I Won a SEO Contest!

seo-contest-results.jpgBack in April, I decided to join the retsambew dash klat for charity SEO contest graciously put on by Webmaster-Talk. I had never entered a SEO contest and had not planned on doing something like this. Webmasters are supposed to be busy, right? I think it is an appealing idea for SEO’s to seek validation of their skills through something other than their own site rankings. What made joining the contest so irresistable was the ingenious rule set developed by Webmaster-Talk’s Tim Shroeder. I talked about why I like this SEO contest rule set earlier, but to sum it up, I’ll say that the rules were designed to make the contest truly fair for everyone. Of course, the prizes offered were appealing as well.

Another neat aspect was that webmasters had a chance to support their favorite charity. I chose Voice of the Martyrs. I was glad to see them on the list of eligible charities because I read the Voice of the Martyrs free magazine and greatly admire their work in support of persecuted Christians around the world (when I say persecuted, I mean persecuted in the violent sense). Many of the magazine’s accounts of Christian sufferings are horrifying to read and at times graphic. Never-the-less, it is important that these accounts be publicized because they are not often picked up by the mainstream media.

After five months of competing, I am both thrilled and humbled to find out that I have won first place in the contest! My site was RetsambChar.com. It’s still up at the moment if you care to take a peak. Don’t expect a fancy Web 2.0 design. Boy am I glad that Google doesn’t rank sites according to graphic abilities. The competition was tough and my white SEO hat is off to these very capable SEO’s who were duking it out with me.

I’d like to say thanks one more time to Webmaster-Talk for making this contest a success and a lot of fun. Thanks also to my wife for helping toward the end and taking a sincere interest when I showed her the prizes we could win :). I am quite sure that this will be my first and last entry into a SEO contest. One of the benefits of competing in a SEO contest like this was that I learned a lot. You can bet that I will be sharing what I have learned here. –Emory Rowland

Emory Rowland

I'm editor and keeper of the flame at Clickfire, fanatical social media blogger and builder of Internet things from way back. My love for social media and success with organic search led me to start my own consulting company. Apart from the Internet, I could be considered pretty worthless. More...


  1. Smith

    hey this is really a nice news , Do u know i am also an SEO expert and Certified by various institutes included MICROSOFT.
    it will be a great combination , if you and i discuss our experiance here. you can also see my site and let me know what kind of changes i have to made .

  2. Emory Rowland

    Evision has a nice clean look. Reminds me of the dire need to redesign Clickfire :)

  3. salman ahmad

    i want to do SEO effectively plz help

  4. Emory Rowland

    Salman, it looks like you have put a lot of work into your site and it looks good. I learned a lot about SEO from reading forums and then testing what I read on my own pages. Best of luck.

  5. Thanks for the nice words Emory and again congrats on winning the SEO Contest!

    I am glad a genuinely good guy won first place. :)

  6. Thats freaking awesome. Thats a crazy keyword term.

    So do you have some seo ninja secret tools? ;-)

    Again, good job!!!

  7. Emory Rowland

    Thanks Joe!

    No secret ninja tricks, but now that you mention it, the contest did feel a lot like a kung fu match :)

  8. SEO

    I had some thoughts on a similar SEO / Search Engine Optimization related topic, maybe i’ll start a new thread

  9. seocontest2008

    Great achievement, makes you feel real proud when something like this happens. You up for another seo contest? check out the ukww.

  10. Emory Rowland

    Thanks, seocontest2008, it sure does. Competing also takes a lot of time and energy and for that reason, I probably wouldn’t enter another SEO contest any time soon. Best of luck with the ukww contest.

  11. SEOcontest2008

    Congrats! Mind sharing any tips for me to win SEOcontest2008?

  12. Emory Rowland

    Here are some things I listed on the Webmaster-Talk Forums. Some of this is looking a little outdated now.

    Built a static site for the most part

    Got some links from directories early in the contest

    Tried to come up with content that someone would want to link to

    Wrote/submitted SEO articles

    Got links from blogs, bookmark sites and maybe one friend or two’s site

    Made an RSS feed and submitted it to some feed sites.

    Did not use a blog software for the site

    No Digital Point coop network

    No reciprocal links

  13. Reading you comments above !Just wanted to ask you why is a static site important and not a blog? i thought a blog would be given more weight than a static website! i am new to this – therefore any advice will be appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

  14. Emory Rowland

    Actually, I wished I had used a blog because early on in the contest, many of my competitors were using WordPress and blowing me away. It all worked out in the end like the tortoise and the hare. But, if it were today, I would definitely use a blog.

  15. Seocontest2008 Amit

    Hi Emory i like to congratulate you on your success which was a way back but then also winning is more important in any contest. And thanks for sharing the tips on how you succeeded and won.

  16. Emory Rowland

    Thanks for the kind words, Amit. Glad to share.

  17. Pingback: SEO Fiction

  18. Hello Emory:

    Thank you for publishing this post online. You seem like you did a brilliant job, and along with you, those are congratulated as well, given you the aim to do this, e.g. Your wife, The websters-talk and all. And why not? Since it was helpful for you, this existing sector and through out your career.

    By reading this post, I feel, this post is some-what giving an aim to all the SEO Companies, Executives, and even the Clients as well, enter in this SEO Arena, Learn, Share, Teach, and get updated. The education and educaters should be necessary to particepate and would not be afraid to teach.

    anyway, Thank you again for the post, and Congratulations!!

    Regards – Tina

  19. Emory Rowland

    Hi Tina,

    I appreciate the encouraging remarks. The contest truly was an educational experience, fun and one that carried lots of suspense in the ups and downs of rankings. Best of luck to you and please visit again.


  20. Hello!
    I myself am participating in an Israeli SEO contest and was wondering if you can share some useful tips and tricks?


  21. Emory Rowland

    Naomi, I think it depends on the ruleset of the contest. If the contest is like retsambew dash klat for charity and I could condense it into one sentence, it would be to create as much unique content as fast as possible and get as many authoritative links pointing to the page you want to rank for the keyword. Oh, also there’s this :)


  22. SEO Specialist

    Hello naomi…

    The best SEO Tips is to use unique keyword targeted content and backlinks…

  23. han

    wow it is cool you can win

  24. Clara

    wow.. amazing… can you share your tips and trick to me?

  25. Geansai Gorm

    Hi Emory-great to get the insights from someone who has actually been there and done it. I am considering entering a small Irish seo competition for a bit of fun so am just doing a little research to avail of any tips people like yourself may have to share so thanks for the insights and congrats on your “victory”.

  26. Emory Rowland

    Geansai Gorm, Thanks for the kind remarks and best wishes to you in your upcoming SEO contest.

  27. Internet Marketing blog

    I have always wanted to compete in one of these contests, well at least for the last few months i have. I want to see where i compare to other seos

  28. Geansai Gorm

    Thanks Emory-I appreciate your feedback and you just never know maybe soon I will also be able to say that I Won an SEO Contest. I’ll keep hoping anyway!

  29. Geansai Gorm

    Up to 2nd already Emory-I can’t believe it… Very excited as the competition is drawing a lot of attention over here in Ireland. Again thanks for the useful resources and advise.

  30. Emory Rowland

    Geansai Gorm, Please post back when this is over and give us an update. I’d love to hear what tactics you used. Thanks.

  31. SEO Global Designer

    hey this is really a nice news , Do u know i am also an SEO expert and Certified by various institutes included MICROSOFT.

    it will be a great combination, if you and i discuss our experience here. you can also see my site and let me know what kind of changes i have to made in globalsdesigners.com

  32. Emory Rowland

    SEO Global Designer, thanks for your comments. Your site seems to be off to a good start for SEO. Nice design.

  33. CuocThiSEO - VietSEOGuy

    I’m joining a SEO contest call CuocThiSEO in Vietnam. Hope that I will learn good tips from you!
    Thank you!

  34. Emory Rowland

    Good luck with the contest, VietSEOGuy. Let us know how things go!

  35. CuocThiSEO - VietSEOGuy

    My cuocthiseo.vietseoguy.com subdomain goes top 10 already. And I just create another cuocthiseo folder for testing subdomain vs folder.
    Thanks for your comment.

  36. beloed

    Can you teach me?

  37. Emory Rowland

    beloed, thanks for asking; I’m flattered and would love to do some kind of teaching beyond what is posted. Actually I would love to post more of my thoughts on SEO and other topics here but I am too busy with my full time work now.

  38. I am a newbie when it comes to SEO and trying to cope up with the contest I am into now. Thank you guys for some good advices somehow. Hope you could help me well. I’ll keep on checking this post here.

  39. Ali Reith
  40. VietSEOGuy

    The game is over. I’m just in top 7… ;-(
    Hope that we could be good friends Emory. ;-)
    I shared things on the URL above.
    Nice weekend guy.

  41. Emory Rowland

    Well, thanks for the update. There’s always the possibility of future contests. Nice to be friends with you too.

  42. Nice intention for participation. :)

    Small Tip from my 3 years of experience in SEO.
    Best way for Keyword optimization is Related links in related pages and supporting meta tag. Error free or reduced error pages in the website.

    Happy SEO’ing :)

  43. How did you feel at the time you won the SEO Contest?
    I am now struggling very hard to learn and know SEO. ;)

  44. Emory Rowland

    Rein, it was very satisfying but at the same time but was feeling as if I had spent away time that could have been used for other longer lasting projects like developing new Web sites. Keep reading and tweaking your site and you’ll learn, I’m sure :)

  45. darlyn

    Wow congrats you won a SEO contest. I hope my entry darlyngemwords.blogspot.com/2009/03/tnomeralc-web-design-toys_08.html will win too for tnomeralc web design toys SEO contest. wish me good luck ;)

  46. Ratna

    congratulations! i hope i will win too in my first SEO contest at ratnarespati.com/2009/02/27/ikutan-lomba-seo-tukang-nggame-yuk/

  47. Sulumits Retsambew

    Congratulations! Have you joining with the last SEO Contest from Netbuilders? You can check more info about this SEO Contest at my blog (sulumitsretsambew.in).

  48. SEO Contest


    Are they going to hold another seo contest at webmastertalk?

    • Emory Rowland

      Thanks. I doubt WT will do another, who knows.

  49. oes tsetnoc

    Congratz! They make it look so easy, eh.

  50. Wow! Recently there’s the same competition targetting “sulumits retsambew” and shocked that someone like this also exist. By the way, Congratulations!

  51. Congrats! I’m waiting to join a new SEO contest, esp after the Google Caffeine as I believe there’re lots of things to change or update.

  52. Congratulations – it is cool you can win this competition.

  53. open your mind

    i dont understand with seo

  54. Mike

    I think there should be contest related to Link building too.

  55. herjamil

    hi bro, i am a beginner for joining SEO contest. i want to be a winner, could you help me to win the SEO contest that i am following

  56. Dear Sir,

    Can you help me to take myblog win local SEO contest?
    What is the tips and trick?


    • Emory Rowland

      Ika, do you have a link to the contest rules? What are the objectives of the contest.

  57. idiotic

    what does SEO? I did not understand…

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