Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Ituloy Angsulong Experience

Joining an SEO contest is fun. For the past few months, we were hooked on optimizing this blog instead of doing unproductive stuffs (chatting, lurking, watching porn) on our idle times.

Nabubulunan talaga ako at dumudugo ang ilong ko kapag nag-eenglish ako sa blog. Kaya magtagalog na lang ako. Hehehe. Ok? Well, hindi naman ako baguhan sa SEO. Pero hindi rin naman ako expert. But I was not expecting to grab that 2nd cummulative ranking. Kumbaga, sumali lang kami just to test my SEO skills, kung pwede na ba ang aking kaalaman para mag-optimize ng website. With a competition as big as this, I'm just like David trying to conquer Goliaths of the SEO world.

Joining Forces
Una kong strategy is to talk to Boy Popoy and Boy Dapa. Sabi ko sa kanila, kung sasali din sila sa SEO contest na yun, it's better if we join forces. Since we have common friends sa blogosphere kasi, sayang naman yung mga links kung mahahati pa sa aming tatlo. So, hayun, kaya nabuo ang tatlong itlog Ituloy Angsulong Movement.

Selecting Our Contest Entry
Wala sa aming nakaattend ng launching nung contest. Kaya wala kaming idea kung ano ang keywords na iooptimize. Monday pa lang namin nalaman na ituloy angsulong nga ang keyword. We only communicate via chat, kaya nung malaman namin ang keywords, conference kaagad kami. I clarified everything muna kay Sir Marc Hil lahat ng questions ko before we submitted our contest entry. Balak namin talaga is to have a keyword rich domain name, pero dahil halos lahat ay taken na, we've decided to use blogspot. And since old domain names are allowed, we decided to use this blog instead of starting from scratch. Bakit kami mag-uumpisa sa PR0 na contest entry if we are allowed to use a PR5 blog for our entry? And since nakatiwangwang na ang blog na ito dahil lumipat na nga ako sa macuha.com, we decided to use this blog. I believe kasi na talagang may advantage yung keyword-rich domain name, but it's just one part of the ranking algorithm. Ang dami pa namang ikinoconsider ng mga search engines, babawi na lang kami sa ibang aspects.

Our Strategy
I will not reveal everything, syempre. Secret pa rin yung iba. Ganito lang naman ang strategy namin. Keep on posting, and keep on building links. We focused on the content. We decided to create a funny blog. Yung blog na tipong babalik-balikan ng mga mambabasa. Yung blog na tipong makita lang ng isang blogger, maiisip na lang niya, "This blog is cool and I will give it a link love!" Almost 90% of our links came from blogs. And these links push us up on Googel, MSN and Yahoo SERPs. We even had the all-time high ranking among the contestants last December at 2-1-1. Number 2 on Google, Number 1 on Yahoo and Number 1 on MSN.

The Google Penalty
By the end of December, Google penalized our site. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Siguro, sa dami ng links na naaccumulate namin, Google thought that this is a spam blog. Or siguro, someone out there reported us to Googel. We really don't know. Basta, ang sama ng araw na yun. Magnenewyear pa naman, bigla kaming inihagis ng Google sa kamotehan. We were shocked. Really. As in, iniisip ko, ano ba ang ginawa naming mali? Bakit nagkaganun ang ranking? It really hit us badly. Tinamad na kaming mag-update. Tinamad na kaming maglink building. Sino ba namang matutuwa na after our efforts, we were penalized? As in, bakit kami? At bakit kami lang?? Still, these questions are unanswered. And since tinamad na kami, our Yahoo ranking slowly went down too. Unti-unti, lumayo kami nang lumayo, hanggang sa umabot kami sa rank 23. Si MSN lang ang nanatiling loyal sa amin, na despite of lack of updates and activity on our blog, we remain on the top spot. Why? I don't know why.

The Great Comeback
Ngayon, paano kami nakabalik sa Google? Nagchat ulit kaming tatlo, at sabi ko, let's start posting again. Kung ano yung ginagawa namin nung December, ibinalik namin. Araw-araw post ulit kami. Well, nakita naman namin ang improvement sa Google. From rank 110, after doing the usual thing, unti-unti kaming umaakyat. From 110, napunta kami sa rank 80, 70, 110 ulit, etc. Basta, dun lang kami nagsasayaw ng ranking sa Google. And then, later, since almost everyone is doing it, I did some 301 redirects. After that, nagulat na lang ako one Saturday morning at napalukso sa tuwa nang magtext sa akin si Boy Popoy. Sabi nya, no. 5 tayo sa Google! At dahil nga sa nangyaring yun, lalo kaming ginanahan. Tuloy ang pagpopost, tuloy ang paglilink building.

The Tight Race To The Finish Line
February 23 na nang umaga, hindi pa rin namin alam if we will finish first or second. Ang tindi talaga ng laban. This is due to the fickle-mindedness of Yahoo and MSN. Naglalaro yung cummulative ranking namin ni isulongseophil on 27 and 28 na total. Minsan, 27 ako, 28 sya. Minsan naman, 28 ako, 27 sya. Minsan, pareho kaming 27. Bakit nagkakaganun? Kasi, minsan, we rank 23 or 22 on Yahoo. Si isulongseophil naman ranks either 13, 14, 15 sa MSN. So, talagang it was a close fight. Nung papunta na kami sa venue, usapan na lang namin, bahala na. Kung ano ang desisyon ng mga hurado, eh di ayon. We'll just enjoy the program, enjoy the food and enjoy the money that we will receive, magkano man iyon. Well, it ended up na second kami, 2 points lang ang lamang sa amin ni isulongseophil. Our cummulative rank is 28, at sya ay 26. So, second prize, hindi na masama.

What I Learned On This Contest
Meron ba? Oo naman. Ang dami. Like, you cannot please everybody. Marami ang natuwa at nakipagexlinks sa amin, at meron din namang nagalit at inispam daw namin yung blog nya. Sa SEO naman, importante ang keyword sa domain name, but still, it's just one part of the equation. Links and contents are still king. Lastly, MSN simply loves blogspot. Bakit? I really don't know.

Acknowledgements
Kami po ay buong pusong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng naglink sa amin. Salamat sa inyong suporta. Salamat kay insan for giving me the permission to redirect some of her hosted sites to this blog. Salamat sa mga nagblog tungkol sa amin. Salamat sa lahat ng sponsor! At higit sa lahat, salamat kay tukayo for making this contest possible. As a token of gratitude sa mga sponsors, I will not remove the links for another one month.

Pictures
Hindi pa naupload ni Boy Popoy yung mga pictures eh. Pero here is a nice photo collection na nakita ko sa Youtube courtesy of pixiimedia.




Update: Andito na ang picture namin na nahagilap ni Boy Popoy. Click here.

What's Next?
We're back to our regular life. I'll be blogging at macuha.com. Boy Popoy at PenoyCentral at Boy Dapa at Qroon. At anong mangyayari sa blog na ito? Pag-iisipan ko pa.

Yun lang!

3 comments:

nao said...

awwwwhh... walang anuman insan.
alam mo naman ako, support all the way. CONGRATULATIONS! mabuhay kayo, panalo!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! One can really prove his/her SEO effectiveness by pushing a new domain to the top. Do you believe that the search engines also look into age and the trust factors on a sites domain? I hope that the next SEO contest would use new domain names as contest requirements. Now that's how we'll measure one's SEO skills by starting with nothing. Goodluck

kukote said...

@nao... salamat insan!

@anonymous... thanks! yeah, observing the SERPs, it seems that they do take the age and trust factors into considerations. Mas masaya nga kung talagang from nothing ang labanan.