Seraphim Proudleduck Revisited

It has been a year and four months since the conclusion of the famed “seraphim proudleduck” SEO competition for Google…. And you would be surprised to see the outcome.

Either the Google engine has become better and found new back-links to sites that didn’t win, or this competition never ended but no one knew.

Either way, an examination of the results brings quite an interesting (to put it mildly) look at the Google search algorithms. Much of what we discovered is quite shocking.

First, here is the link to the Google search results for “seraphim proudleduck.”

I say “interesting” for several different reasons.

  1. The current first place on the search results page is; with this page being the first result on the Google search for “seraphim proudleduck.” Now, click that link and notice that it never won! Apparently it only made the 8th position on the Google page, and the author(s) of that site seem quite disappointed at that too.
  2. The second and third results are very shocking: the second is an advanced form of domain spam parking pages, and the third is an undeniable case of domain spam, recognizable by all the symptoms, and neither have anything to do with our good friend Mr. Seraphim Proudleduck. The latter has that in the domain name, a common domain spam trick. We obviously won’t link to the pages in question, because we cannot stand spam of any sort.
  3. The fourth entry is a tricky one… Again it looks as if that page did not win, and indeed seems to have taken the loss quite hard too. If you follow the link to fourth entry from Google, you’ll get a modified page telling you “The search engine you are using is outdated” and links to instead… BTW, if you are wondering why that page is in French, read the last paragraph, the translation of which appears here:

    The contest seraphim proudleduck being organized by English (indigenous tribe of the island mentioned above), I prefer to gain this contest with a page in French, so that all take finally conscience of the current geopolitics of referencing: French SEO Rulez! -)) [sic]

    Quite galling I would say…. The Frenchies win this round… What do you think O indigenous tribal peoples of England?

  4. The remaining 5 entries are legitimate entrants in the seraphim proudleduck competition.

What makes these results interesting?

Well, for starters what really irks us off is the spam. It explains quite a lot, such as why Google (along with many others) came up with the “rel no-follow” tags that ruined Google for the blogosphere. It shows that Google with all it’s marketing prowess and ubercoding talents cannot seem to devise an algorithim that will compare entries with the layouts of known “pure spam” repositories, such as that in the third link on the results page. It also shows how Google’s original “point of brilliance,” i.e. it’s usage of backlinks alone (more or less) to organize and prioritize results is not all what it is cut out to be.

Even more interesting is just how far down the “backrub” effect goes. Apparently, the various sites that linked the now-winning page were more or less no namers, and we can deduce that a pyramid effect is in play. The more backlinks that a site that backlinks to you has backlinks that are thoroughly backlinked by sites that are … the more likely you have a chance of making the first page of Google results.

Well, that’s all for now, in just in case something happens to the results on that Google page, here is a screenshot for backup ;)


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