[WATCH] SEO Processes and Procedures for Big Affiliate Companies – AGS Europe
In an AGS Europe 2021 panel which was held in Malta, the moderator Oliver De Bono, CEO at WikiBet, and the panelists Ionut Constantinescu, Head of Casino at Game Lounge, Natalia Roitonen, Head of SEO at Dilanti Media, and Emre Goktas, CEO of RevPanda discuss “SEO Processes and Procedures for Big Affiliate Companies”.
De Bono starts the panel by asking the panelists to introduce themselves after which he says that in today’s market, a lot of SEO specialists are pushing back towards the more traditional organic. However, he still believes in the PBN issue which he says although being controversial, it is a good way to short-term pump traffic or to bring attention to those domains.
De Bono asks Goktas to share his thoughts about PBN because he often hears that its times are over, but he doesn’t believe that yet. Goktas says that most of the SEOs have one saying which is “it depends”. It depends on many factors, such as the market you are working in. PBNs do work; however, they don’t use them and they don’t recommend their clients to use them for long projects in which they invest a lot of money and this is because the risk is too high. He adds that in some markets such as Thailand and Japan, where it’s hard to acquire links, most of the webmasters are building their own.
De Bono asks Roitonen to give us her input even though he already knows that she is anti-PBN and in favor of organic. She mentions Google who has several updates which are related to PBNs and to cleaning up those negative black hat SEOs. She suggests to those using it to be careful and not to put all the links in the footer with the same anchor text.
Constantinescu believes that PBNs are dead in the “the markets that matter”, such as UK and Sweden where he doesn’t think PBN works. He says that no effort should be put into. Companies, like they do, should instead invest in training, in getting better people for their content team, and getting better partnerships.
De Bono touches on strategies and on content. He strongly believes in content and in creating user experiences over it. However, he adds, even if the content team writes 20,000 words/week it doesn’t mean that those pages will rank. Constantinescu says that it isn’t about the quantity, but about optimisation, optimising main pages and cornerstone pages. Optimisation is not only about keywords but also about the quality of the images and the videos. De Bono says that every brand has a voice and the style needs to be consistent within the brand and the pages.
Follow the whole panel discussion here:
De Bono asks Roitonen to speak about the strategies they use in the Asian market. She says that it isn’t worth it to produce a lot of content as this doesn’t mean that it will work. It is important to not lose the parent page, the structure needs to be clear with a main topic and secondary topics. From her perspective, classic SEO works. It shouldn’t be about having the same keywords in hundreds of pages, but the topics should be relevant and there should also be the classical clusters; it’s not about PBNs.
Goktas says that 10 years ago, one would only see text on the page but nowadays there are infographics, videos, and other design elements. However, what works for one country doesn’t necessarily work for another. He adds that if you are successful on YouTube, Google might pick up that keyword and you can redirect that traffic. He says that SEO is not only Google anymore, it’s YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, etc. De Bono agrees that in some markets, YouTube videos are very successful, such as Japan. He continues saying that since nowadays there is no one size fits all, one of the major difficulties for agencies and affiliate companies is that they need a team for each market.
De Bono starts tackling plagiarism and says that the changes in plagiarism rights during the last year have made a huge difference. He says to Constantinescu that in the past they had been penalised for having replicated which wouldn’t happen today. However, today a site with a higher rank will take precedent. De Bono says that in his opinion, “this has kind of given away two large brands or stronger domains to monopolise content”. He then asks Constantinescu whether they have changed any processes since these changes.
Constantinescu says that in the past two years, their sites have changed so much that they are practically new. They have built everything from scratch keeping the page speed and metrics in mind. As for the monopoly, he says that Google doesn’t really care, they want to serve the user with whatever is best. He adds that companies such as Game Lounge have more resources, but that doesn’t mean that smaller companies won’t be able to step in. De Bono adds that smaller entities are turning to paid-search or to any kind of PPC campaign to prop themselves up in the short term. This, he says, has taken a little bit away from the organics.
De Bono says that it’s not the same market as it used to be three years ago and asks Goktas how their costs and procedures have changed. Goktas says that the prices double when the publisher, for example, finds out that you work in the gambling industry. He adds that when people notice that the industry is depleted, the costs go up. This doesn’t only depend on Google but also on how the industry is evolving. In addition, costs also increase when other service providers realise the amount of revenue that is involved. De Bono agrees and adds that affiliates also want their share of these revenues.
De Bono asks Goktas to give us a small insight on how to gain site authority. Goktas says that Google has a term called E-A-T which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. He adds that there are various ways of how to build authoritative sites, but they just check ourselves; for example, would they trust that page? The solution could be simple, such as adding a writer’s profile, good social media signals, good PRs, etc. It would obviously be a good sign of authority to have your website published on a good page such as the BBC. Moreover, the quality of the content shows the website’s authoritativeness.
Constantinescu disagrees with De Bono that authority starts with content. He says that “authority starts with people; it’s in the name. The people are the authority. It’s not the content itself; it’s the people who write.” It’s the way they write and how they put their knowledge into writing. De Bono agrees that it does start with the people.
De Bono adds that every market has a different routine. He says that they have been noticing toxic backlinks which have really brought their numbers down. He asks Roitonen whether she has had any experience with toxic backlinks, which can really degrade authority and rank. Roitonen says that when those attacks happen, they manually upload all the links in their tools and go through them. Attacks can come from anywhere, from porn sites to educational sites. She adds that sites that don’t provide any value or traffic should be removed.
De Bono asks Constantinescu how is their communication with operators who feel have been badly reviewed. Constantinescu says that most of the MCA requests they previously received were wrongfully filled in. Thanks to good communication, they have managed to sort them out quickly. He adds that “constant communication with the operator, with your partners, being aware that this might happen, can solve a lot of unexpected issues”.
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