Ambatchdotcom SEO Contest Lessons: Blackhat Techniques Dominate Google
The ambatchdotcom world SEO contest is being dominated by keyword stuffing content scrapers. The #2 person is running a Google Blogger blog, ironically. All his post titles include the words "ambatchdotcom seocontest". The posts themselves are mostly thin material covering new participants in the contest.
Other participants aren't any better of course. I've seen people writing outright gibberish such as:
"From my point of view a new ambachdotcom seocontest is almost always uncommon further more I have written before the ambachdotcom seocontest is always blatantly valued."
A previous entry by the same clown stated,
"Function 1: adjective
1 causing wonder or astonishment ambatchdotcom seocontest to behold>"
Now, this is mostly harmless stuff, because ambatchdotcom is obviously a gibberish word itself. These blackhat SEOs with their keyword stuffing are simply competing with each other, not pushing down real companies' websites about 'ambatchdotcom's SEOcontest'. However, there's a negative influence that comes out of the contest that is a real problem.
Namely, the ambatchdotcom SEO contest is encouraging people to use negative SEO techniques. People are competing in the contest by means such as keyword stuffing, writing for the Googlebot (i.e. the randomly bolded and italicized words above) and so on. The problem is with the superficiality encouraged by such a contest. Prizes are awarded based on SERP results, rather than a more holistic, integrated approach. Consider what would happen if non-SEOs searched for "ambatchdotcom seocontest" on Google and came to any of the top sites. The result would be dissatisfied customers leaving in a heartbeat when they found some nonsense website designed to be read only by search engine robots.
On a related note, I'd like to take the opportunity to point out just how important on-site optimization can actually be. The top-ranking site as of this writing has less than a hundred backlinks going to it, yet it ranks above a site with close to 400 links, as per Yahoo's count. The second place blogspot blog mentioned above has less than 50 links. James Martin of Work Boxers has a great little analysis he put together of the top ranking sites and what they're doing to dominate Google for "ambatchdotcom SEO contest."
You'll have hopefully realized by now that this post is optimized for "ambatchdotcom seocontest." In all honesty, I'm doing it partly for the money - first place nets 4 thou. But I'm also doing it because as a marketer who likes to take an integrated/holistic approach to things (go read Marketing Sherpa now!) I'm opposed to sketchy blackhat SEO practices. (Which is why I'm providing a search engine legible 'follow' link to James' post, even if it means it'll help him to my detriment. He's provided some useful content that deserves promotion.) If you'd like to help promote proper SEO practice, link to this post using the words "ambatchdotcom seocontest" as the link text. You can also help by bookmarking this in del.icio.us, Digg, or other social bookmarking tools.