John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?  Competitive Web & SEO

First to 100 Sphinns: Prove Yourself a Marketer

Sphinn, the social media site for search marketers, is shaping up. I have to say I am impressed with the way it has started to demonstrate real value. But one thing I would hate to see Sphinn suffer is “under achiever syndrome“. You know, where you try hard but stop pushing when it’s time to push the hardest, for whatever reason. We have enough of that in SEO already… SEO practitioners working for too little money, and suffering too much criticism from people who probably don’t even know how to register a domain. Sphinn doesn’t have a single article pushed past 75 Sphinns, and most are under 30. What’s with that? Why don’t you marketers Sphinn stuff? It looks weak, especially when the Diggers and Slashdot kiddies spare a glance. It doesn’t have to be that way, but it is up to you. Sphinn can help promote YOU, not just the BigFish brands that dominate the SEO space. With this post and your Sphinn account, I offer you a chance to be part of history.

Sphinn this submission to make this post go to 100 and make attention history. Sites like Sphinn live off user involvement : Click to promote (or Sphinn). Often your click is more important than the story. Often who submitted the story is more important than the story. How many Sphinn’s it has can definitely be more important than the story. Is Sphinn a popularity contest? Of course! Markeitng is a popularity contest! It’s all about attention! Rand knows this. Rand is a marketer. Oh, and by the way, Rand’s picture is at the top of the “Most Sphinned” page, with his submission of a “story” that says “Sphinn is good”. Duh. Of all the marketers on Sphinn, why has no one else worked Sphinn to place themselves at the top of that page? I use the first name “Rand” and everyone knows it is Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz, right? And WHY is THAT?

It only gets worse over time. The front page items get prominant placement for Sphinns. That’s why you want to go over 10 or so, to get to the front page; to get more Sphinns. That’s momentum.. just like organic SEO has momentum. I have to highlight for you underachievers out there, it is not gaming the system to work to get more Sphinns! Just as a comic book writer wants to get syndicated so more kids can read his comics, you want more Sphinns so more people will be exposed to your message! That is marketing, and I know you know that!

So why don’t you Sphinn stuff?

What about that “greatest hits” page? Appearing in the top 10 on that page adds exponential growth possibilities… everyone knows you can’t go wrong Sphinning something on there. Everyone else has already said it’s worth Sphinning! Did you ever go there? Ever Sphinn anything up? Sure you have! Was it somehting in the first ten, above the scroll? Of course it was! So those items get even more Sphinns. Will the Top Sphinned article ever get displaced? Maybe, but only by an earthquake of popularity. And in the mean time…. Rand’s face is top front and center.

Now I don’t have any problem with Rand holding that position. He’s a marketer, and he’s playing the Sphinn site to market himself. All fair in business. But I want OH SO MUCH to see the Sphinn community control the marketing power of the Sphinn site, as opposed to the BigBoys like Rand. So Sphinn this article to get it to 100 first. Just do it to prove the point. It won’t stay forever. Guys like Rand won’t leave themselves at #2 for long. But at least they should be challenged to work harder, right? I mean, sit there at the top forever because you were the first to post “Sphinn is great” and everybody agreed? Geesh. That’s like reserving in 1995 for $75, and keeping it forever. What a great idea.

But Sphinn is not like the Internet domainname system Sphinn members are in control. Now is your chance to make a difference. Sphinn this article, to get it to be the first article with 100 Sphinns. That should be easy, since 100 is not very many. Your reward for putting my mug above Rand’s on the MostSphinned page? A back link from my blog to yours. That’s right, I’m buying votes Million Dollar Home Page style, but for the community benefit instead of cash for me. You Sphinn this article and I list you here, and we Sphinn the submision to 100 before any other gets to 100 and we make history. And what history would that be? Marketers taking control of their own community site. That’d be nice, eh?

Duh. A marketing community executes on a plan to promote itself, on it’s own site, to prove it is a community of marketers and not just a community of followers. That’s what I want to see. Come on Sebastian and Natasha and Todd, have a go. Get your link, and put your mark on the point. Tamara? Rand? Come on, Rand. I know you want the back link. Why not be the first to Sphinn this? What a statement that would make, eh? Better hurry, before Danny Sphinns it first. I can see how that would be a positive bold endorsement of “power to the members” from Danny. And everybody else. Sphinn, and email me, and get a link to your own blog. It’s that easy. How fast to 100? That’s the only unknown.

So Sphinn this article to 100. Or don’t. I don’t care, but I would love to see it, and I suspect it would help push Sphinn further down the road to becoming a true marketer’s resource community, like we need.

(True marketers will be thinking hmm… I’ll be first, and get a link, and then hope it dies down, so no one else gets a link, and I get all the link juice from John’s blog. See what I mean? Don’t let them scare you off. Sphinn it and get your back link.)

—– off to a great start! So these people should use the competitive webmastering form to send me their URLs… please limit it to something branded with your Sphinn identity if at all possible. I will link to a gun site or whatever if it’s got your real name or can be linked to you somewhere on the web (show me), but no adult sites, illegal stuff, etc. you know the drill... all rights reserved, can change at any time, won’t spam you with affiliate links to SEOBook, etc etc etc).

If there’s no link, it’s because the Sphinn profile didn’t have a link, I didn’t get one from you, or we made a mistake. Let me know what to fix.

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53 Responses to “First to 100 Sphinns: Prove Yourself a Marketer”

  1. Brian Provost Says:

    I just bought and redirected to this page. Don’t worry, though. I’ll pay the autorenew. I’m a giver!

  2. Burgo Says:

    Sphunn! And not even for a back link; I’m more interested in helping it along to see how this sphinnbait plays out…

  3. Discount Perfume Says:

    Hey John, Just given the post a nice little Sphinn! We’re upto 9, 100 doesn’t seem too far away now ;-)

  4. Lee Odden Says:

    Use the list as you like John! :)

  5. Barry Welford Says:

    Great post, John. I’ve Sphunn it too. I hope you make the 100.

    However it really would be great if items with real content could get on that front page. For example I feel that one I Sphunn today should get there. It’s called Telecom CE0s Do Not Get Web 2.0,/a>. So if anyone is reading these comments, perhaps they could try to get it at least above 10, please. :)

  6. Todd Mintz Says:

    I’m in.

  7. SEOish Says:

    I will sphinn, and…

    Lee, yeah he peretty much yanked your list :)

    John Andrews notes: Hey, I credit him at the bottom! Anyway, that list has plenty of good back links for Lee, so I was confident he wouldn’t mind some circulation ;-)

  8. Mike Levin Says:

    John, interesting post here. Maybe I’m thick, but I’m still trying to get it. I’ll visit the links you provide. I actually found you through Technorati. No one visited me from this page yet, but on an interesting note, you can’t stuff HitTail referrer logs. We only record the first click from each visitor. Subsequent visits from the same user get filtered.

  9. Cristian Mezei Says:

    I noticed some clicks :)

  10. PPCBlogger Says:


  11. Sebastian Says:

    You asked that nicely … sphunn :)

    Baiting link baiters with links & attention is a great stunt. I bet it beams you up to Sphinn’s hall of fame in no time.

  12. Luke Regan Says:

    Sphunn. Love it. It’s a nice little microcosm of the workings of the whole search marketing industry.

  13. Ciaran Says:

    I’ll Sphinn this even though we’re yet to see a click from the list (we used to be Eyefall). I’m sure one will turn up…

  14. rob Says:

    Damn technorati ;)

  15. rob Says:

    Damn technorati ;)

  16. IncrediBILL Says:

    Good grief, I’m on a list of Sphinncters…

  17. Derek Says:

    Nice idea! I gave it a “sphinn” this morning

  18. Shell Harris Says:

    Well, you strategy worked, WordPress reported a link from technorati was found to my blog, Big Oak SEO Blog, and I found this article and then Sphunn you today. Only one click to my site so far though.

  19. Sebastian Says:

    Last round, push it with an incentive for sphinn #100 :)

  20. Andy Beard Says:


    Q: Did you initially publish the list without the nofollows until Technorati has picked it up?

  21. Paul Hancox | Says:

    100th sphinner? That will be… MEEEEE!

    Quote: “True marketers will be thinking hmm… I’ll be first, and get a link…”

    Nope. True marketers wait till the 99th, and then claim the fame and glory on top of everybody else’s hard work… bwahahaha :)

  22. Amy Greer Says:

    Nicely celebrated, Paul. Here’s to # 101.

  23. john andrews Says:

    Awesome response. I expected no less, and didn’t it feel good?

  24. Stephen Pitts Says:

    John, Thanks for bringing the social to the Sphinn community. It has to be a place that marketers can hang their hats, you have just brought out the old welcome mat and set the tone.


  25. Daniel Riveong Says:

    And I bumped it up a little…to 108.

    This is fun. :)

    Thanks for rallying all of us together John.

    – Daniel

  26. Jacob Wolfsheimer Says:

    Congrats on the milestone…and more!

    This was an interesting post, and a great way to promote the use of Sphinn.

  27. Marios Alexandrou Says:

    Why is it that the best ideas seem so obvious after the fact? I nominate this post as one of your most inspired. Well done! And while you’ve already hit the magic 100, I’ll Sphinn it if it’ll help keep this on future best of lists.

    Editor’s Note: Hey thanks for the compliment. It seems to me there is much more Sphinning and voting going on since I did this, which is probably the best part.

    If you want to do more, I notice that the Sphinn count image was designed to accommodate 3 digits. That means “999” is the largest number of Sphinns a post can get before…. ??? Before what exactly happens? Does “1000” extend to the left? To the right? Centered across, overlapping something? Or does it break? or Reset to…. “000” (that would be way cool). Sounds like a mystery, that can only be solved if a post goes all the way to 1000…. ;-)

  28. Paul Hancox | Says:

    And when we DO get to 1,000, you know what he’s going to wonder next, don’t ya? ;)

    Great stuff, John!

  29. Praveen Kodur Says:


    Good list over there… I am sphinning, The best Sphinn baiting Article I have seen….

  30. OOM Says:

    So it seems you got well over 100, now what? Up for 1,000? :)

  31. Sphinn Greatest Hits - Could The #1 Be Some Useful Content? | Andy Beard - Niche Marketing Says:

    […] John Andrews currently has the top rated article on Sphinn with a truly brilliant display of link baiting and social media awareness. […]

  32. Dev Basu - Daily Moolah dot Com Says:

    Sphunn Jon! This is truly great linkbait :)

  33. Debo Hobo Says:

    Great, this a great idea. Gotta love linkbait!

  34. » Favorite SEO Blog Posts - John Andrews - Says:

    […] First to 100 Sphinns: Prove Yourself a Marketer […]

  35. StumbleUpon Traffic Tip#1 - The Super Stumble » SMM Guru - The Social Media Marketing Guru Says:

    […] I read about John Andrews 100 Sphinn challenge and write a post about it. […]

  36. SEO Honolulu Says:

    Hey thanks for the mention :)

    psst… could you fix the link where you mentioned me though lol :p

  37. » Get Your Free Links From…. - John Andrews - Says:

    […] I tried to link out to everyone on the original post, although not everyone provided URLs or asked for links. if I missed anyone let me know now, in this post, and I’ll make it right. […]

  38. seanmag Says:

    Okay, I’m in. 221 and still Sphinning out of control…

  39. explorer Says:

    Hi John,

    I have Sphunn 2 days ago, and have summit using competitive webmastering form, but my website still not show in the above list, please advice thank you.

    Text to display : XXXXXX
    The webiste : http://www.XXXXXX

    @Explorer: When it hits 300 I will start updating the thank you’s. In the mean time, you submitted a fake email address, and link dropped your site intothe comments twice. This is not a spam farm, but a blog about search marketing. Thanks for showing some respect.

  40. simon Says:

    I just made the magic 300 sphinn’s for one article…

  41. Geld Lenen Says:

    I totally missed this post, but I saw it on Sphinn’s greatest hits today! It’s now on 303 Sphinn’s. A really nice achievement, you can be proud of yourself!

    @Geld: thanks, but it’s an exercise in utility. 

  42. explorer Says:

    Hi John,

    That was my real email, I fill in the “Mail” field, let me know if you have problem contacting me, thank you.

    Best Regards

  43. Dan Lew Says:

    Your certainly near the 400 mark now, Would be nice to see who can hold the record and for how long? Sphinn should also issue a prize aswell, Nice achievement!

  44. BKR Hypotheek Says:

    Great achievement John. I’m sure they’ll issue a prize when you reach 1,000!

  45. Steve: Alternative music chart Says:

    Ha ha ha I love this. Maybe you really will reach 1000 , I checked the greatest hits today thinking I would find something great at the top instead an effort to get there only. But nice!

  46. lenen Says:

    Great article! Keep it going John!

  47. Reviewing some of Sphinns Greatest Hits | Says:

    […] Direct Link: Seattle SEO John Andrews challenges Sphinn to top 400 […]

  48. wpdigger Says:

    It is now 428 Spinns and mine will be 429 . :)

  49. geldleningen Says:

    I like this post! Makes me wanna Sphinn too!

  50. studentenlening Says:

    I wanna see 1000 Sphinns John!

  51. Guia de Bebes Says:

    Jonh you are a great marketer, but could you do the same for a customer product?

  52. Shaun Low Says:

    […] there such a thing as the “perfect blog post”? Probably not. Certainly I’ve seen great blog posts over the years, and I have even been lucky enough to have more than my share of blog posts that […]

  53. Dawid Ryba - Make Money Online Says:

    Great article! Keep it going John!