Using SEO Tools to 'Cheat' Competitions
Posted on January 01, 2014
One of our favourite Australian online retailers, SurfStitch, just finished running a competition to promote sharing of their website and getting people to dive deep into their product list. The aim was to find the URL's of pages with Easter Eggs hidden on them. Now that the competition has finished (although we didn't enter) we thought it was safe to post this. We were interested to see how the competition calculated which URL's were right or wrong, we dove into the code a little deeper. It didn't take much effort to find all of the answers, however encrypted:
arrURL = "dcb5206f9b7b5e7a828d5aa76444b76c"; arrURL = "1e909aaa25174907d3be99ec9fafdc15"; arrURL = "af346cd8df0520c1b7ff146b1fb7114b"; arrURL = "ee713cfd374359b8d2a525f657e2ee66"; arrURL = "c7960b37ddacd77d21c57a50c680a6ff"; arrURL = "fd6ccf6b104155ca7b2a283ada01a2b6"; arrURL = "a4924e23e1f2a4aa719f6ae9e672dde9"; arrURL = "f3147fff04724f063ab9118c248bee82"; arrURL = "e3e3b3bf96dfbfcdfb6e6c6b923aeff9"; arrURL = "7fcfd635452b27178b155b88902c9d74"; arrURL = "c49dbfb83694ccb5af627fb9abab3fbf"; arrURL = "c081c3d763ed17b7f431c416784f90cf"; arrURL = "fd429cae6dd90e6d605eb0c5a84e624b"; arrURL = "c0b8a897cea2aadb24a1d75288aa560a"; arrURL = "850cecdedd23350a1dc6e202091052c1"; arrURL = "344b08ed434b3d849d823c693056b9e3"; arrURL = "7d5d4f72adef70d6646d5f1d4923512b"; arrURL = "05b7e9a162f51281aea558e468c8d067"; arrURL = "55d89a5e3e0e9d062a97e5ae9d5a5b6b"; arrURL = "f0d4674296ea4e752310011fc9e255ad"; arrURL = "c0ed673b662119d5b7e0100b7f97da7b"; arrURL = "fdadccbd8739503af18d3e2c8dc54e2e";
This neatly prints out the list of all of the correct answers :) Luckily for SurfStitch, the competition is drawn at random out of the correct answers, so having these alone does not guarantee any prizes. How could this competition be more fool-proof? The URL checking needed to be server-side so that the public cannot access the list of answers.