Searchga.me from Shark SEO

by David Naylor
Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency

Hi folks, I’ll quickly introduce myself – I’m Dave (not Naylor) and I’m an SEO that’s looking to specialise in making linkbait. You might have seen my blog at Shark SEO and you might also have seen the Searchga.me which I created. DaveN asked me to guest blog about it, so I thought I’d let everyone see the results of it so far and a little bit on why I made it.

It all started with SEOMoz’s SEO quiz. It’s not a bad quiz, not by any means, but personally I think it’s too easy.
You get your score, and you move on. In terms of linkbait, it’s excellent
- people complete the quiz, get their score, take the embed code and link to it. But with that comes a slight problem – if you want to make a quiz that people will link to, then you have to make it available for the masses – loads of people need to be able to complete it, get a high enough score to talk about it and then link to it. You have to make the quiz, to be honest, kind of easy.

I did the opposite of that. Completely. I made the Searchga.me blindingly hard. The Searchga.me doesn’t have an embed code when you get to the end.
My thinking is – if you’re smart enough to get to the end, then you’ll probably talk, twitter and blog about it if you like it, but you’ll also be far too smart to need an embed code.

I was also a bit tired of the whole quiz element to linkbait. It’s one of the most overused linkbait techniques and it makes me feel weary every time I see it. I know they do well, because I have hundreds of quiz requests that people have sent me sitting ignored in my Facebook account, but they’re not for me. So I didn’t make a quiz. If you’ve not played the Searchga.me past the first level then it’s hard to explain exactly what it is. It’s kind of a cross between a puzzle, a riddle and a treasure hunt – all of which is somehow focused on SEO. I also knew that making it mind-numbling difficult would go against everything that these quiz-type linkbait attempts stand for, and ultimately will lead to fewer people linking to me. That’s alright, I don’t mind that – I’d rather make something that a few people will enjoy *a whole lot* rather than something that loads of people will enjoy *a little bit*. I’d rather make linkbait that people talk about, something that’s genuinely good that people can share.

Making the Searchga.me was my way of practicing making interesting linkbait, I’m trying to get better and better at making linkbait an art and I’m always trying to improve that. Also, it was fun. I loved designing all of these little traps, puzzles and clues, and it was, I’ll admit, satisfying seeing tweets from people that were addicted. Anyone that’s stuck with it, try searching Twitter for #searchgame. There’s clues in there, and it’ll let you find other people playing the game – I’m sure they’ll give you a hint or two if you’re stuck and ask nicely. Most people struggled with the first question, so to give you a hand the answer is so easy. Honestly, it is.

And for the results, so far there have been 1,359 absolute unique visits.
Of those visits only 20 people have managed to complete the game. That, to me, is excellent. I set out to make Searchga.me so difficult that only SEOs that have that particular need to win, and the mindset to not be beaten, will complete it.

Congratulations to DaveN and the Bronco team for being the first to complete it after it launched (and special mention to StalkerB for testing and completing it before it launched).

Incidentally, those 20 people that managed to beat the game? All of them are from the UK. Good work UK SEOs, you’re making us proud.

Have a good Friday and weekend,

Dave
SharkSEO.com

Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency
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