Apart from a few select other niches, you’ll be hard pressed to find an industry which is as off-limits for link building as online casino. Not only do we have to put up with the general universal bad reputation of casinos, we also have to fight off the endless ‘bad neighbourhood’ linking propaganda from Google. These both make our options extremely limited, naturally gifted links are a rarity; and if you’re looking at purchasing your way to the top, you better have deep pockets.

Because of this, many casino affiliate sites have become a product of their environment, struggling to fight their way to high quality backlinks and settling with those of low quality in quantity as the normal. This makes it easier for those who are willing to put in the effort and ascertain the links which really matter, in other words, the few selects links which count for more than your entire competitions directory submissions combined. Over the coming months, I hope to take you on a journey to becoming an established link builder with skills honed directly to impact the casino industry.

Optimizing References

We’ll start with the obvious, yet all too often overlooked, by working and changing references that already mention yourself and your site on the Internet. These are what I call gifts, and it is rare that gifts are given in the casino industry, so when they are you should grab them with both hands. I’ll be using liveroulette.co.uk, one of the portal sites which we operate. The first step is to list the results where people have mentioned your brand. You can do this by querying Google with your site name is quotation marks.

Although I did this about six months ago for this site, a browse through the first three pages has shown me three potential new results which could contain a linkback to the site. All of these sights are of high quality; they’re strictly casino related and fairly well known in my niche. In fact the site which is statistically the least better off has a whopping 5043 links according to Yahoo link explorer.

 

As the sites have already referenced your brand already without financial incentive, they are likely to be aware of who you are or at least who you represent. Therefore the next task is simple, just find the site owner contact details and politely ask them to change the reference to a link. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and if you don’t ask you’ll likely never receive.

In the interest of completing this post with diligence and proving that this method is successful I followed through with this example, two of the site owners got back to me within 24 hours and created a link. The third, who I have actually failed to contact for a while, remains anonymous.

Optimizing Current Backlinks

The one thing which I find easier than nabbing links from webmasters who have kindly referenced my brand is getting people to change the text they have linked to me with. They’ve already done 99% of the work, they have even promoted portal through an active link, so they extra one 1% shouldn’t be hard for them at all.

Check through the top 100 of your backlinks using the link explorer of your choice, my preference is Open Site Explorer. Make a list of those which have linked to you naturally but haven’t done so with competitive anchor text, for example with just the domain name. The next part is simple, chose a keyword you would rather they linked to with and email them asking if they would mind changing it to help you out. Once again, they could say no, but the chance will be 0% if you don’t make the effort.

Since my last check on liveroulette.co.uk, I’ve identified 4 new sites which have linked to me with either the anchor text ‘www.liveroulette.co.uk’ or just ‘liveroulette.co.uk’.  I spent 15 minutes emailing them and since I’ve had one respondent who has changed the anchor text to ‘live roulette online’, a keyword which I’d like to rank better for.

To conclude this post, even as someone who has practiced this method several times, it isn’t revolutionary, and I’m not promoting it to be. But let’s quantify it based on the industry and the quality of links available without paying ridiculous sums. I’ve gained two brand new high quality links and another modified to improve my rankings for a particular keyword. Best of all, it’s all natural baby.

The big question is, “What have my direct competitors done differently to break the normal pattern and get ahead of this?” The likelihood is nothing at all.

Try and do the same for your site and let me know how it goes in the comments section!

About the Author

David Merry spent the first part of his professional career in the link building strategy team at London based search marketing company Greenlight Search.  He now heads the online marketing team at CastleCasino.com and focuses the majority of his time on SEO and their affiliate program. You can find out promoting the CastleCasino.com affiliate program at CastleAffiliates.com.


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