Friday, March 11, 2005

The nigritude ultramarine...

The “nigritude ultramarine” contest ended in June 2004. It was an interesting SEO experiment. For those unfamiliar with the contest, here’s the low down. The contest was organised by Dark Blue and Search Guild and the objective was to create sites that would rank well under the meaningless search term “nigritude ultramarine” (“nigritude” is a mispelling of "negritude" and means blackness, while “ultramarine” is an ultra blue pigment, but together they mean nothing). Prior to the contest, the search term yielded no search results in Google, not even a Google whack (today, because of the contest, "about" 135,000 pages), which made it a level playing field for all contestants.
Needless to say, the results were interesting because of the varied approaches. From “white hat” to “black hat”: it’s all there.

In position 11 (today) is a page which should be a prime example of keyword stuffing. All other pages of the site are equally stuffed, up to the point of becoming unreadable. Using the now past-its-sell-by-date concept of “keyword density”, these pages probably clock in at 50% and more for “nigritude ultramarine”.

It just makes you wonder what to believe about “ethical SEO” (or white hat), whose proponents' first commandment is “Thou shall’t not stuff”, yet a thoroughly stuffed site like (it’s almost an experiment in excessive stuffing) reached a good position with modest PR (4). And here's me being so, so cautious not to overuse my keyphrases for fear of being "banned" or penalized!

Guess who’s holding the top spot on "nigritude ultramarine"? They weren’t the actual winners but Anil Dash’s blog on "nigritude ultramarine" now (today) holds the #1 position…

As regards “black hat”, Google were recently found both cloaking and stuffing. Googleguy explained it had all been an accident. Guess that makes it alright then! The offending pages have been removed, or so they say…


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