Search engine optimization experts are having fun with Google. Experts, with DarkBlue.com at the helm, are holding a contest to determine how Google really works. Experts are competing, with the goal of optimizing a webpage for a non-sensical phrase: ‘nigritude ultramarine’. On May 7th, the day the terms ‘nigritude ultramarine’ was announced, typing the phrase into Google generated no search listings. Search engine optimizers hoping to define themselves as industry leaders are all vying for the number one spot. Others see the contest as an opportunity to test theories and experiment without jeopardizing existing traffic. Some webmasters are leery at staking their professional reputation on a contest with an undefined number of participants.
As an added incentive for search engine experts and webmasters to participate and work their magic, DarkBlue.com is giving away an Apple Mini iPod and a Sony Flat Screen Monitor to anyone who can take their page to #1 for the phrase ‘nigritude ultramarine’. The contest is scheduled to run for two months and will conclude on July 7th, 2004.
The phrase generating the frenzy, ‘nigritude ultramarine’, is likely to bring out the best and the worst in optimization tactics. The black magic optimization techniques that are suspected in having sites banned from Google are likely to be exercised, along with tried and true optimization practices. Immediately after the contest was announced experts snapped up hyphenated domain names and began tweaking their text. Many experts were surprised to see how quickly ‘nigritude ultramarine’ made its way into the Google’s listings, with new listings appearing daily it is clear that the contest is well underway.
The experts will be at the mercy of Google and any new algorithms implemented over the course of the next two months. Experts will have to anticipate and update on a regular basis, to ensure that they are able to obtain and retain a strong listings.
The results of the contest are unlikely to have any lasting effects, as Google will likely implement filters that will prevent search engine experts from reaping the rewards of any tactics that are found to be effective. Regardless the sense of adventure and a method of testing Google are intriguing.
Guest Columnist Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and wireless messaging software solutions. Other sites by Sharon can be found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com , and http://www.small-business-software.net
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