So, now it is official, I didn’t win the Oes Tsetnoc Seo Contest, instead I ended up on place 21 (give or take a few, depending on your Google location). Before writing up my mistakes, failures and shortcomings, first of all my sincere congratulations to the three winners:
First Place: Handsome from http://www.oestsetnoc.com/
Second Place: Hellas from http://www.oestsetnocs.com/
Third Place: Phreakaholic from http://phreakaholic.com/indonesia/oes-tsetnoc/
And obviously also a special Thank You to decipher from PromoJunkie for running the contest. I benefited enormously from participating in it. Not only by getting more back links to my blog in general, but also by observing and learning more about SEO.
It all boiled down to content+back links in the end. Here some interesting stats:
My entry: Content, hence also indexed in Google: 1 meagre page, back links to that page 68 in Google and 5600 in Yahoo
Winners entry: 277 pages indexed in Google, 16100 back links in Yahoo, 154 in Google
The material I collected during the contest will provide me with endless ideas for blog posts. But now no more excuses, here the reasons why I failed in this Seo Contest:
Now is confession time. I heard actually about the contest some months earlier, had a short look if any good domain were still free, found none and left it under “perhaps later”. Later I did discover that I didn’t need a completely new domain to participate, just a new page / sub-domain would do also. And so I entered last minute. Doh, if I had done my bit of RTFM (Read The Freaking Manual), or in this case “Read the contest rules” earlier, I could have entered the contest earlier, giving me more time to build up content and back links.
So, first big mistake: I didn’t read the rules!
Lesson learned: Always RTFM!
Keywords and domain
Whilst I didn’t got that one completely wrong, in hindsight I should have put a new blog on the sub-domain oestestnoc.hospitalera.com up instead of just using a new page on my blog. That would have given me more possibilities to add related content and cashing in on domain age / domain authority at the same time. Alternatively I could have entered earlier and snatched up a real good .com domain (see first mistake). Having only one page also made decent deep-linking impossible or at least more difficult. I could still link from other pages of my blog to the contest entry, but could not interlink seo contest content.
Second big mistake: I didn’t have a plan!
Lesson learned: Take 5-10min and sketch out at least a rudimentary project plan!
Back Links building
I build back links the wrong way round. I concentrated first on the easy ones like blog comments and forum signatures and the like. Given the tight time frame I should have concentrated first on things like article submissions that take more time to get picked up by Google and then added the ones that are quickly spidered, such as forum signatures, blog comments or online profiles.
Third big mistake: I didn’t have a back link building strategy!
Lesson learned: Take 5-10min and sketch out at least a rudimentary back linking plan!
I simply didn’t add enough content. Blame the cold, blame my laziness, blame the mistake mentioned under Point 2. I didn’t give Google enough fodder to index!
Fourth big mistake: I didn’t had enough content = authority on the subject!
Lesson learned: Content is still king for Google and if it is only to provide a place where to link to! If I would have done, what I should have done, putting a seo contest blog on a sub-domain of hospitalera.com I might have been more motivated to add content instead of simply adding to a single page.
Some wise woman said one day “I owe my success to my family and friends, but my failures are completely my own achievement ;-)” So, thank you again everybody, that supported me during these last three weeks and if anybody hears something about a new Seo Contest, drop me a note, I am game!
Now to this days “Pay it forward Seo” goodie: Recently I found a blog with the delightful name “Mature not senile” and the following blog post “I am not an expert on any niche” struck a chord with me. Perhaps because I also would drive crazy if I only would work on focused niche sites and blogs. I need to digress from time to time!
And here the “comments provoking” call to action of this days blog post:
Do you learn more / better, from your mistakes or from your successes?
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