Follow-up: That shopautodotca seocontest online contest

So I didn't win the shopautodotca seocontest search engine optimization contest, so I decided to check on how the actual winners were faring. After all, one of the winners was supposed to become the company's SEO manager.

The top prize winners in the Google category and in the MSN category have both complained that they haven't received their prizes yet and have threatened to file a fraud claim. (Dead link to forum.) The top prize winner in the Yahoo category hasn't said anything one way or the other.

Meanwhile, the forum hosted by the contest organizers was emptied of all messages, rendering it a breeding ground for message board spam. (It was subsequently taken down late last year.)

I suspect that's the last I'll hear of this contest; I don't anticipate any resolution to emerge.

Comments (8)
  1. John says:

    Why do spammers have to ruin everything for the rest of us?  Email, message boards, domain names, search results; what’s next?

  2. Steve Nuchia says:

    "why do spammers have to ruin everything …?"

  3. Adam says:

    I have a friend who has a rather clever way of raising his PageRank.  He has a CGI script at that, if your User Agent is not one of (GoogleBot, YahooBot, MSNBot, or AOLBot), then it redirects you to his home page.  Otherwise, it generates a random page containing mostly gibberish, with an occasional link with his name linking to his home page, as well as links to more random pages under the /bar pseudo-directory.  It’s proven to be rather effective in raising his Google PageRank, although it does not seem to be so effective with the other major search engines.

  4. Brooks Moses says:

    Meanwhile, your post on it is #3 in the Google rankings for the "magic phrase".

    Which says something, I think, about things that last and things that don’t.

  5. Justin says:


    No, that’s not clever. That’s cheating.

    Feeding Googlebot a completely different view of the page than a normal browser is a violation of Google’s guidelines (and the guidelines of pretty much every search engine). If he gets caught, he’ll probably be delisted.

  6. SM says:

    >"If he gets caught, he’ll probably be delisted."

    Yikes! The real Internet Death Penalty.

  7. James Schend says:

    Why do spammers have to ruin everything for the

    rest of us?  Email, message boards, domain

    names, search results; what’s next?

    The founders and architects of the Internet had absolutely no knowedge of basic human nature. Any operation taken without taking into account human nature is bound to fail. Not much more to it than that.

  8. Anonymous Coward says:

    @James Schend:

    Actually, they did take it into account; they expected that people who had antisocial behaviour would be kicked by their ISP, and if their ISP didn’t care, their ISP’s ISP would kick their ISP out. If it went all the way to the backbone, the upstream ISP would be depeered or blackholed.

    What they didn’t expect is that there are so many ISPs which don’t care that depeering or blackholing isn’t a valid solution anymore (it would cause too much collateral damage).

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