Lessons learned from Isulong SEOPH Contest

Just one month into the Isulong SEOPH competition and I’ve learned a lot of things I didn’t knew about before. The SEO Contest has been a good exercise for me so I’d like to list them down here and share with everyone.

  • Google.com.ph definitely favors websites hosted on Philippine ISPs, as shown in this search results.
  • Google.com.ph favors domains with the .PH country code TLD even if the sites are not hosted in the Philippines. See same results as above.
  • A website’s general language is factored in since Google now recognizes the Tagalog language. You can clearly see the difference between the English language results and the Tagalog language results. You will notice the Google query string for each results only differs with hl=en and hl=tl.
  • Google can extract/recognize partial keywords from domain URLs. Notice the domain www.isulongseophil.com is highlighted as such in the SERPs.
  • While Google recognizes keywords in domains even without separators like dots or dashes (isulong.seoph.tld, isulong-seoph.tld and isulong-seoph.tld), it cannot do the same on an actual page content or meta description.
  • Contest entries running on blogs rank far better than static websites because of some inherent advantages — blog-specific search/tagging services (Technorati, Feedster, IceRocket etc.)

Last and most important, comment spamming and trackback spamming still tops as the #1 link building strategy. Maybe that’s the reason why the rel=nofollow initiative is slowly loosing support. Then, there’s the occasional links from Wikipedia sites.

Some of the above observations may be a long-standing fact to the SEO community but not to me. :D

Disclaimer: I have two eligible but non-competing (yet!) sites which I put up for this contest. One is my Smart Wifi blog with an Isulong SEOPH entry and another blog for a fictitious Filipino novelist/artist aptly named Isulong Seoph. If anyone wants to help out with the natural link-building strategy, I’d appreciate a link to any of the above sites.

[tags]seo, sem, seo contests, isulong seoph, seo philippines[/tags]

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9 Comments on this Post

  1. In the case of Yahoo, it appears to favor an automated rss feed, rather than a manually updated one.

    I tried to make a manual web site rank high by just adding content, but Yahoo didn’t index the html pages which are not referenced in the rss feed. Unbelievable.

    Looks like it’s time to add a WordPress- or blog-powered section to the websites of companies.

  2. Quite educational. I’ve also noticed that there is a regular cycle/movement among the websites. One can somewhat already estimate when the website will be moving up or down.

  3. Very educational. A lot of thanks from thos eof us who are just beginners in the world of legitimate traffic building. Intersting in particular to me since I’ll be physically in the Philippines sometime soon, and I have several web ideas to work on there. Based on what I’m seeing I can purcahes a .ph domain and still host on my cheap and very convenient US-based provider and Google won’t penalize me for the geographic difference.

    Great blog info too … again and again the lesson seems to be that blogs are very commercially viable, even for companies without any pure “blog” interest. With the great open source sofware available there’s hardly an excuse not to have ablog on any company site … even if it’s only a venue for the CEO to give a once amonth per talk. Much simpler than building the whole site as a CMS, and updates to a blog engine like WordPress are simple enough to be almost :CEO-proof”.

  4. I also noticed blogs using WordPress are dominating the SERP.. you noticed that too?

  5. I just started June 25. and two days after, my isulong-seoph site is 4 notches below your blog. (on page 4). I know it changes. Who knows I will be on page 100 next time. hehe

  6. yeah, it’s getting frustrating to see blogs ranking well just for the reason that they are blogs and they have automatic pinging included.. :(

    the time it takes for google to cache my site takes so long, that I can’t know if what I did to my site is working. :(

  7. Good luck to all entries..

  8. great! educational


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