Indonesian SEO Contest and WordPress.Com

I think, this kind of contest is a challenge. It seems that the interesting part is not about the contest itself. It is more about how the participants — who opened an account at WordPress.com — got their accounts suspended. The very first questions is: Why?

One of the latest topics in Indonesian blogosphere is about an SEO Contest. It’s a competition to bring the “ngadutrafik 2007” to the top position in search engines. I think the idea is similar to SEO World Championship. What I understand, this is how the contest run:

  • Participants create a new site at WordPress.Com.
  • Do some strategies to bring “ngadutrafik 2007” to search engines.

I think, this kind of contest is a challenge. It seems that the interesting part is not about the contest itself. It is more about how the participants — who opened an account at WordPress.com — got their accounts suspended. The very first questions is: Why?
Let’s start from what Moh Arif Widarto wrote at his blog.

I have an account on WP.com. So, I create new blog addressed on http://tipsngadutrafik2007.wordpress.com. Calupict had reported to Matt that WP.com is used for this SEO contest. He wanted Matt to take action soon to overcome that missuse of WP.com accounts. What I dislike from Matt was his action in suspending accounts without notification to the accounts owner. In my opinion, Matt has to email the owner of the suspended account. Inform they why their accounts is being suspended.


After reading some blogs talking about this contest, there are some points:

  1. Nenda Inasa Fadhilah (Nenda) thought that this contest scenario (signup at WordPress.Com only for this contest) might abuse the service. (source). And she had plan to report it to Matt. I am not sure whether she did reported to Matt or not.
  2. After that, some blogs were suspended (by WordPress.Com team).
  3. The participants (some) were angry. Not only because they had their accounts suspended, but also to Matt and Nenda.
  4. The contest organizer changed the contest rule. The participating sites should resides in a domain (as subdomains).

I think:

  1. Nenda probably did an initial action. If she reported that ‘something happened related to WordPress.Com service’. Her report (if she made a report) probably can be paraphrased as, “Dear WordPress.Com, there is a contest. It uses your service, could you please take a look?”. If she did this, I think Nenda could not be blamed.
  2. WordPress.Com team has the full control on this. One thing we all have to understand is that, “When you sign up at WordPress.Com, you’re a WP.Com customers. And WP.Com has rules.”
  3. WordPress.Com team should take actions to keep WordPress.Com run smoothly. And they have their own definition of the words: abuse, breaking TOS, etc. When we are talking about WordPress.Com, we are not talking about hundreds of accounts. We are talking about more than 800,000 accounts.
  4. Before users got suspended, they hope that they got initial warning first. Yes, it will be great. But, we are talking about a large-scale of service.
  5. Yes, it is an SEO Contest. But if you do some actions that is not ‘right’ e.g. spamming blogs by off topics comments to get backlinks… please rate your own strategies.

If you have your WordPress.Com accounts suspended, and you think that you do NOT break the TOS, just report to the WordPress.Com management. If you do not get response, just be patient. You are not the only customer. Anyway, I wrote about WordPress.Com few months ago. It was about how Luthfi got suspended. And, he got his account back.
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