Recently, there is an SEO contest using foreign language search terms (Chinese), Searchathon organised by Ivan So, an SEO Expert from Hong Kong.
The SEO contest was established to gather everyone interested in SEO to join a search engine optimisation contest to promote the SEO industry. Hopefully, it can educate more people about SEO in the Chinese language market.
SEO competition using English search terms is very common but using Chinese search term is rare (or at least first time for me).
Thus, I give it a try as part of my little support to bring more awareness in our areas (mainly Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia). It is also good to test out how the latest Google algorithm response to foreign language search terms.
The competition starts on 16 Jan 2020.
Whoever can rank the terms “景轟朱古力” in the top 3 in the search result will be the winners. This term is a non-exists term in Google search result, which created by ArSek, the founder of SoSoMarketing.
Honestly, there is a lot of grey areas here…
For example, search from Hong Kong and Malaysia will show different search result.
Does images or videos count as part of the winner? How about Google My Business page?
Yes, there are participants able to create new GMB pages within a few days!
As for now, there are close to 10,000 results indexed by Google.
The winners were announced at 11:50 pm, 31th Jan 2020 (GTM +8) via FB live here.
Here is the snapshot of the result.
The judges decided to use Mumbai, India as the search location to be fair for everyone (because there are many countries specific domain take part in the contest).
Honestly, I am a bit surprised able to rank multiple spots here.
Perhaps, I got search intern right, and Google thinks my site is the most relevant comparison to others?
Let’s dive in what I had done here…
The full search term, 景轟朱古力 (Cantonese term) doesn’t mean anything. And 朱古力 means chocolate in Cantonese.
To get started, I put this term in Google Translate as below.
Obviously, Jing Hong Chocolate should be a new brand of chocolate.
And “JingHongChocolate” should be part of my domain name and become the brand name in this case.
I understand that we can leverage a lot of web properties with high Domain Authority like Blogger, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Medium and Facebook. Or we can use some expired & aged domains with powerful backlinks to short cut the ranking process.
But I decided to start from a new subdomain instead to test it out.
Setting up the site is pretty straight forward following the E-A-T (Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness) concept.
Once everything is ready, I registered it in Google Search Console and got it indexed.
I also changed the target location to Hong Kong, assuming the search location will be in there. (But I was wrong as the search location is in Mumbai India ☹)
Once the ranking website gets indexed, I didn’t send any powerful backlink immediately.
This is because getting backlinks from other people website is extremely rare in the real internet world. Your site must have some traffics and mentions in social media before people start linking to your site.
Social profiles also improve the Trustworthiness (Part of E-A-T) in Google eyes.
I created about 10++ social profiles including web 2.0 like Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress and YouTube channel. All of them are interlink to each other and also link back to the ranking site.
Again, all these are very natural and done by many business owners in the real internet world.
Lastly, get it index ASAP with some 3rd party tools.
I waited for 2-3 days to monitor the search results (From Hong Kong region). Here are some observations.
During the first few days, most of the new content will push to top automatically. Google seems like testing the right search result for users.
At the same time, I started to send some social signal to my target site.
Initially, I don’t plan to rank the FB page. But it seems has its potential and dancing around the top 3.
Thus, I started adding social engagement (FB likes) and further optimise the page with a pinned post.
My ultimate goal is to rank my target site, https://jinghongchocolate.adam-seo.com.
Unfortunately, it still sits around page 2 without any movement.
After sending 20+ social signals to the target page, it’s time to put some backlinks to push it out.
It’s 2020… and Google is very smart in identifying your site has spammy links or good backlinks.
Firstly, a good backlink consists of relevancy, trust and power.
Relevancy is easy. The link should come from the related topic article or use keywords as part of the link anchor text.
Trust related to getting a link from or close to the high authority website or we called it the seed site. E.g. Getting links from Wikipedia, Forbes & social media site like Facebook will contribute the trust signal.
However, most of the trust links from high authority site doesn’t contain the power, or we called it “link juice”. This is because these pages usually don’t have backlinks which suppose to provide the link juice and power on the page.
Power refers to a link page that contains a lot of good quality backlinks.
E.g. https://www.facebook.com/TheStarOnline/ consists of 200++ referring domains which suppose to be more powerful than a new page like https://www.facebook.com/jinghongchocolate/ (0 referring domain).
Most SEO companies will use expired domains as part of their link building strategies.
And we need all 3 types of links (Relevancy, Trust, Power) to rank well.
Note: I saw some participants use > 10 expired domains to rank their competition page too.
For my case, I had trust links from social profiles, social signal & web 2.0, which supply the trust factor.
Thus, I send 2 links from expired domains to my target page and FB page with the exact match anchor text. This should cover the relevancy & power factor.
From the testing, the result is visible.
Facebook page was dancing in #1-#3 previously… now stay at #1 all the time.
It then moves to #2-#3 after I added the second link.
In shorts, the right link building strategies are essential in an SEO campaign.
I didn’t do many things on the second weeks except continuously adding some social engagement to my Facebook page.
During this stage, Google seems had learned the type of result should be shown to the users.
We didn’t see YouTube videos anymore. Wikipedia page was strong previously drop out to top 5.
Some of my web 2.0 properties like WordPress & Tumblr, drop out to page 4 & 5.
It started to show all brand-related results.
And I am a bit surprised that my image ranks on top. I guess it because the image comes from ranking site and also being shared and use in other social profile and web 2.0 sites.
It’s fun to participate in this type of SEO competition where we can meet some new friends like Ivan and Ringo from different regions. Besides, I learn that the search intent is crucial especially after the Google BERT update.
For the small business owner, if you are thinking to rank your website by yourself, it is still possible following steps #2 & #3 above for low competition local search terms. These are the same fundamental steps I will apply to all my client’s too.