the other page like Wix still calls it Google Places instead of Google My Business and they recommend looking at your links with Majestic rather than the "Links to Your Site" report in Google Search Console.
A recent Reddit thread on /r/SEO talks about Wix for SEO and the user is wondering if being hosted on Wix hurts their SEO. Many of the commenters are not fond of Wix, saying they should move to a CMS that gives you more control and is more flexible, that Wix is not good for SEO, that Wix is a bad idea or it sucks. Others have horror stories of galleries and even zoom options creating additional pages, which we've seen auditing some of Wix's SEO Heroes. You can always check out my review of Wix SEO as well.
If you haven't done so already, you will need to add firstname.lastname@example.org as an admin to GSC and GA by February 16, 2017.
Check out the SEO Resources I've added many of the common tools I use and am aware of broken down by categories such as Google Tools, crawlers, page speed, keywrod researh, rank tracking, links, HTTPS, Local SEO, Enterprise SEO, Content, Link Building, CRO, Reporting, and more. There are several very niche or not well known tools of which I am a fan that people may not have heard of before. I'm planning to go back in and clean up the design and layout to be more friendly at a later date and include some notes for each resource and article that gives an overview. There's also an FAQ section where I plan to tackle many of the common questions around SEO and related topics.
This time over on http://chriscountey.com/make-money/wix-seo-hero-contest-good-bad-trump/. Sorry for the non-link, but while Chris says he has nothing to do with the contest, he was the one who ran seoboomstick.com and did the cool Bill Slawski cartoon. He may be out of it now, but I'd prefer not to link to any potential competitors. The write-up is great. He's given a very unbiased view and likes the idea of the contest, the design of Wix's SEO Hero School, and the ego bait using Rand Fishkin's image. What he doesn't like is that Wix linked from Wix.com to their SEO Hero entry, as he feels that what could have been a great reputation management campaign is now tarnished by Wix gaming the system.
While the negative SEO attack doesn't appear to have had an impact, either positive or negative on Wix's SEO Hero entry seoheroschool.com, it did knock out their main page for a short time. A user on Twitter noticed the negative SEO and commented on that and the Rand Fishkin graphics. The attack appears to be ongoing and new referring domains show up in Ahrefs every day. I'm still holding out on saying whether this will have a negative or a positive impact on SEO Hero School.
looks like someones having fun with negative seo, judging by wixs backlink profile. love the rand fishkin graphics tho! #SEOHero hahaha— Meng-Han (@itsHST) January 16, 2017
Boyce Equipment is a family run business that started over 50 years ago. They made a successful business before the modern internet and even pride themselves on their customer service. On top of all that, they got services from an SEO agency. The blog says that the owner thought SEO was a waste of money until he found out how easy it was and even said that if you setup the basics with a quaity website that everything will take care of itself. I guess that's why he had to hire an agency.
The company has been around on the web a long time, since 1997 in fact! It's true that they rank for a lot of great and relevant terms, but most of these are not actually competitive. They've done a lot wrong over the years but still manage to rank. It looks like no redirects were maintained from previous versions of the website when they moved to Wix. You can see the drop in Ahrefs at the time of the switch from 377 referring domains down to 184. In fact it's been a few years since the switch and they've only managed to climb back up to 255 referring domains, so the website is probably a lot weaker now than before they moved to Wix. They still have some great links and have been around long enough to even have a DMOZ listing. It looks like they have links from some of the part manufacturers and one of the big trends I see is that these guys get recommended a ton in various car/truck/four wheeler forums, which means they've got good stuff and good prices. It looks like they advertise in many of the publications in their niche as well. There's plenty of links from how to and Q&A websites. Now a lot of the recent links scare me. Many of these are in general directories and adult websites. It's sad to see this is what is bringing up the referring domain count compared to the good links they lost in the past that could be easily recovered with redirects. I really hope it's not their new SEO agency creating these links, but being they seemed to have started just last year I'd say it's possible.
Many of the same issues we've seen before from other Wix websites are present here as well. Blog tags are redirected, although now there's a new issue with this being e-commerce where many of the add to cart pages are also redirected. That's right, add to cart creates pages, as do the lightbox images causing indexation bloat. The same image issues come up with Wix replacing filenames and many of the images are either without alt attributes or use generic things like DSCN####.jpg as the alt. There are tons of issues with duplicate title tags, 554 just say "Boyce Equipment" in fact and many are too long. I'm always amused to see the keyword stuffed meta keywords tag on Wix sites as well. There are issues with multiple H1 tags and missing H1 tags. No canonicals can be set on Wix and there are some duplication issues. There's also no options for pagination, so even though this website has a ton of blogs that are in a paginated series, no rel prev/next can be used to properly indicate this. It's once again a company succeeding despite the limitations of the platform and doing a lot of things wrong. I'm a little sad that an SEO agency looked at this and didn't fix any of it...
Wix has redone the navigation system and moved many of the menu items on seoheroschool.com under the About page. This could indicate even more content is coming. We know that the quiz is coming because of the homepage and I even found the URL at seoheroschool.com/quiz if you want a preview. If they keep going with Wix heroes all in the menu, the website is going to have one seriously long dropdown for this menu item.
"Use Keywords in Your Anchor Text". There's nothing here specifying on-page or off-page, so I consider this a dangerous tip. Linking from other websites with too much keyword rich anchor text will cause you nothing but problems.
The person entered and posted something early on, but has now updated his website with a big oops saying that they meant to compete but just forgot about the SEO Hero Challenge.
We know that was the intent, that they want to prove they are the best and that the platform is good for SEO. It's a serious reputation problem that just needs some platform fixes. They've already fixed some of the biggest offenders, and it looks like they have beta versions for several more fixes. Still others don't seem to be addressed anywhere so they may not even be on Wix's radar. It's hard enough to change people's opinions, but when the argument isn't based in truth, it's impossible. Here's a few Twitter users complaining about SEO on Wix and one even complaning about the contest and the fact that Rand Fishkin let Wix use his name and likeness. There are usually a few complaints like this every day and maybe it's time for Wix to take it to heart and fix some of the SEO issues of their platform.
@callikitson definitely, wix isn't good for seo— Jess (Jessie J) (@JD_lwig) January 15, 2017
@Alice_Reeves yeah, it's shocking for SEO, that's for sure!— Nat Ⓥ (@__nca) January 15, 2017
Wix is not good for SEO. Neither are inane SEO contests. Pretty surprised @randfish agreed to being tied into this spectacle of lunacy.— John Leo Weber (@JohnLeoWeber) January 15, 2017
Wix is on my website a lot. They come directly, through organic, through email, and even my tweets. I hope they're reading the audits I do of their SEO Heroes and take it to heart. For the on-page part I'm calling out the same things over and over again. This is what they need to fix or they could check out my Wix SEO review for more information on the features they need to add for SEOs to consider them a search-friendly platform. The emails were a little surprising. I wonder if they're calling out specific things for Wix employees to check out on my website. For whatever reason, I seem to have their attention at least. The image below is Analytics for January 8th - January 12th, and in that time period Wix had 62 sessions and 31 New Users on my website. Since the start of the contest, the numbers are 195 Sessions and 77 New Users with 12 coming from Email.
We saw hreflang tags on the SEO Hero contest page and thanks to Dan Taylor for pointing out that Segio Aguero, who Wix uses in their ads, also has hreflang tags on his personal page (http://en.sergioaguero.com/) built on Wix. There's a lot of issues with the implementation though such as multiple pages being indexed in Google yet only one hreflang entry that repeats on all pages but is for the homepage. Wix also doesn't use canonical tags and with the duplication issues I've seen on their platform this could cause some serious issues for international SEO. Maybe this is a test platform for features that are coming, but I find it strange they wouldn't open up these test platforms for their customers to use and be able to provide them with feedback.
Wix has changed their support article for the contest. The URL went from https://www.wix.com/support/html5/article/wix-seo-hero-contest to a subdomain https://support.wix.com/en/article/wix-seo-hero-contest. It's usually advised by SEOs to do the exact opposite, to move subdomains to subfolders. Being on a subdomain does have it's advantages though like now Wix should be able to take up more SERP real estate because a subdomain gets treated as a different domain in determining what shows. I've had several projects in the past where I've moved back and forth between subdomain and subfolder but I can't say I've ever seen much impact. If nothing else changes like integration into nav or better internal linking, I personally believe that as long as the subdomains are being treated as part of the main domain they in fact may have a slight advantage in that it allows another page to show for many targeted search terms. One additional thing I noted is that while the support pages use Angular JS, it doesn't look like they are the standard Wix platform.
After reaching a high of 2nd for the search term "SEO Hero", I'm back in the filter with the rest of the challengers. I've barely been out a week and was the first eligible SEO Hero website to break out, but for whatever reason Google has decided I was not worthy.
If you were creating an article about the Wix SEO Hero contest, wouldn't you link to you know, the contest announcement page and rules and that kind of thing? Instead, there's this article http://alltopstartups.com/2017/01/13/wix-seo-hero-competition/ that while using images from the competition announcement page decided all their keyword rich links should go to Wix's contest entry seoheroschool.com. The whole thing reads as an advertisement for Wix.
As for the website itself, they have a page for all their advertisement options (http://alltopstartups.com/advertise/) which include:
3. Text Links. Relevant In-text and in-content link placements are also accepted in selected posts. We accept new relevant content from advertisers with a minimum 550+ words.
4. Context Links within Posts (Past or New): We will place a context link within one of our posts on the site for one year (renewable). We will link relevant words of your choice.
5. Exclusive Post Advertising: This advertising option is at our discretion only. This option combines a review of your product, and direct linking to your site. No other ads will be displayed in the content of the review. Sponsored reviews will be on the homepage for at least 72 hours. This gives your review maximum exposure to our readers. Please inquire for more information.
This may be the first I've seen, but with Wix's history of link buying I don't think it will be their last. Their next of the day on seoheroschool.com should be "buy links".
Seems like Google is making a website builder. Mike Blumenthal has a first look.
That's right, the page is still "coming soon" according to the homepage, but it's already live at http://www.seoheroschool.com/quiz. It's not a quiz to match you with a persona like whichseohero.com created, but a general SEO knowledge quiz. At least for now, it looks like many of these allow multiple choices but aren't clearly marked. I went through and it's definitely still be worked on as some of the questions do not actually have answers.
I'll continue to monitor, but while the negative SEO attack on Wix's seoheroschool.com did seem to push the homepage out of the results and reduce their rankings for a while, it's already back. Assuming Wix hasn't done anything like daily disavows, this means the negative SEO campaign has failed. There are still a lot of questions about whether this will last or not, whether it will help them over time, whether they'll see a manual penalty or not, and if they'll even pass the review of a judge with this much spam to their website.
I posted before about the AdWords ads Wix was running for seoheroschool.com, but now it seems there are Facebook ads running as well. This has mostly turned into a thread for either people asking for help from Wix or bashing their SEO. If I was getting this kind of response to an ad I would have stopped it already. See the image below.
A user on Twitter has brought up the fact that Wix is trying to rank for SEO Hero with a website that's really just about SEO and not SEO Hero. See the comment below, but I take it to mean that "SEO Hero" is the the contest itself, not just SEO. It's identifying what the intent of the search is. In this case SEO Hero is the contest, and we've already seen many changes to the autosuggested phrases to determine this is the case. However, this isn't the only thing that would be recognized. The contest may be recognized as the most important, but to give the videogame from Eyeflow as an example, this has been out for a while and still ranks well for SEO Hero searches. There's a possibility someone could establish say an SEO service company with their brand as SEO Hero, but I don't think that will happen in the short amount of time this competition takes place. When I was planning for the competition I also assumed some entities would be more highly associated with the contest by the end as well, the main one being Wix itself and I think that has likely happened already. Like the person who posted on Twitter, by the end of the contest I think you'll be hard pressed to find a website in the top 10 that doesn't talk about the contest and about Wix itself. There may be some notable SEOs who have stronger associations to the competition as well. For example Rand Fishkin is mentioned on many of the SEO Hero websites and may have a strong, or at least stronger relationship to SEO Hero than many other SEOs or other topics might.
I've mentioned it every time I've reviewed one of the websites on Wix's platform and even in my Wix SEO review that their system seems to strip your image name and serve some arbitrary image name in the output. Now a user on Twitter is asking if there's a way to change this so his image names can be SEO friendly.
@wix hello is it possible to make the file names more SEO friendly so Google can deduce what the images are about?— Pension Advice UK (@MyPensionAdvice) January 13, 2017
While seoheroschool.com is sitting at 105th for "SEO Hero" searches, some of the articles they posted about their heroes are starting to rank. Like one of their heroes who targeted a certain dog breed, Wix's website is now ranking at 56th for "black cane corso" or the wholesale clothing distributor, well Wix's site is starting to rank for some of those as well like 93rd for "ralph lauren distributor". Maybe they would have more success if they switched their focus?
They say to use "Keyword | Location | Brand Name" as the format for your title. There's a lot more to it. For instance for my homepage and possibly other important pages I may want brand at the beginning of the title tag, and if Google appends it to the end as they often do for established websites, it's usually in the format - Brand. What if my targeted keyword phrase takes up my entire title such as with question queries? What if my Brand has the location or the keyword in it, then we're just keyword stuffing. For location, you probably don't need location in your title tag for every page. I mean think about blogs, if you're writing a useful article then you don't want to just include your location.
Their latest hero is a martial arts studio in a town of about 60,000. A town this size is normally uncompetitive for SEO and even having a website usually ensures you'll be in the top 10. In fact there are only 7 businesses listed on Google My Business in the area that classify themselves as Martial Arts Schools. It's true that the guy shows in the local maps, but even then I have to go to page 2 to find his website for many of the searches including the very specific "franklin tn martial arts".
SEMrush actually estimates the organic search traffic as 1 visitor a month while Ahrefs estimate is 0. Ahrefs shows 7 referring domains, which is a very small number. Looking at these, it's probably not organic search bringing in traffic but the fact that this guy is advertising. Most of the links are local, such as a local newspaper, and there are several that look like advertising in nearby Nashville for different newspapers and magazines. If I was in the media I'd be crying fake news right now with Wix trying to take credit for this guy's hard work. Being a local website, I wouldn't be doing it justice without looking at local citations. I ran through the Moz Local and Yext scanners to see how well the site was doing across the local directories, and while not nearly complete or a strong enough profile to compete in a decent size city, it wasn't bad. A lot of the major ones are there like Google, Bing, Facebook, YP, Yelp, Superpages, Foursquare, etc, and even some of the major aggregators like Localeze and Factual are covered. It looks like Wix's Site Booster App may cover many of these and if you're a local company on Wix I'd definitely look at this as a good start.
The website itself has almost as an issue with the tag pages being 301 redirected. We've seen this on nearly every one of the Wix SEO Hero websites we've looked at. There's the same issue with Wix replacing image names with random strings and for this site I don't even see any alt attributes on the images at all. There should only be about 15 pages on the website but because of blog tags Google has 106 indexed. Lots of tags, not a lot of blogs. It looks like they took Wix's SEO advice for title tags and keyword stuffed them with pipes such as this beauty "Blog | Harvest Martial Arts | Franklin TN | Martial Arts Classes | Harvest Martial Arts | Franklin TN". That's about it really, it's a small website that hasn't gotten much right other than the business owner being savvy and doing real world advertising while Wix tries to claim it's the website that made this guy an SEO Hero. The guy may be a martial arts guru, but Wix should never claim this is a great example of SEO.
That is all.
I won't embed the whole thread as it's pretty lengthy, but a lot of people really jumped on Wix about their SEO and the SEO Hero Challenge. Go check it out.
Yep, Wix did it. They're now running ads on searches for "SEO Hero" and pointing people to their entry, seoheroschool.com. I don't know if they think that ads actually make a website rank higher or they're using the ads to raise awareness and hope that they get more links. Yes, there are still people that believe that running ads has a positive impact on rankings. I fielded a question on Reddit about this very topic a couple days ago. See the ad for yourself:
We're reaching the half-way point of the Wix SEO Hero Challenge. There are some great websites out there now and many others who appear to have given up. Wix actually seems to be the most active at this point in the competition. There were some videos that spammed their way to page 1 for "SEO Hero" searches this week using keyword stuffing and spam backlinks. Other competitors have moved on to press releases and sitewide links. The artificial force that is suppressing rankings for most SEO Heroes has been broken, at least by me but I'm honestly not sure why. Hopefully when some others break out I can put the pieces together and figure out the difference between the websites that make it out and those still stuck around 65th.
As I noted above, Wix has been really active on seoheroschool.com. They've been doing near daily SEO tips and now have many of their customers as their SEO Heroes in a new section of the website. They've added more blogs, improved internal linking, and looks like they have a quiz in the works. One of the blogs was interesting, they basically took John Mueller saying "Wix websites are fine for search" as "Wix SEO is awesome". Not sure how they made that leap but it was amusing. seoheroschool.com also seems to be under attack from a negative SEO campaign. Some villian is spamming them, and more and more is showing up each day with 425 referring domains currently showing in Ahrefs. The question will be if this helps them or hurts them, but at least for now it seems to be hurting them. They've fallen out of the competition lead and are a couple pages back with the wrong page showing in the search results. The main page is now buried deep in the SERPs. One positive for Wix is that competitors are starting to show higher for "wix seo" related searches, and at one point one of the news stories from Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Roundtable was on page 1.
For Be An SEO Hero, I'm at the highest rank I've had in the competition coming in at #3 today. Again, I have no idea why I've broken out of the bubble and others have not, but hopefully I can put the pieces together when others do the same. This has been one of the most interesting phenomenon I've seen while monitoring the competition and I really want to know what causes it. The website was mentioned in a Digital Marketing Weekly Roundup which made me happy. I also took the SEO Hero Quiz from one of the best websites in the competition, whichseohero.com but found out I'm not an SEO Hero! I've had fun reviewing some of Wix's customers that they listed as their SEO heroes. They both had tons of problems on-site, and one was showing for some possibly disturbing search terms rather than their targeted terms while bragging about their traffic. I will continue to review these as it's actually good practice for a quick site audit and something that I enjoy.
"Use vertical bars (|) in your title". Also known as a pipe, this has nothing to do with SEO at all. It's simply a space separator. You could use dash (-), comma (,), colon (:) or whatever you want really. Normally when I see pipes it's because people were too lazy to write a decent sentence and instead keyword stuffed like "keyword | keyword variation | another variation of keyword | keyword in x city", etc. In fact when Google rewrites titles to append say a brand to the end, the character they actually use is the dash (-). Since they're SEO Hero School, I'll give them an "F" for this tip. It really doesn't matter which you use, although I bet for someone using a screen reader that hearing "vertical bar" over and over would be a lot more annoying than "dash" for instance.
The Wix heroes are coming fast. Their engines are revving and it seems Wix's SEOs are getting serious about competing. They're trying a lot of new techniques and strategies lately to see what sticks, but it looks like they've found one they like, promoting their successful customers who are dedicated to making their businesses successful. Their latest SEO Hero is http://www.dncwholesale.com/, a wholesale distributor for clothing.
This is the first Wix Hero who actually seems to have respect for SEO. He even commented it can be tricky. He's done his homework and has done keyword research and is diligent about checking his Google Analytics. There's no doubt he ranks well for many of his targeted search terms, but it doesn't look like it's really a competitive market. The CPC for most of the terms is less than $1, but it doesn't look like any ads are being run which is just money left on the table. The website has 81 referring domains according to Ahrefs, with puts it in line with a slightly better than average small business from my experience. Most of the links are from generic websites like those that list Alexa websites or check whois, almost as if someone had used a ping service. There's a few wholesale websites, some local citation sites, then some Q&A and forum postings. There's not a lot of quality here, which is probably why the DR rating from Ahrefs is only a 28. Even then, it's higher than it probably should be simply because it does have links. Majestic TF might be a better measure for a website such as this one with low quality links, as it shows a 15.
There's not actually a way to buy on the website! You have to fill out an unsecured form because Wix doesn't support HTTPS. A little UX could go a long way here as could a little competitor analysis. Looking at some of the content gaps, the website is missing some large terms that I believe this wholesaler could fulfill. It also looks like they could use some Online Reputation Management (ORM) as well since a search for their name brings up a SERP with a prominent 1-star Yelp rating and a Ripoff Report.
For the website itself, a quick crawl with Screaming Frog shows me some 301 redirected pages, but mainly related to blog tags. URLs are okay besides a bunch of ?lightbox= but you could control these in GSC with the parameters tool. It doesn't look like he has though as the page count in Google is bloated at almost 2400 because of these and some URLs using another image style that has hashbangs (#!) and some zoom capabilities that seem to create additional pages. Page titles mostly start with "DNC Wholesale - Overstock Supplier and Distributor |" before getting to the actual page name. Once again there are meta keywords that are stuffed to the point of being dangerous. There's no h1 tags, no canonical controls on Wix at all, and image names are replaced by Wix as well to be useless. The image alt attributes are done fairly well, although I do see a few generic and quite a few empty alt attributes still. This website is also different than the others because they do serve the content in multiple languages. Unfortunately for them, Wix doesn't support hreflang tagging which is what Google uses to determine the alternate language versions for a website. There's really a ton of room for improvement on this website. Some of it could be quickly done even on Wix, but other changes would require them to move to a different platform.
The sitewide links are just getting to be too much. I changed some of my SEO Hero feeds to exclude these so I don't have to dig through more than 50 pages of search results like I did yesterday. I added negative site searches -site:domain.com and did this for a dozen or so domains. My sanity is in check once again.
We're almost half way through the competition and entries have been closed for nearly a month
It just turned into tech support. I thought it was interesting but it's probably because they don't allow people to post on their wall. It looks like almost everything they post just has people asking for help in the comments.