SEO SEM Training & Certification

November 7, 2006

Let’s take a closer look at Marketing Pilgrim’s SEM Scholarship contest

Filed under: SEM Scholarship — David Temple @ 7:34 am

On Andy Beal’s blog it says he is a  “blogging and search engine marketing consultant” but I disagree. I mean come on! That’s like calling Michael Jordan an athlete. If you read Andy’s profile you’ll know what I mean. Anyway, Andy put his thinking cap on and probably said, “I can do it bigger and better”! That’s when he came up with this idea.

SEM Scholarship
Are you the next generation of search engine marketing experts? Are you interested in joining one of the fastest growing marketing industries ever?

Marketing Pilgrim has launched a contest to give away a search engine marketing scholarship prize worth more than $6,000. We want to help one lucky winner to either start their career in search engine marketing or improve their existing skills further.


11 contestants joined the fray in the first week and one of them was anoymous. Why?

I just celebrated my 22nd birthday last week, and I already make more money than I know what to do with. I’m not trying to win this contest, because I’ll be at SES regardless, I’ve already bought Aaron’s book, and I have plenty of great research tools.

Truth be told, I was a bit jealous reading that article. Another article was about the psychology of seo and the author Rob Stevens had this to say.

A little dose of psychology: say something provocative, piss them off, butter them up, make them laugh … but the general rule is to get their attention with something that they would want to link to.

The article by Nick Urbani did just that. He provocatively entitled it “The SEO Article You Shouldn’t Read“ and walked away the first week’s winner with 385 unique views.


Only 5 brave souls jumped into the pool the second week. Ryan Bell’s article – “Instant PPC Success for the Hometown Hero”, note the nifty title again, won with the most page views of 108.  Ryan summed up his geo targeted PPC tips like this.

How can I give away such a valuable secret? A truly talented SEO or SEM doesn’t rely on one secret-method to carry his career. The true talent is creativity and adaptation. I am not afraid of giving this strategy away, because I can invent 15 others to build on it which would turn this great campaign into a huge success.


The competition gained momentum in week 3 with a total of 12 entries. Jordan McCollum won the week by a mere 3 unique views. Her article, again with the nifty title,  “SEO is Pointless (But You Don’t Have to Tell Your Clients)“ had a total of 633 unique views . Andy wrote, “It was a close battle in the week, with many entrants getting creative in their efforts to promote their entry – some even using PPC!”

Jeremy Luebke’s second place article, which lost by a mere 3  unique views (Ouch!),  was entitled “Most SEOs are Virgins“. Here’s what Jeremy wrote on his blog about what he called a “heartbreaker“.

Even though I didn’t win, it was quite an experience. Usually I build traffic the slow and steady route. Rarely am I under such a time crunch to drive so many visitors to a single page of a website with no ramp time. So what did I learn and what would I do different in retrospect?

Jeremy went on to provide some insightful examples about what he would do differently. One example referred to  using other social media (more on this later).  Jeremy also noticed the PPC ads and wrote “In my opinion the PPC campaigns went against the spirit of the contest but I’ll save that for another post.”


The winner of week 4, Ben Wills, blew away the other 20 contestants with a total of 1,153 unique views! Apparently Ben knows a bit about social media and wrote the article, “The Five Pillars of Social Media Marketing“. Ben actually ran away with week 4 by getting 400 more unique views than the nearest competitor.  Ben leaves us with some final thoughts.

One thing about social media marketing: It’s complicated for two reasons: no one has created a structure to work from, and there’s so much overlap in functionality of different sites, that it can be quite confusing as to a site’s single purpose because…well…there usually isn’t a single purpose.

Don’t let this hold you back. Get out there. Spend time with these sites. Sign up, Use them, meet your customers, talk to your customers, and LOVE THEM.

But wait! There’s More! Feel free to use my Social Media Marketing Tactics chart (on to make sure your next campaign is a success.


 I agree with Jeremy, it was quite an experience. It may sound corny but I think everyone was a winner in this contest. Andy Beal, the contestants, the readers and even the judges, a virtual sem seo community who’s who list. Of course that’s easy for me to say since my article didn’t win. 

Best wishes to the finalists! Now everyone go read their articles. In fact if you want an idea about what the “next generation of search engine marketing experts” are thinking, then read all the articles.  And the next time Andy puts on his thinking cap count me in, how about you?

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  1. […] Another overview of this scholarship contest is covered in my week by week blow but Andy’s “anatomy” is certainly all encompassing.  The  four weekly finalists will no doubt get a closer look by not only the distinguished panel of judges but also the sem seo community as a whole. Even those that didn’t make the finals “won” in a sense because they no doubt learned a lot and had the ability to express their views. […]

    Pingback by Andy Beal provides an “anatomy” of Marketing Pilgrim’s SEM Scholarship contest « SEM SEO Certification Training — November 9, 2006 @ 4:06 am | Reply

  2. […] Congratulations to Ben Wills,  winner of Marketing Pilgrim’s SEM Scholarship contest. After 4 weeks and 48 entries Ben was declared the winner of the $6,000 in prizes.  The final four contestants’ articles were reviewed by a panel of 9 judges who chose Ben Wills’ article “The Five Pillars of Social Media Marketing” from among the other four weekly winners. His 1,154 unique views are what gained his entry into the final four but his well written article about the power of social media is what impressed the judges. […]

    Pingback by Ben Wills takes the social media train to win the SEM Scholarship contest « SEM SEO Certification Training — November 10, 2006 @ 11:37 pm | Reply

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