I have been in the linkbuilding industry for almost ten years and I have been hustled quite a few times before, and I know how destructive this can be for smaller companies, who usually have limited resources and time.
In this article I will try to give you some insights into how links are built, and why it is so important that you trust those you do business with – this is the case in most parts of life – but the linkbuilding industry is notoriously known for scammers, bad brokers and companies trying to hustle iGaming affiliates.
What Is Linkbuilding:
In short and in a non-technical term linkbuilding is the acquisition of backlinks to your website(s). Now there are quite a few ways to obtain links but usually I divide them into two groups:
- Earned Links
- Paid Links
Earned vs. Paid – the pro and cons
When speaking of Earned vs. Paid links the end goal is the same – to get as many quality links as possible linking to your website. The biggest difference is how you approach the situation.
Earned links are as the name suggest links that other website create to your site, quite simply because it makes sense for them to do so. A good example is me linking to “Moz” below: a site that contains many useful guides when it comes to SEO/Linkbuilding. You can find a beginner’s guide to understanding linkbuilding right here. The have created content of high quality for many years and are a trusted source of information, so it is natural for people to link to their site.
Creating and maintaining such a site with this massive amount of content is quite a task, which is why many smaller companies have a hard time creating Earned Links. You should always try to create the best possible content for your site, which over time could lead to free links.
Paid Links is to the go-to strategy for most companies including major companies in the iGaming business. To obtain the needed organic (high) rankings on Google in this industry – the sheer number of backlinks and the quality of these is the single most important ranking factor. This is also the reason why so many of our clients are spending considerable amounts of their marketing budgets on buying links. This leads me to the core part of this article – Why Trust is so Important when Building Links.
How does Paid Linkbuilding Work?
To keep it as simple as possible you can view this type of Linkbuilding as any other type of business transaction. You need a specific commodity and you need to find a supplier. The supplier in this case is usually one of two entities: the actual owner of the specific site you wish to acquire a link from, or a person who know the owner of the site – this person is what I will refer to as a Broker.
If you have a website within the iGaming industry, I am almost certain that you have received plenty of mails and messages on LinkedIn from Brokers who wish to sell you content/links leading to your website. Just to be clear – I know many professional Brokers who pride themselves in delivering a good product, but on the other hand for every professional Broker I am quite sure there is five times as many Bad Brokers and scammers trying to hustle you and the owner of the site.
How Bad Brokers and Scammers Usually Work:
Below you will find a short introduction to how Brokers usually work, and how you can avoid being scammed:
- The Broker contacts you with one or more possible websites, where the Broker can add content and links leading to your website.
- You find the offer attractive and agree to pay X amount for a publication on one or more of the sites proposed
- The Broker then contacts the owner of the site and offers to pay Z amount for the publication usually 20-50% percent cut in the Brokers favor – and sometimes more. (Which is one of the reasons why you should try to deal with the owner directly if possible).
- The owner of the site accepts the deal and adds the content to the site.
- The Broker reports back to you with the URL to the link, so you can see your content is online.
- The Broker ask you to pay the amount that you agreed upon. Brokers only using PayPal is usually a warning sign – ask for an invoice with bank details etc.
- You pay the agreed upon amount and the transaction for your part is done. (The owner of the site will of course ask the Broker for payment – and in most cases the Broker always pays after receiving their payment from you.)
If you deal with professional Brokers, this should pretty much be a clear-cut example of a business transaction that offers value to everyone involved. But what if you are dealing with a Bad Broker or a scammer?
This is when thing get dicey – I will try to explain how the scam works:
- The Broker now refuses to pay the invoice issued by the owner of the site. This usually takes place 3-10 days after your content is online.
- The owner asks repeatedly for payment, but by now the Bad Broker is not replying anymore. Depending on the setup most companies will begin to suspect something is wrong by now.
- Since the owner did not get paid, they now remove the content form their site that you paid a Broker to publish. Being the owner of the site, the worst part is having spent time dealing with the now Bad Broker and having to remove the content, cancel the invoices etc.
- This leaves you in a very hard spot. You paid the Bad Broker and your content is gone, and the owner of the site did not receive any form of payment. This means that not only have you lost your money – you have also spent a long time dealing with this Bad Broker. Time and money that could been paying off by now.
Since we own more than 200 websites we have been dealing with these Bad Brokers for many years – and I would like to share a few tips with you which I hope can help you stay clear of most of these scammers.
Five Telltales of a Bad Broker
- You are approached by person whom you have never head of or dealt with. Usually from a Gmail account or by LinkedIn with a poorly written profile.
- The way the person communicates is often with a very poor understanding of English, bad grammar and copy/paste replies.
- Once contact is established you are bombarded with a wide range of sites, with the best offers possible – often to good to be true. You are constantly urged to do this deal as fast as possible and they can handle everything for you.
- Payment is ONLY handled by PayPal or other services and never by bank. You will never get an invoice and even if you do get one it looks off.
- You have to pay before your content is online.
As you can see above it is quite clear that we are dealing with an unprofessional person, and even if this person is not a scammer I would think twice before working with people who come of as unprofessional. These five signs are not the end all be all guide to spot a scammer – but it should give you some idea of what to look for.
Finally, I would like to give you some general tips on how to approach Linkbuilding, and how you can try to take the necessary precautions in order to get the most value from your efforts.
(The first advice below is clearly biased as we own all of our sites – but I really think this is an important step to consider)
Five Easy Steps to Avoid Being Scammed
- Try to deal with the owner of the website directly. In many cases they can offer you better rates than brokers, and it also ensures that you have somewhere to turn to if your content suddenly ends up missing. A Bad Broker could care less about your content after he gets paid.
- Even if the owner will not deal with you directly at least you can ask if the Broker is to be trusted and get a feeling for the rates. (As mentioned earlier some Brokers will try to increase the cost by 100-300%).
- Ask around and see if anyone can recommend a specific person a company. Most people are eager to give recommendations if you ask nicely.
- When dealing with a specific person or company check their LinkedIn profile, company page or any other online information you might be able to find. Professional people are often easy to spot.
- Never commit fully to one person or company the first few deals. Try doing a few minor deals before committing to many resources to one single source. Once everything checks out and you have a good measure of the service, you can increase the budget.
All Good Things Must Come to an End
This is not a one-size fits all solution on how to approach Linkbuilding, but I hope this article have given you valuable insights to how Linkbuilding works, and what you can do to minimize the chances of being scammed.
Take it from someone who have been there and got the “I Got Scammed T-shirt” there is nothing more demoralizing than getting scammed.
If you have any questions, remarks or useful tips feel free to reach out and let me know.
This article will cover the concept of “on-site SEO” and give an introduction to what it technically means for your website and why you should invest time in optimizing this part.
On-site SEO and on-page SEO
On-site SEO is also sometimes referred to as “on-page SEO”, but the two concepts are basically identical and in this article we will simply refer to on-site SEO. At its core, on-site SEO is all about optimizing the elements and content that exists on your website. In this way, on-site SEO differs in part from linkbuilding as on-site SEO is based on your website and the technical aspects of it – that is e.g. the HTML source code, the graphical elements and the content you present on your website to be optimized.
The purpose of on-site SEO is to make sure that your website is technically functional compared to search engines like Google and thus on-site SEO is an essential factor to rank higher in search results and get more organic traffic and visitors.
Properly performed on-site SEO helps the search engines “understand” your website better. You also help your visitors and users easily find the content on your website that they feel is relevant to them and which you can hopefully make money from delivering i.e. services or sales of products. There is an intimate relationship between a high-quality content website optimized with on-site SEO for the keywords relevant to the content of the page and the number of visitors as search engines like Google will refer to the website through high rankings in the search results .
So the temporary conclusion to on-site SEO is that it is a discipline that focuses on an enhanced user experience for both the human actor who searches for content on e.g. Google and the search engine itself, Google, which must be able to identify the content that matches a search.
In short, the purpose of on-site SEO is:
- That the user and the search engine can understand what the website is about.
- The user and the search engine feel that the website is relevant to the search that has been done via the search engine.
- That the user and the search engine feel that the website actually delivers valuable and readable content.
If your website meets these, somewhat roughly outlined requirements, then the likelihood that the site ranks high on Google and other search engines is greatly improved.
Which on-site SEO factors influence ranking?
There are many factors within on-site SEO that have a major impact on a website’s rankings in search results. In the following we will give an introduction to the three factors that we believe are the basics. It is therefore not an exhaustive list, by any means, but a good rule of thumb for the things you should focus on first:
- Title Tag
Content on the website
The content that you publish on your website is critical to whether it gets the attention of Google and other search engines. If you make sure your content is relevant, adds value to the reader and meets some kind of needs of the reader – then your content is readable and interesting to Google. It also means that it doesn’t give you many points at Google if you chooses to plagiarize the content of other websites or write content that is misspelled and semantically incoherent. In fact, it can directly damage your website’s relationship with Google.
Good content on a website is a bit like comparing to a merchant on a bazaar. If your booth can offer goods that customers demand, then you’re popular – if you sell the same kind of banana as the competitor’s booth, you risk fewer customers in the store.
Another major benefit of good content is that other websites and blogs are more likely to make backlinks to your website and this improve your site’s rankings in Google’s search results.
Title Tag to the website
After you have written unique and exciting content on your website, the next step is to implement relevant title tags on your content. A title tag is a small HTML element that indicates the title of your website or your post. These are also titles, or headlines, that you can see in search results when you search on Google and the like.
A title tag is therefore a brief headline and description of what a post on your website is about. Google reads title tags on websites to understand what the content is about. Title tags are crucial to the search engines and can significantly improve your ranking if used properly.
Technically speaking, your title tags should contain 50-60 letters or characters and describe exactly what your content is about. It is not an exact science what your title tags should look like – but a rule of thumb is to make sure you have your most important keywords as an integral part of your title tags.
The URL of the website
In order for a website to be optimized for on-site SEO, it is essential that the internal link structure is logical. If you have a website with some content, then you probably divide your content into categories and sub-categories. It is important that this type of content on your website is reflected in the link structure.
An example from our website: https://igaming-links.com/linkbuilding/what-are-backlinks/
Here we have chosen an URL for our post on “What are backlinks” that reflects this hierarchy. We have our domain at the beginning “igaming-links.com” and then our sub-category “linkbuilding” and finally our concrete content / posts “what-are-backlinks“.
By dividing our content in this logical way, we clearly communicate to Google that we have a link structure and how it is structured. At the same time, our subcategory and the title of the post itself are included in the URL. This is positive for the rankings on Google.
Try to compare our link structure with this link structure on the popular movie service IMDB.com:
Clicking the URL will redirect to a post / review of the movie “The Godfather”. You wouldn’t be able to guess that from the URL. Technically speaking, Google has trouble identifying what the website is about based on the URL – here the title tag of the website can help, but it is not optimal. Google will also have trouble understanding the link structure, as no clear category, sub-category, or hierarchy is specified.
The link structure is very important as it assists Google and the search engines in understanding the structure of the website, the division of content and it helps the person who wants to click into the website to get a sense of what the page is about.
This was a brief introduction to on-site SEO and three of the factors that we believe are crucial for your SEO strategy to bear fruit and get many visitors to your website.
This article describes what a “backlink” is, in an understandable way, and how backlinks to your website are critical to the website getting visitors from Google.
Simply described, a backlink is a link from one website to another. It’s a small piece of code for example. a post on your website / blog that links to another website.
You have written on your blog a post / review of an online casino. e.g. Bet365, and in your post you have made a link to Bet365 so that the reader of the post can click through to Bet365.
A backlink is, purely technically, used by search engines like Google to evaluate whether the content a website publishes is readable and valuable. Following our example of Bet365, in Google’s view, it means that a link from a post on a Bet365 website is a signal that Bet365 is worth a visit.
It may then turn out that the post may be a bad review or a positive review – but nonetheless, a backlink from a post on one topic to another website is a clear signal that the topic is worth reading.
Google will now add a value to the website to which that backlink refers. The value is relative in relation to a number of parameters and we will not go into that in depth here. The most important thing here is that backlink from one website to another adds the recipient of the backlink value. This value is equivalent to a higher ranking on Google search results on keywords related to the topic.
Therefore, it is essential for a website to have many high-quality inbound backlinks. Low-quality backlinks can in some cases have the opposite effect.
How does a backlink work in practice?
As mentioned earlier, the game backlinks saw a vital role in your online marketing strategy. In order to achieve the high and attractive rankings in Google search results, inbound backlinks are essential.
To get visitors or customers to your website it must be possible to find your website on Google. And does your website shop for example. About online casinos and gambling, it’s important that your website ranks high on Google for keywords related to these topics.
Suppose you have a website about sports events for example. World Cup in soccer. You write news about the matches for the World Cup and the teams participating. If you are good at your research and have the say in your power, then it is exciting reading for a sports fanatic football fan.
You may know a journalist from an online news media and show the person your website about the World Cup in football. Hopefully you have written such good and exciting content that your friend finds it exciting. Since your friend, the journalist, writes about sports events on his news media, the person chooses to write a post about the World Cup in soccer and in that post make a backlink to your particular website.
You have now received a backlink to your website and if you are lucky, it is from a website that is well visited and therefore it provides backlink great value for your website. Google discovers after a while that there is now a backlink to your website and your website will eventually start to rank higher on keywords about the World Cup.
It is a gross simplification of how backlinks work, but it provides a practical understanding of why backlinks are so crucial to whether or not a website gets visitors.
How can you get backlinks?
The discipline of providing backlinks to your website is called “linkbuilding”. And all in all, your simplicity is to provide inbound links and signal to Google that your website has relevant, readable and valuable content on a topic. The higher your website ranks in Google search results, the more visitors your website gets and your business grows.
There are many ways to get backlinks to your website. Here is a brief overview of the most common:
- If you have a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube profile then start by adding a link from there to your website.
- Create good and readable content on your website. Popular content is “how to” guides or “what is” explanation of topics. Send these guides to other websites that have related content and ask if they will link to your website.
- Ask if you may author a guest post on a popular blog or website that has a topic related to your website.
These are the most basic methods of obtaining backlinks. Common to them is that they require time and patience. It takes time to convince others to make a link to your website.
Another strategy for link building is to buy backlinks from other sites. The main advantage is that it makes the whole process much faster and you will see results in a short time. Of course, it is an investment that must match the ambitions you have with your website. If you run a personal blog or just have a website as a sideline, then it probably won’t pay to buy backlinks.
However, if you work with affiliate marketing or sell products / services on your website, we would clearly recommend investing resources in a linkbuilding strategy that includes buying backlinks.
iGaming-Links.com specializes in linkbuilding to websites that focus on topics such as iGaming, casino, online gambling and online gambling. We have our own network of quality websites that use to create backlinks to our clients.
If you want to know more about link building backlinks to your website, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.