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Seo Contests, Are They Good For Link Building, Or Not

Feb 26, 2008
One way of generating links to a new or established though floundering website is to use a contest. There are many thousands of would be SEO guys all wanting a piece of the action and a contest sparks of a flood of new pages and links to the website in question. The result is such, that for only a small outlay (the prize money) you can generate a lot of inbound links and a network behind those links to your site.

The seocontest2008 is one such contest. It is being run by a UK based forum website and are tempting would be competitors with a $1,000 first prize. The structure is simple; you create a web page and place a link to their site. By optimizing your page, mainly by off page optimization (link building) you create a network which all points to the page they want optimized. So in effect for about $1,000 they get a website with hundreds if not thousands of links for a few cents each.

Overnight on February 1st 2008, Google was flooded with new pages all promoting the virtues of Seocontest2008, each linking back to the forum that started the competition. This though may only be effective short term and it will be interesting to see what happens long term, i.e. will sites keep links etc. Also all newly registered sites will probably be dropped by their owners after a year, so links will be lost there.

The other issue that may have an effect on the search engine optimization is that all the sites are using the same words in the link back to the forum running the contest. Google likes links that are natural and to have every link the same, may look like spamming. A natural link structure should have different words in the anchor text.

Does that mean that running a contest may actually be a false economy? Well perhaps not, if the competition was structured differently. Instead of having one prize, it should be split between the three most sort after keywords for the site. An added rule could be that only one keyword can be attacked per the page registered for the contest; this way you get more pages, more links and a more natural looking package for your money.

All in all though, these competitions are both fun to take part in and also give you the opportunity to try theories out, without harming your own or your clients websites.
About the Author
David Edbrooke-Stainer runs a Search Engine Optimization company called Drabdesign and entered the seocontest2008 via his search engine optimization website.
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