The owner of an online forum won the first round of a worldwide search-engine optimization competition Monday, by using a backlinking strategy that scored his site as the top Google result for a made-up term, “nigritude ultramarine.”

The contest, called the SEO Challenge, tasked webmasters and site owners with using any optimization method to try to claim the top spot on Google for the odd term, which loosely means “dark blue” in Latin. DarkBlue, an Australian affiliate-marketing company, and were the sponsors of the competition.

“SearchGuild exists for two reasons: to understand search engine ranking and to have fun,” said Chris Ridings,’s owner. “The competition is essentially for the same reasons, which is why we wanted to do it. It’s very easy for somebody to say, ‘This ranking technique works because I say so.’ The competition provides a stage for them to actually demonstrate how strong particular ranking techniques really are. In essence, you can’t bluff the competition — you’re either first or you’re not.”

More here.