Among our members, it looks we have our very own SEO Hero. Patrick Stox has taken up the Wix challenge in his very own David and Goliath story.
Near the end of last year, Wix put out a contest to show how their platform was just as SEO friendly as any others out there. In doing so, they offered up a $50,000 prize for anyone who wanted to use a different platform. They declared their team would abide by Google Guidelines and beat any individual or team that wanted to enter as long as they played by the same guidelines.
If you think about it, we are talking about a huge organization and lots of marketing dollars so this should have been a runaway success for Wix. But with 7 days to go, it is not looking that way.
Patrick decided his strategy would be to analyze the entire contest and keep everyone up to date on the latest news. His blog has been a perfect case study in analyzing SEO and holding Wix’s feet to the fire and all of the other contestants.
We wish him luck and look forward to seeing him win. By the way, he has already publicly stated he is donating the winnings to charity. Check out his site and follow him on Twitter as he comes into the final stretch.
We’re super excited to announce special guest Jenny Halasz for tonight’s event. Jenny is a true expert who writes for many of the major search blogs and speaks at many of the industry conferences. She will be doing live audits coming up at SMX East in New York in September, but tonight is your chance to have her look at YOUR website. Jenny’s full bio is below.
Note: We are still looking for people who would like to have their website’s audited tonight. We give priority to those who attend live. We look forward to seeing everyone there.
Jenny Halasz is President and Founder of JLH Marketing, a marketing consulting firm focused on implementing technical website improvements and content marketing through SEO. She gives clients the insights needed to measure success through analytics and developing scalable acquisition strategies for clients through PPC.
Some of the clients Jenny has worked with include: SAP, Humana, NVIDIA, Motorola, CitiFinancial, HP, Private Health News, Guildery, and 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
Jenny writes a column (All Things SEO) for Search Engine Land, fields questions about SEO for Search Engine Journal’s Ask an SEO column, and is a contributing author for “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” She is a search marketing instructor for ASPE, and has spoken at SMX, SES, Pubcon, Conversion Conference, Internet Summit, State of Search and other conferences. She lives in Raleigh, NC. Read more on or follow Jenny on Twitter @jennyhalasz.
Instead of starting out with a long preface, the answer is “yes”, backlinks are still important. I am always questioning people as to why they would think otherwise.
You may see articles on the latest Google update that is bound to catch lots of Black Hat SEO’s building links that they know are not in line with search engine guidelines, but no reliable publications are talking about backlinks going away. Being one of the strongest signals that Google has, they have no choice at this time but to rely upon them.
Believe me, if they didn’t have to, they would ignore them. So many Black hat tactics have been implemented over the years, it would be easier to look to other online factors and move backlinks down the scale of relevancy. But here they are and we in the industry need to be comfortable with them learn how to use them.