Are Wix Websites Really SEO Friendly, and Would You be Willing to Get Paid $50,000 to Prove Otherwise?

I wasn’t aware of it, but it turns out Wix like holding competitions on their blog. Loads of competitions. Some of the examples I saw lately are SEO Hero (more about that later), Creative Morning (for designers and illustrators), Wix Banner (was held on 2009 and offered the modest prize of $300) and more.

What does Wix, an Israeli company, get from running all these competitions (that require quite hefty budgets)? It seems that in most cases, it’s plain and simple PR. If we take a look at the big picture, they win on two main levels:

  1. Social – creating buzz on leading social media networks, which is nothing new.
  2. Links – everybody, and probably Wix’s marketing staff, knows that links are an integral part of a website’s success, even a website as large as theirs. Up until a few years ago, all Wix had to do was to add a widget or a link in the footer of all the websites using Wix’s platform, linking to their website. Here’s what this looks like:

Indeed, for a very long time it did the trick. Here is a graph of their Google organic traffic covering the past 6 years (source: SEMRUSH): And then, the Google rolled an update affecting all site-wide spammy widgets (meaning, links meant to manipulate the search engine) and everything changed. To be honest, most of the big brands I know of using this trick, are unfortunately still successful at it. Still, I should give credit to Wix’s marketing staff who apparently realized this is a problematic move that could eventually hurt them, and took down the widget page they linked to from all clients’ websites.

Naturally, I assume this is a calculated decision but still, this is an impressive move for a company of this magnitude.

And now let me get back to the latest competition – SEO Hero.

SEO Hero – the PR stunt costing Wix $50,000 (and is worth every cent)

In its last competition there was one “simple” task – to build a new website and within 4 months the website ranked the highest for the search term SEO Hero gets a $50,000 prize.

The basic conditions for the competition should be relatively simple:

  1. A completely new domain which has not been used before November 2016.
  2. Share the website’s access details (including its Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics).
  3. Following Google’s guidelines (in other words, no spam allowed). I will elaborate about this important part in a minute.

First of all, why is this PR stunt not a bad move as far as Wix is concerned? The following graph, taken from Google Trends for the term SEO Hero tells the story: It’s quite hard to measure viral success – is it links, shares or mentions? But I am quite sure the company has its metrics by which it measures each and every campaign.

So, what is Wix’s additional purpose of this competition? To prove that the Wix platform is good for SEO, no less than Wordpress, for example, or Joomla.