It's a mysterious realm for most, but in this digital world, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is also an extremely—and increasingly—important one. And New Zealand-based SEO specialists now have a chance to showcase their talents in the inaugural SEO Challenge.
Registrations are now officially open and the competition aims to provide SEO specialists with an opportunity to demonstrate their capability by building a site and optimising it for an "official" keyword phrase, which will be provided via text message to all registered competitors on 31 August. The winner will be the owner of the site holding the number one position for the official keyword phrase on Google.co.nz's organic listings on Sunday 28 November at 5:00pm.
Challenge organiser, Adam Hutchinson, who is also the brains behind mobile-phone based customer service and loyalty tool Texys, says he launched the competition to provide a way for SEO industry practitioners to highlight how effective search engine optimisation can be in attracting website visitors.
"Often site owners don't know that investing in search engine optimisation of their site can result in a dramatic increase in traffic or make a huge difference to ensuring that you are attracting the right sorts of visitors," Hutchinson says. "The other problem is that even if they do recognise the importance of SEO, they don't necessarily know who's good and who's not in the industry. Now we've got a competition that allows SEOs to show what they can do, and which gives the overall winner of the competition some bragging rights."
The competition is based on similar successful events that have run overseas.
"It's a great opportunity for SEO specialists to measure themselves against their peers, and to see what techniques other competitors use to score their sites highly," Hutchinson says.
Entry to the competition is free, and open to all New Zealand-resident SEO specialists, but "black-hat" hacking-related SEO techniques are banned from being employed by competitors. Interested parties can find information about the rules, prizes and entrance criteria on the SEO Challenge website.