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.
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:
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 vs. Paid – the pro
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.
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
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.
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
How does Paid Linkbuilding
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
How Bad Brokers and
Scammers Usually Work:
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.