The Last Day Of The Contest

Less than 24 hours to go, and it looks like Google shows Eric Blackwell is still in the lead. More than anything, I am happy Eric has taken the high road with this contest and has used this contest as an opportunity to educate people, build relationships, and raise money for a good cause.

They are donating the money to the Eco Preservation Society of Costa Rica. Having personally been to Costa Rica and discussed some of the environmental issues they face, I think this is a wonderful thing.

Thanks to Morgan for making this possible and props to Eric for doing a good deed.

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The Quiet Before The Storm

There are only a few weeks left in the contest, and things have gotten pretty quiet. At this point, it would be extremely difficult to break into the ranks of the top 10 and have a serious chance at winning the prize. Only someone with some seriously high powered websites would be able to do so.

Thus, with the contestants relatively well established, I know that it is only a matter of time before the last minute deal making begins. People will negotiate for last minute links and possibly redirects. Right now the leading official contestant is still Eric Blackwell‘s team, and he has offered one more spot on the team to whoever makes the largest contribution before the end of the contest. However, ironically Ardell‘s controversial entry is back at the #1 ranking at the moment.

February Roundup of The Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World Contest

Some time in early February, Eric Bramlett had the idea for an seo contest. He suggested the idea to Morgan Carey, aka SEO Guy, and owner of Real Estate Webmasters, who generously offered to sponsor the contest. With a prize of web services valued at over 4k, this generated a fair bit of excitement among the real estate webmaster and blogging community.

Morgan also added a twist to the contest, which was that each contestants entry must link to another contestant and do a write up of what they learned from that entry. To demonstrate this, he linked to Eric Blackwell‘s entry, who had the great idea to form a team to compete instead of going solo. By reaching out to other Realtors, and leveraging the fact that he himself is not a Realtor, he has taken an early lead in the contest.

Of course, no contest would be complete without some controversy, which has been most notably provided by Ardell DellaLoggia, who pointed out that the initial prize offering required that the winner pay hosting fees to REW which benefitted them in the long run. Morgan’s response to this was to up the prize to include lifetime hosting, which is quite a nice bonus.

Among the Realtor community, some of the other early leaders include Ryan Ward, and Richard Soto. However, the search results have been very dynamic, and many other contestants have popped in, including:

And of course there are more commentators and critics, including SEO professionals, such as Greg Boser, and Knox, who both seem to be doing quite well and have also offered some SEO insights.

Well, that’s a wrap for February, but with 2 months to go, theres plenty of time for things to change.

More Content Less Links

This site was spotted on page six for the search term “Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World” this evening, and it got me thinking… what if I were to write a post about the contest and the SEO strategies that are going on, everyday for the next two months. People say that Google loves content, but what if there is lots of content without a lot of links? Can it work…

I honestly don’t know if I will be able to update this blog that often, but I do know that I can’t compete with the “lots of links” strategy, because the currently leading site has team members who can provide things like signature links from 23,000 posts on the Digitalpoint forums. That’s just crazy!

Why Does Google Like REW Better Than This Site?

Well, I can think of a few reasons, so let’s do a comparison:

Real Estate Webmasters

62,100 Pages Indexed of Unique Content
459,217 Inbound Links
Created 04-09-2004

GreatestRealEstateAgentInTheWorld.Wordpress.Com

27 Pages Indexed of Unique Content
134 Inbound Links
Created 02-18-2008

I’m not sure, but I think that REW wins… and this also provides evidence that my theory may have some merit. The theory being that it may be easier to compete in the contest using a page on my REW blog versus this cool new site that I created. Because today, my contest entry on REW for the Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World is in the rankings at #15 was in the rankings for all of 1 minute… sigh.

Yahoo SEO Versus Google SEO

One of the fascinating things about following a contest such as this, is the opportunity to take a careful look at the search engine results on a day by day basis and see them update. Today this blog is #3 on Yahoo, yet it is nowhere to be found on Google. Of course the question then becomes, what observations can I make from this about how Yahoo interprets search engine rankings?

  1. I’ve heard that Yahoo favors longer content on an individual page, and the homepage of this blog is probably one of the longest diatribes about this contest on the Internet
  2. Many of the links to this blog are nofollow comments made on other peoples blogs, and so maybe yahoo gives less of a discount to nofollow comments
  3. This blog is a sub-domain of an authority site, so maybe Yahoo gives more credit to subdomains than Google does

If anyone else has any other observations about the differences on the rankings for this contest on Yahoo versus Google, I’d love to hear your comments.

A Post A Day To Keep The Doctor Away

What a great contest… it has been quite a humbling experience to realize that with all that I have learned about SEO and webmastering… there is still so much to know. The biggest take away so far is the power of teamwork and relationships. This kind of reminds me of a quote I once read, which went something like this:

“One person is an island, but a group of like-minded people have the power to change the world.”

Or Google’s SERPs in this case. I never appreciated how important it is to network online and build relationships with individuals in the same way that we network off line. I’ve been in the real estate business long enough to appreciate that networking is a critical part of being in business, but now I see that this is equally true in the virtual world as well.

I’d say that so far, my one complaint, besides not being at the top of the results, is that Morgan gave two competitors a headstart by linking to them from the official contest entry page. However, the results show the power of a good idea and effective SEO, which is that one of those entries is at the top of the results, and the other is languishing on page 4 right now. Of course I’m down there on page six, so obviously I have a lot to learn 🙂