True SEO Hero

Update:The contest has ended, and alas Google never lifted the contest filter, and no competing site was able to rank #1. Unfortunately this means no $50k for Worldbuilders from this site -- though of course we can all contribute to Worldbuilders and support a great cause at any time. I want to thank everyone who supported True SEO Hero. Everyone who took a bit of time out of their lives to attempt to help a good cause are awesome and uncommonly good-looking people. Thank you.


A true SEO hero is someone who uses their search engine optimization skills to help others, to make the world a better place. SEOs have a particularly potent skillset, but it's rarely devoted to any aim other than profit. It is, in fact, quite difficult to find ways to use SEO for heroic ends.

Happily, a recent SEO challenge provides a great opportunity to do some real good with Google optimization skills. And best of all it doesn't even require a professional with years of arcane knowledge: anyone can be an SEO hero and help raise $50,000 for charity.

Here's how it's possible:

The Wix SEO Hero Challenge

Wix is a company that makes a website building platform. As a promotion of their software, they challenged every SEO to try to outrank them in Google for the phrase "SEO Hero." At the end of the challenge, whoever ranks #1 in Google will win $50,000.

As you can imagine, SEO professionals around the world have been launching sites to compete for the prize.

This site is also competing - but differently, because if this site ranks #1, then the entire $50k will be donated to the Worldbuilders charity, where it will help raise families out of hunger and poverty and provide books for schools. It's a way of using SEO to make a real difference in the world.

Can this site win? Yes, easily, if you help. Check out the How to Help section, which lists a few very easy ways you can be a true SEO hero and put that $50k someplace it will do good for the world. Don't worry about the rest of the SEO stuff - I'll take care of that.

Who Am I?

My name is Brian Wood, and I earn my living through search engine optimization. Over the years I've made hundreds of millions of dollars for my employers and clients, and I honestly can't say that it's made the world any better. One company got a bigger piece of the consumer pie than another company: that's been my contribution.

I'd like to use the skills I've developed for something more. I'd like to do something better.

I'm giving my full name and linking to my LinkedIn profile so the world can hold me to the commitment to donate the SEO Hero prize money to Worldbuilders. I want you to know this isn't about someone trying to make a buck, but rather about using SEO to do something good.

At times the SEO world seems to be filled with people screaming about themselves as loud as they can: forums and online groups are nothing but SEOs posting article after article disguised as advice but whose transparent purpose is self-enrichment (with some notable exceptions, of course). I'd like to see the SEO community gather around something that benefits none of us personally, but benefits the world instead. The hero challenge seems like a good place to start.

About Worldbuilders

Wordlbuilders is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Name of the Wind author Pat Rothfuss. Worldbuilders leverages the geek community and other sci-fi/fantasy authors to raise money and put it where it will do the most good in the world. This includes:

Worldbuilders is a very worthy cause for SEO Heroes, and $50,000 will make a big difference. A very big difference. How big? A lot more than sharing a post on Facebook, I can tell you that - and it doesn't take much more effort either.

How to Help

The dirty secret of search engine optimization is that no professional SEO can make a site rank well alone. We do it in large part by trying to influence people to help us; sometimes in shady ways, but hopefully by building something worthy of deserving your help. I'm trying to influence you right now to help direct this money to charity. But in the end you're the one who really determines what Google will rank #1, not me or any other SEO professional.

There are several ways you can help:

If you own a website or blog:

If you don't own a website or blog:

If you are an SEO:

You can also follow @trueseohero on Twitter for updates and news.

This is a rare moment when it's really not that hard to make a big difference. A few hundred people helping out is all it takes to win the SEO Hero challenge for charity.

If you're an SEO, do it to show that we can work together for something demonstrably good. If you're not, do it just to do something good, to help in a little way to make a big difference.

Get a True SEO Hero Badge

Embedding one of the following badges on your website will help to get this $50,000 donated to Worldbuilders. At the same time, you are proudly proclaiming yourself to be an SEO Hero - taking a small and easy step to make the world a better place through SEO.

You only need to leave the badge on your site through April - at which point the contest will be over and you'll have done your part. Of course, if you want to leave it up or even direct it to another good cause, have at it.

Black Badges for Light Background Sites:

SEO Hero Badge - Male

250px Version (view):

<div><a href="http://www.trueseohero.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.trueseohero.com/black-seo-hero-badge-m-250.gif" height="250px" width="250px" alt="True SEO Hero Badge"></div></a><div>

150px Version (view):

<div><a href="http://www.trueseohero.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.trueseohero.com/black-seo-hero-badge-m-150.gif" height="150px" width="150px" alt="True SEO Hero Badge"></div></a><div>
SEO Hero Badge - Female

250px Version (view):

<div><a href="http://www.trueseohero.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.trueseohero.com/black-seo-hero-badge-f-250.gif" height="250px" width="250px" alt="True SEO Hero Badge"></div></a><div>

150px Version (view):

<div><a href="http://www.trueseohero.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.trueseohero.com/black-seo-hero-badge-f-150.gif" height="150px" width="150px" alt="True SEO Hero Badge"></div></a><div>

White Badges for Dark Background Sites:

SEO Hero Badge - Male

250px Version (view):

<div><a href="http://www.trueseohero.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.trueseohero.com/white-seo-hero-badge-m-250.gif" height="250px" width="250px" alt="True SEO Hero Badge"></div></a><div>

150px Version (view):

<div><a href="http://www.trueseohero.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.trueseohero.com/white-seo-hero-badge-m-150.gif" height="150px" width="150px" alt="True SEO Hero Badge"></div></a><div>
SEO Hero Badge - Female

250px Version (view):

<div><a href="http://www.trueseohero.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.trueseohero.com/white-seo-hero-badge-f-250.gif" height="250px" width="250px" alt="True SEO Hero Badge"></div></a><div>

150px Version (view):

<div><a href="http://www.trueseohero.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.trueseohero.com/white-seo-hero-badge-f-150.gif" height="150px" width="150px" alt="True SEO Hero Badge"></div></a><div>

Badge art compliments of Joe Brottman.

True SEO Hero: Updates

SEO professional readers might be interested in following the progress of this site, and what I'm doing to help it rank. In TAGFEE fashion, I'm going to document everything I'm doing to win the SEO Hero challenge. You can bookmark and go directly to this section at the URL: www.trueseohero.com/#updates

You will find, however, that the strategy is very simple: a thorough, user-friendly, fast-loading page and lots of promotion.

Contact Me

Have a question, or want more information? Email me at brian@trueseohero.com.