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Interview with the winner of SEO Contest 2008

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by temi, May 1, 2008.

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  1. temi

    temi Facilitator Webmaster

    This Interview was given by Eclipsis on behalf of the Shere Team.
    Bogdan - First of all, congratulation on your win. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, how long you have been in SEO etc.
    Eclipsis - Thanks. Well it will be hard to answer to this question, since, we have played the contest on a team. We are about 30 French people who attend the same discussion board, called Seosphere - that's why we took that name -, but besides, we have different skills, different careers, different profiles. Some of us are SEO professionals, some have just a passion for SEO and contests without being professionals, etc. Some have been in the domain for several years (mostly after 2004), some are more recent on the field. We are 28 men, and 2 girls, in this team (but we got a huge support from the entire French community). Our ages spread between 20 and 50, I think. We are all from France, but some of us live abroad. So, as you can see, we are all different, and our only common points are the fact we meet on the same forum, we all are SEO addicts, and we all are French...

    Bogdan - When did you create your first website, what was it about?
    - Well, again, since we are several, it won't be easy to answer. Personally, my first site was about an extreme sport, but of course, we all created our first site about a completely different stuff, such as a personal page, an e-commerce, a passion, for a friend, etc.
    Sorry if I cannot be more precise. 30 people, 30 different path...

    Bogdan - What are you favorite SEO resources?
    Eclipsis - There are a lot of resources that can be used for accumulating knowledge on seo techniques. But I guess the main differences between us and other teams is that we are doing our own experiments in order to find the best practices in the seo field. By the way, most of us maintain seo related websites, so we have our proper resources. However, we are vigilant to what is said on the web, and we read many discussion boards or SEO blogs, plus other sites like GWT, Yahoo Site Explorer, ranks.fr..., and also several Firefox SEO plugins (search status, CustomizeGoogle, SEO Links, SEOpen, Goldorank, ...) or softwares (Yooda, ...).

    Bogdan - What are you favorite SEO sites?
    Eclipsis - As I told above, we are all members of the Seosphere.com community, and it's a site we all attend daily. But, most of us also attend other interesting French SEO forums, such as Taggle/Twiger, Webmaster-Hub or WRI, and more underground ones. As all SEO over the world, most of us, also read frequently big international SEO HQ, such as Seochat, Seo-watch, seobook, etc., but mostly French sites (they are too much to be listed, but I'll at least say Outil-referencement.com, Seoblackout, ...)

    Bogdan - What SEO tools can you not do without?
    - Personally, I don't think that there are compulsory tools to be well ranked. Most of us use tools because it's easier, but to me, one can do without any tool. To me, SEO is not based on tools, but more on skills, knowledge, experience, network, etc.

    Bogdan - There is this popular saying that content is king, do you believe in it?
    Eclipsis - Once again, I'm not sure that my voice will be representative of the rest of the team, and my answer could just be true for SEO contests, and not on real cases (although...), but I think that if content is king, then netlinking is queen. Without content, you won't do anything interesting, but without good backlinks, neither will you. On this contest, we tried to have a fresh and good content (which is not that easy while you the native language is not the one on whom you compete), but we also gave our site more than 120-150K backlinks, which has helped, believe me ;)

    Bogdan - Who are your SEO gurus?
    - "SEO guru" is typically a foreign concept to French SEO. This concept really works in the USA, for instance, but many countries, such as France, don't rely on this. I recognize some of my friends skills, and some know people skills, but for me SEO is a field where you should never trust blindly what someone has said, without trying, without testing... I don't like the idea of adoring/following an idol or a guru, nor the one of being adored/followed... SEO ain't a sect.

    Bogdan - Do you have a message for the other participant in the contest you won?
    - Yes, we really enjoyed having such competitors. We had really good relationship with several contestants, that most of us had already met on former SEO contests (V7ndotcom, Globalwarming, ...), such as Benj. I think that most of the competitors learned something, and had fun participating. And we'll be really glad to meet them again, on the SERP of upcoming SEO contests !

    Bogdan - What was you thoughest challenge in the contest you won?
    Eclipsis - Amongst our team members, we were all (almost) used to SEO contests, and this one wasn't the easiest one. What was especially hard on this one, was the fact we had to coordinate 30 people on a common strategy, in order to completely agree on everything (methods, timing, netlinking...). The fact we knew and trusted each other already, has made this task easier, yet, we weren't sure this cooperation would work. Another though challenge was to create an interesting (or funny - sorry to the rabbits) content in a foreign language. Well, it was hard, but also a really good experience.

    Bogdan - What are you going to do with your winnings?
    - Hehe, we are French, so what else we could do, besides eating and drinking together around a table ^^
    To me, and most of my team friends, SEO contest are not just a way to learn, it's more like a way of having fun, and making friends. We managed to federate on something serious (I can tell you it's not an easy thing to have 30 French people who agree on doing something :p), so I guess we deserve to all meet on a dinner in Paris.

    Bogdan - Will you participate on SEOContest2008 2.0 ?
    - We are still discussing on this point. Hard to say now if we'll participate as a team, or if some of use will participate by themself, but as we all are SEO contest addicts, it'd be surprising if none of us participate...

    Bogdan - Do you have any suggestions for the organizers?
    Eclipsis - They did great on this contest, and I think they'll be as good, on the next time. Yet, as players, several rules where strange enough. The idea of playing with a brand new domain is quite strange, since it's not representative of a real-life situation. Same for the 301-forbidding rule. It is supposed to be done to avoid inequality, but we all know we are not equal on skills, experience, firepower, etc., so I'm not sure it's a rule they shouldn't drop. And, a last thing, they should try to find "funny" keywords or keyphrase, since, it is not that easy to make a good content with non-existing words... But, as you can see, our suggestions are not really important. Just let them be as serious as they were on Seocontest2008, and everything we'll be fine...

    Well, I hope I answered as you expected. It was not easy to answer to some of your questions, as being a team and not a person. If you detect mistakes on my English, feel free to correct it... I'll be glad to answer again, after we win the next SEO contest :D
  2. gkd_uk

    gkd_uk Moderator Moderator Webmaster

    Great interview :)
  3. Eclipsis

    Eclipsis New Member Webmaster

    Thanks for your questions ;)
    I hope I (we) answered as expected... Bye
  4. arora

    arora New Member Webmaster

    that was a good insight into the workings of the sphere team.

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