John Carcutt Wins $10,000 SEJ Contest : Donates Prize to Orphanage

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The results of the $10,000 Search Engine Journal Guest Blogging competition are finally in after the great SEJ Blog Off between John Carcutt and Richard Burckhardt, two excellent SEO’s who have contributed incredible content to Search Engine Journal for this competition and also on various occasions.

The Guest Blogging Competition

The first $10,000 SEJ Guest Blogging was a huge success, with numerous entries from Search Engine Journal readers and some participants from outside of the SEO or search marketing spectrum.

The results were some awesome posts which attracted interesting discussion, voting, links, new readers and introduced some new faces to our loyal daily readers.

Sponsors and the Prizes Valued at Over $10,000 in Search Marketing Services

The $10,000 in prizes is split between various sponsors for the competition, reflecting a vast array of search engine marketing services which combined, will kickstart any business or website’s search marketing plans:

  • $1,000 in Blog Reviews &; Links from
  • 6 month free subscription for SingleFeed’s Data Feed Management and Optimization service : $1,074 value
  • $500 in free advertising from Text Link Ads
  • 6 Month Free Subscription for Adapt Paid Search Management Software (a $1,194 value)
  • One Year Subscription to Keyword Discovery (a $599 value)
  • $500 from Pepperjam Search
  • 3 months free at SEOBook (a $300 value)
  • SEO Audit & Site Makeover from TrafficBlend & Search Engine Journal Services (a $5000+ value)
  • Submittals of up to 4 sites to Aviva Directory Network (a $400+ value)

The Great SEJ Blog Off

After reviewing all of the entrants, we had a virtual tie between John Carcutt’s entry and Richard Burckhardt’s entry. Both parties agreed to take this competition to the next level, in the form of an old fashioned Blog Off. John and Richard contributed new blog posts for the readers to decide the winner and SEJ incorporated a new Reddit style blogpost voting tool at the bottom of the posts, to give our readers an extra voting opportunity.

And the Winner Is…

John Carcutt’s Are SEO Forums Still Needed? post was the overall winner, topping the scales in Sphinns (80), SEJ Votes (29), Incoming Links (1144) and Comments (15).

This was a close one again as Richard’s post had more Stumbles (14), Delicious Bookmarks (38) and Buzzes (9).

Here are the stats on each piece :

  • John : Sphinn : 80, Stumble : 12, Delicious : 3, SEJ Votes : 29, Incoming Links : 1144, Comments : 15, Buzz : 3
  • Richard : Sphinn : 55, Stumble : 14, Delicious : 38, SEJ Votes : 20, Incoming Links : 416, Comments : 12, Buzz : 9

We and our sponsors will be issuing some second place prizes to Richard, who gave John a run for his money! What an incredible competition.

John Carcutt’s Plans

What will John Carcutt be doing with his prize of over $10,000 in search marketing services? Well, Mr. Carcutt plans on donating a large chunk of the purse to a charity.

Here’s a message from John :

“Thank you so much Loren and big thanks to Richard Burckhardt for making the whole thing even funner. One of my best friends growing up recently moved to a remote area of Mexico to build and operate an orphanage. I plan on donating a majority of the prizes to him and his orphanage. He has a simple site at and with these prizes I think we can get him a very nice donation generating machine online. Thank you again Loren from me, Face of My Father and all the Mexican orphans your contest is going to help.”

Search Engine Journal will be tracking the progress of John’s charity and will be issuing updates on a regular basis. Our sponsor’s are also very happy to hear that their prize offerings will be going to such a great cause. This is a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Furthermore, if you’d like to contribute to the SEO project, please leave a comment below or contact Search Engine Journal, and we’ll help set everything up.

John’s plans to donate to the orphanage have encouraged me to hold future competitions on Search Engine Journal where the winners can donate to the charities of their choice. If you’d like to help with these promotions, please contact Search Engine Journal with any ideas.

Mr. Carcutt lives in Florida (as do I) and I’ll be flying over to see him tomorrow and discuss the charity project while doing some fishing and attending a Boca Raton SEO Meetup, where I’ll be speaking on link building basics.

We’ll take some photos and post them on SEJ next week (this isn’t one of them), along with some press releases on the donation.

Thanks to Search Engine Journal readers and to our sponsors for making this all happen, and a special thanks to all participants who entered the SEJ Blogging Competition.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Raj Krishnaswamy

    Very interesting update. Great to know that a major portion of the prize money is going to such a wonderful charity after so much hard work. Is Tiger Woods reading this article yet? I guess Bloggers are wonderful people after all — at least most of them! Thank you and Congrats.

  • afa

    Hey, I’d do the same. And what’s up with Tiger?

  • Andrew Nevelos

    Congratulations John and kudos on giving your loot to charity! Wear your ring with pride because you are a true Superman!

  • Richard Burckhardt

    Congrats, John! Way to go! Hope we meet up in person at one of the SEO events. I’ll buy you a drink!

  • Jim Hedger

    Congratulations John! It is nice to see where you are focusing your prize winnings. Good on ya mate!

  • Tamar Weinberg

    haha, I love that pic. The photographer is top notch ๐Ÿ˜›

    Anyway, congratulations John. It’s awesome that you are putting it toward a really good cause ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Blog Marketing Journal

    Good to see that a real stand up guy has won this contest! Amazing job John and Kudos for contributing to such a cause!

  • Josh Gampel

    Congrats to John!!! Great to hear that the prize money is going to a great cause.

  • Mercy

    Many Congrats to you John!!! Great to see you donate the amount to such a good cause ๐Ÿ™‚

    All the very best and congrats to Richard too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Yayฤฑn AkฤฑลŸฤฑ

    Really good money. Congratulations dude. Enjoy it while spending ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Raghavan

    Congrats John and Richard

  • John Carcutt

    Thank you so much everyone.

    The big thanks should be going to SEJ and all the sponsors who made this event possible.

    Its great to see that Loren is going to start making charities a regular part of these contests.

    @ Richard – No way man, when we meet, the drinks are on me… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • PR NY

    Those topics did not add anything useful or helpful to advanced SEOs.

    One was a blatant drive to stir controversy – the other was about as blatantly commercial as a post could be, while appealing to the common denominator.

    What good does it do to ponder if something is still useful? Just don’t use it anymore!

  • Mark Laymon

    John even wears his “Halo” for photographs

  • John’s Mom

    Great job, John! I’m sure Tod is pleased (guy running the orphanage) and I am really proud of you. See you at Thanksgiving. Love ya.