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    Archived August 28, 2004
SEO Experts Accept Challenge from DarkBlue and SearchGuild

By Ron Jackson

With the cost of domain names continuing on a seemingly endless upward trajectory, a number of domain pros are starting to look for new ways to wring money out of the properties they already have. For many that has meant looking beyond pay per click or domain sales revenue to website development. Pair a good name with compelling content and mix in a healthy dose of search engine optimization (SEO) and you will soon have a property producing enough traffic to yield a very attractive return on your investment. 

Getting to the top of the search engine listings is a critical ingredient in bringing visitors through your virtual door. SEO has become an internet age science for site developers. The exploding interest in optimization techniques prompted Affiliate Marketing Network and the popular SEO forum to come up with a contest to find the top practitioners of the optimization craft. 

The challenge was to take a term, �Nigritude Ultramarine�, that returned a big fat zero at Google, build a web page around it and push it higher in the Google search results than all of the other competitors. The contest began on May 7th and immediately caught fire, growing into a blaze the original sponsors never could have imagined! Thousands of people entered and in less than 2 weeks the term �Nigritude Ultramarine� was the world�s 4th hottest search at Alexa! By late May the number of pages Google returned for the term had soared from zero to more than a quarter of a million! Meanwhile a thread about the contest has become the largest read and replied-to thread in the history of   

Professionals in the search engine optimization industry competed along with webmasters and web enthusiasts.  Many webmaster communities came together to take part in the competition. Some forum members banded collectively to share their knowledge, resources and skills to collectively compete for the top prize. Others chose to support one individual member and assist them to compete for the title of �Superior SEO Expert�. 

The contest ran for 2 months, ending on July 7th. Here are the final results with links to the site built by each prize winner:

First Place: Anil Dash
Prize: 17� Sony Flat Panel LCD Monitor

Best Blog (about the competition):
Remote Controlled Hovercraft 

Best Definition (of Nigritude Ultramarine):
Remote Controlled Flying Saucer

Judges Choice Winner: 
James Bond stealth camera


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