Friday, January 26, 2007

search engine optimization as a contact sport

Billed as the "world's most prestigious SEO contest" (I suspect it may be the world's ONLY SEO contest), a marketing agency out of Sweden is running a competition to see who can score the highest search engine rank (known as SER to folks who care about these things -- and yes, full disclosure: I am one of those people) on the selected phrase: "globalwarming awareness2007".

The winner will be the domain that ranks highest across all the major search engines when the keyword phrase is queried on May 1st. Only domains registered after January 15th of this year qualify. Google SER will break any tie that might present itself.

It's not clear to me what prize will be awarded to the winner -- the glory of being able to claim that they've won the world's most prestigious only SEO contest?

Oh wait -- forgive me -- there are prizes. Big prizes.

The contest sponsors are quick to point out that the keyword phrase "globalwarming awareness2007",was selected for its virtue. But I've gotta wonder: how virtuous is it to persuade folks to create content designed to jockey for top spots across the major search engines -- when that content will be abandoned after May 1st? Online content at its best is fresh and relevant -- junk at the top of the pile does nobody any good.

Call me old fashioned: but I think content creators have a social responsibility to create content that's worth something -- for everyone. Particularly the folks who are searching it out.

There's a group on Flickr called "tag whores" where folks post images with extending tagging -- usually whole phrases and sentences that act as extended captions. They're fun to read, and there are a few masters out there who tell some great stories that way (and admittedly I'm not blame-free from adding "tag spam" of my own) -- but the metadata-dominatrix in me gets queasy when I see folks messing with their metadata like that.

All the messy search results. All the lost searchers.

But I suppose it all evens out in the end. The exoskeleton of metadata that is tagging just becomes a little bit messier than anticipated -- the story just gets a little bit more complex.


anniemcq said...

I'm so glad I know you. You know the most interesting things and people, and while my perimenopausal mommy brain is in sleep mode, I can just drop in for a visit and learn things that keep me tethered to the world.

And you can effortlessly drop words like "metadata" into a post without putting me in a coma. Do you know how hot that would make my husband if I could do that? Maybe I'll try it tonight, and see what happens...

You are one smart cookie! Thanks for the info!

suttonhoo said...

my life would be so much more interesting is words like "metadata" made my husband hot. ;)

loved this comment -- thanks chickie!

b1-67er said...

You and I could take this thing. Worrying about corrupting internet data is like worrying about littering a landfill. We could win this. Say- where IS the nearest Citroen dealer?

suttonhoo said...

b1-67er -- YOU could take it -- I'll just stand by and watch admiringly as you reverse-engineer the thing, like I always do. ;)

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