There is one thing I have learned after a week of fulltime crash course on SEO - It is very easy to learn but it takes a lot of work.
Last June the first Philippine SEO Contest was announced to the public and the contest was open to everyone, both SEO experts and amateurs. More than 70 entries were submitted and the contest will end on September 29th. The winners will be determined by the Google Philippines Search Engine Results Page.
All contestants did everything they can to get it to the top. Both White Hat and Black Hat SEO techniques are involved in the contest and the SEO community
Aaron Wall made a comment on this SEO Contests with regards to comment spamming and this raised a concern with the rest of the SEO community worldwide. Somehow this contest is becoming to look like spamming contest to some and the contestants are now changing their strategy to prevent their site from being eventually banned.
So what does it take to be on the top spot? Below are the general SEO techniques most of the contestants have done for the first month of this competition.
1. On-Page Optimization - The entry sites are being designed to make it as Google friendly as possible. Good Site Navigation, 5 to 7% Keyword Density, inserting Meta Tags, using Google Site Maps and implementing Google Adwords are among the most common techniques being implemented on these sites. Many are using WordPress because it is easy to build and it is known to be SEO friendly.
2. Link Building - The entry sites are submitted on almost all forums, blogs and directories out there. Even though some sites are totally unrelated to the entry site, many are still linking their sites there because of the site's high Google PageRank and Backlinks is the Google's top priority in ranking websites.
3. Articles - Articles are submitted to feeders and article sites. Some have violated copyright laws by using articles made by other people and made it as their own. Many SEO's agree that article writing helps the site's ranking a lot and many have submitted several articles just to get their site noticed.
4. Black Hat - Unfortunately, black hat techniques are being used. Spam blogging, duplicate sites and other unfriendly techniques are being used to get their site to the top. I could not blame them because most of the SEO contestants have no actual experience in SEO before this contest and they are still learning the difference between ethical and unethical SEO.
In the end, only Google-friendly sites will remain on the top spot and black hatters will most likely be banned in Google in the awards night.
So what is the lesson here? For the 30 days, I have learned that SEO is not very hard to learn, but for a site to be on the top spot, it would need a lot of work and it takes time.
To learn more about this SEO Contest, please visit this site: Learn SEO Philippines