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Winner of inaugural New Zealand SEO Challenge

Winner of inaugural New Zealand SEO Challenge competition announced

New Zealand’s top Google search engine specialists created almost half a million Google entries as they battled for supremacy in the NZ SEO challenge competition. One emerged victorious.

Auckland, Tuesday November 30th- After three months of tough competition, the competition to find New Zealand’s top search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist is over.

More than 50 search engine specialists battled it out over the past three months to attempt to seize the top position on google.co.nz for the keyword – “quadracentifiable” – a fictitious word invented specifically for the competition. When the competition started on August 31st, there were zero entries listed on Google.co.nz for the search term “quadracentifiable”. Just three months later there are almost half a million entries.

Top of the list when the competition closed at 5pm on November 28th, was the website run by Michael Brandon of SearchMasters , the winner of the inaugural New Zealand SEO Challenge.

Competition organiser, Adam Hutchinson of Texsys in Christchurch, says he organised the competition to provide a way for search engine optimisation experts to showcase their skills, compare themselves against their peers and to learn from each other.

“With an increasing number of people using Google to search for information, ensuring your site is visible to people searching on Google has become incredibly important. That’s what search engine optimisation specialists do. They work with you to determine what search terms your site should be showing up for, and then work on structuring your website’s design and content before co-ordinating a number of initiatives to ensure it ranks as highly as possible against those search terms. That’s a skill that is part art and part science,” he says.

But, says Hutchinson, there are a lot of people touting themselves as specialists who are either using techniques – called “black hat” techniques – that run the risk of having your site banned by Google, or who are really not very expert in the art of optimising websites.

“So I thought a completion was a perfect way to allow kiwi search engine specialists to publically demonstrate their skills,” he says. “The best way to know for sure who’s good and who’s not is to provide a way for people to show what they can do. And along the way, they got to have some fun and learn some tricks from each other.”

Competition entrants demonstrated great innovation in some of the sites they’ve created, coming up with a huge range of definitions for the word “quadracentifiable”, and even, in one case, creating a website for a fictitious New Zealand band with hit songs like “Jeremiah was a Full Blog” and “How am I Supposed to Rank Without You?”

In the end it was, according to the winner, sheer hard-work, determination and time that won the competition. “The competition has been all about linking. Who has access to the most links, and the most powerful links from other websites into their competition website. If you need hundreds of other websites to link to you or to client websites, you need a good strategy, and you need it to be cost efficient. We wrote articles that contained links into our sites, then republished unique versions on many websites. The way we executed this proved to be the difference,” Brandon says.

Hutchinson says that the competition has been a lot of fun and a great success, and he looks forward to organising it again in 2011. In the meantime though, he says, the winner of the 2010 NZ SEO Challenge can legitimately brag that they’re New Zealand’s top search engine optimisation specialist.

ENDS

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