A Study in iGaming

In the iGaming sector, many companies which depend on Google traffic for their revenue are exposed to this risk. To understand how much risk sites are exposed to and how it is changing, we analysed the risk of your site dropping significantly from one month to the next.

In order to understand how much risk sites are exposed to, we gathered data for the top 20 ranking domains for 210 casino, bingo, poker and sports-betting keywords over 17 months. These keywords combined represented more than a quarter of a million in monthly UK search volumes. There were 4378 domains in the dataset. 67% of these sites were affiliates, 8% operators, and 25% other sites –

Major Findings

The major findings were that:

  • The risk of losing 6 or more rankings, but remaining amongst the top 20 positions doubled over the last 17 months, from 4% to 8%.
  • The risk of disappearing from the top 20 altogether remained stable during 2012, but rose in the first 5 months of 2013 from 17% to 26%. (Note that this %age includes sites that dropped for reasons other than ‘spammy links’).

Not every site is equally risky. The risk will be higher if you are a casino, a bingo site and if you are an affiliate, although the risk exposure for operators is catching up quickly with that of affiliates. Being bigger is still good, but it matters less than it used to.

Summary

The data suggests that Google is getting serious about removing web spam and the risk of losing rankings is increasing, especially if you used the ‘old school’ SEO tactics that were extremely effective in the past.

Nowadays, it seems better to use highly creative content that people will want to post. This is expensive, so careful planning to optimise your return on investment is a good idea.

You can read the full report here

By: Gillis van den Broeke, Data Director at 90 Digital

2 Comments

  • Thanks Gillis for the great post. I want to ask you a question, would these types of site benefit with a on site blog even if people don’t read them? Because I know from friends that bet online, they usually won’t read anything on the site. They would place their bet and leave. What do you think?

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the appreciation. The benefits of a blog from the perspective of SEO are twofold.

      First, blog posts allow you to rank for longtail phrases with few no links. This is because on more specific search phrases, the similarity (relevance) of the content to the search query is more important than its authority. So if your blog post’s title and content match the search query, you are likely to rank. (try “no risk, no reward” and you find searchworksdigital.com on the first page with the post about this report). If your domain is authoritative, you will already pass enough PageRank internally to rank without links. When people then visit your blog post, you may have an opportunity to interest them in your betting product.

      Second, blog posts can help your ‘money pages’ rank. If your blog posts are popular and get a lot of backlinks, internal links to your pages that are optimised for conversion’ (normally your product pages) will increase their authority so they will rank higher for important keywords. Normally, people will be reluctant to link to your product pages, because they are not interesting. However, the links from your interesting blog post will pass on some of that PageRank anyway. Less PageRank is passed than if the link were directly, but this is mitigated by the fact that you can acquire a lot more organic links to a blog post than to a product page.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions.

      Cheers, Gillis

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