Will Spencer the owner of Net Builders has recently kicked off another SEO (search engine optimization) contest called the the “Sulumits Retsambew SEO Contest”. The whole point of the contest is to test the Google algorithm. The winner will own the top-ranked search result for the “made up” keyword phrase “Sulumits Retsambew”.
Wikipedia defines the SEO contest as:
An SEO contest is an activity awarding prizes that challenges search engine optimization (SEO) practitioners to rank themselves among the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN using certain keyword(s). This type of contest is controversial because it often leads to massive amounts of link spamming as participants try to boost the rankings of their pages by any means available.
The organizing body of an SEO competition may hold the activity without promotion of a product or service in mind; or they may organize a contest in order to market something on the Internet. Participants can showcase their skills and potentially discover and share new techniques for promoting websites.
The first real search engine optimization contest was Schnitzelmitkartoffelsalat by German webmasters, started on 2002 November 15 in the German-language Usenet group de.comm.infosystems.www.authoring.misc.
Chris Ridings is credited as being the creator of the English-language SEO Contest concept. This was the famed “nigritude ultramarine” search engine optimization contest that really revealed something interesting at the time: the winner was the guy who had the most links. At the same time, though, it put to rest the concept that “optimized copy”, keyword density, and “on page factors” were the most important part of ranking well in the search engines.
Since then, Chris Ridings’ SearchGuild has been acquired by SEO News, which was then acquired by Pubcon.
For the Net Builders SEO contest, the rules are pretty simple:
Net Builders SEO Contest Rules
Goal: To win, you must place first, second, or third in Google’s organic SERPs for the targeted keywords. Indented listing do not count — each domain can win only one prize.
Start Date: 15 March, 2009
Finish Date: 15 August, 2009 – High Noon GMT
First Place: $1,000
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $250
To enter the contest, you must post the domain you are entering into the contest in a message here at NetBuilders.
Determination of Winners
I will determine the official winners by using a manual search to google.com. As Google returns different results from different data centers and to different searchers, the results you see may not be the results that I see.
Targeted Keywords: The targeted keywords for our contest are “sulumits retsambew” (without the quotes)
I personally find it interesting to follow along with the various SEO contests when they are running: and watch the search engine optimization techniques and marketing tactics that the “search engine optimizers” use in order to “rank well” in Google. As Will mentions, “Google uses over 200 factors to determine the order of their search engine results and makes over 300 changes to their algorithm every year.” So, it’s not just about links, it’s not just about on-page optimization. What I am willing to be on, though, is that most likely the algorithm is going to change between now and the end of the contest date, which is August 15, 2009.
Right now, as of this post (March 17, 2009), this site is the top-ranking website for the phrase “Sulumits Retsambew”. It will be interesting to see how well the site does over time, especially because they’re supposedly telling us everything that has been done and what they’re doing to “win the contest”. What’s also interesting is that they’ve chosen to use WordPress as the CMS of choice, and set up the site as a blog.
Good luck to all of those who are participating in the Sulumits Retsambew contest. If you’re participating, let me know, I may be able to help you out a bit.
Here are a few of the Sulumits Retsambew SEO Contest participants if you’re interested in seeing what they’re doing:
Sulumits Retsambew – Sulumits Retsambew 2009 Search Engine Optimization SEO Contest entry by Afzal Khan.
Sulumits Retsambew Blog – Slew’s Blog. Actually some good info on here, not just info on the SEO contest.
Sulumits Retsambew on Twitter – Follow Sulumits Retsambew on Twitter to see the latest of what’s happening with the Sulumits Retsambew SEO contest.
We’re into the 2nd month of this sulumits retsambew contest, the results look interesting; it’s tough to figure out why a blog that’s been deleted is still showing up.
Update: May 14, 2009
The sulumits retsambew seo contest is still going strong, winding down to the last day of the contest. What’s interesting, is that the focus now is actually on people updating everything as quickly and as often as they can. Apparently when you update your web page about a certain topic like sulumits retsambew then it apparently gets a boost in the search engine rankings at Google. Updated, fresh content works well, which is not really a surprise at all.
I’ve also noticed a great “contest within this contest”, which is actually a brilliant, fabulous idea: the blogger opted to give away a few domain names and the only way you could enter to get one of those domain names was to reply to the blog post as a comment. This got people thinking that they would actually like to get a free domain name…and thus they also were able to make a comment on the blog post, which in turn updates that blogger’s web page/blog post. Great idea.
Update: Links have been removed from this post. November 15, 2014.