I am in the middle of an argument with a professional web designer friend about increasing traffic and improving search ranking with competitions (specifically, inviting users to submit photos and videos that will be ranked by other users' votes).
On an established site, he runs the competition onsite, claiming that this creates lots of links directly to the site.
Has anyone had enough experience to comment on how this approach compares with creating a Facebook Fan Page and running the competitions on that?
One critical consideration for me is that I would never allow uploads to my own host account - I don't want it hacked. Another is that I don't see any point in installing the apps needed for user interaction when I can use existing and independently maintained ones on sites such as Facebook.
But what I'm really interested in is the comparative effectiveness of own site vs Fan Page in driving new traffic and improving search rankings