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Should You Ignore SEO Contests?

By Christine Hazel 10 May 2019
Should You Ignore SEO Contests?

The SEO industry is competitive and SEO contests are everywhere. Search engine marketers, specialists and techpreneurs need to keep up with algorithm changes and new SEO rules all the time just to get ahead of the pack or stay in the game.

A few days ago, however, Google’s John Mueller gave us a piece of his mind. He warned people against SEO contests, branding them as time-consuming and a waste of effort.

Search Engine Journal suspected that last Wednesday’s outburst was spurred on by Wix. On his Twitter account, Mueller tweeted the following:

SEO contests are pretty useless.

SEO contests never reflect real life-performance, they generate a ton of spam that negatively affects the whole ecosystem, they’re a big waste of time & effort. The smart approach to SEO contests is to ignore them.”

No specific contest was mentioned. Mueller made no reference to any company but many suspect he was referring to a contest recently launched by Wix, which was aptly called ‘Lovers vs. Haters”

The competition invites various firms, agencies or companies to join, compete and rank for the term “Wix SEO.” The winner will receive $25,000 cash prize.

Applications will close on June 6. The contest will officially start its promotional period throughout the month of June.

This wasn’t the first time Wix launched an SEO competition. A few years ago, the cloud-based web design platform ran a similar contest. Its goal at the time was to showcase the latent capabilities of its then neophyte platform. Participants chose any type of platform to rank for the term “SEO Hero.”

Food For Thought

The absence of competition may appear advantageous but it prevents businesses from growing and moving forward. One setback of SEO contests is that they can be debilitating for non-sustainable businesses. On one hand, they help businesses become more resourcesful. They find a way to get ahead or keep up through innovative methods and approaches.

While we understand where John Mueller is coming from, let it be known that SEO is an ever-changing industry. Contests are necessary – to some extent – to foster creativity. They also expand SEO, making it more dynamic while also motivating businesses to work hard for the prize.

As a business, you know your limits better. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Understand your own circumstances first before joining an SEO contest. That way, you won’t be “wasting your time and effort” and, regardless of the outcome, you’ll be able to learn from your experience as a contest participant.

Since this is a free world, every stakeholder in the SEO industry has the prerogative to create or join an SEO contest. However, be fully aware of the scope and limitations of such contests before jumping the gun.

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