SEO And Casino Affiliates
As webmasters who promote online casinos we’re for ever in pursuit of more traffic, especially from Google. With the advent of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, Google practically decimated most pop and mom websites.
In this article I’m going to discuss the SEO basics and how to restore your site’s traffic if it incurred an algo penalty.
Overview of Google’s Algorithm Updates
Most webmasters, including myself feel that Google has become relentless with its updates. To a certain extent I agree with Google since many webmasters were gaming the system by using blackhat techniques to rank their sites. Before I get into the meat of this article I’d like to give you a brief overview on the Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates first.
Panda: In February 2011, Google launched Panda, it was named after the software engineer Panda who devised it. Panda is not concerned with how many backlinks your website has but with the quality of its content. Sites that had ”wafer-thin” content and no content practically dropped out of the top 100 results overnight. Suffice it to say Panda is an ongoing process which looks primarily at on page factors. We didn’t know it at the time but Panda was small fry compared to what was coming.
Panda Impacts The Following
- Gives preference to site that have high quality content and affected content that has less than 200 words, have no imagery and offers a poor user experience (UX).
- Main webpages that have many Adsense links, no actual content ‘above the fold” (only spammy links and banner advertising) or robot generated affiliate product ads.
Penguin (Off Page Factors): This algo update aims at penalzing blackhat SEO techniques such as cloaking, duplicate content and link schemes. In a nutshell, Penguin and Panda weeded out websites that focused on short-term results. On 24 April, 2012 Google rolled out its next big update: Penguin. If Panda was a 4 on the Richter Scale, Penguin was a 10.
It (Penguin) Nails Sites Guilty Of
- That engages in webspam.
- Keyword stuffing, that’s involved in link schemes, spinning content and buying tons of links. The aforementioned is labelled webspam and usually found on tacky pages. Their content would be generated by algorithms (not humans) and ten to one duplicated.
Hummingbird: On 13 October, Google launced this update. It was the first Google algorithm since 2001 and its impact should not be taken lightly. Hummingbird’s aim was to contextualize searches and make Google more friendly on mobile devices. It digs deeper by interpreting the actual words the searcher uses. Strictly speaking, synonyms and secondary keywords became more important, and content is now everything. Instead of taking you to a site that contains the exact words you searched for (for example, deposit bonuses with low playthrough), it takes you to a site that answers your question.
As much as I hate saying this but one has to applaud Google for what it’s doing. The bottom line is if you’re searching for a decent online casino to wager at, you don’t want to end up on spammy sites stuffed with ads and poor quality content. This is exactly what happened before Google decided to put its house in order.
It’s important to Google to return the most relevant results to its users otherwise they will use alternative search engines such as Yahoo or Bing.
What Does Google Expect From Your Website?
If you want your site to rank on the first page of Google, you must give Google what it wants. The changes it made to its algorithms aims to improve the reliability of its search results and to provide the best answers to the questions asked. I suppose everything else flows from here.
Presently we’re busy revamping our site (Cassaon-casino.com) by improving its architecture and making it mobile responsive. To ensure that our website hits the top search results in Google we aim to do the following:
- Proper keyword research.
- To ensure that our users find the content on our site useful.
- Building authority and trust.
To ascend the search rankings, Google requires that these three factors enjoys top billing. If just one of them are missing your chances of success will be rather slim. Today’s SEO world has become ultra competitve this is why it’s essential to do things right from the onset. I firmly believe slow and steady wins the race.
Is Panguin (Panda or Penguin) really a curse? This depends on how you look at it. If you’re prepared to abide according to google’s quality guidelines and you don’t engage in dodgy stuff, you’re on the right track. If your traffic decreases after an update, check the quality of your content. If it’s not up to scratch, that means you’ve been hit by panda for low quality content.
Ten to one you already have a website that’s up and running. When adding keywords to your domain, do proper keyword research and make sure that your website is properly optimized.
Exact Match Domain:Okay or Not?
The jury is still out on this one since many SEO experts are still divided on this topic. If you have an ‘Exact Match Domain’ the content on it must be top of the deck. If not your site will incur a penalty. What exactly is an EMD? A shining example of an EMD is Latestcasinobonuses.com. When a searcher keys in latest casino bonuses in the Google search bar this site comes up at the top of page 1. When choosing an EMD avoid using names like best, top and fast since they sound spammy.
If you want to try out an EMD you can add a suffix or prefix to your keyword phrase. Words added to a keyword for the purpose of registering an EMD are called stop words. When adding content to your EMD makes sure it’s not stuffed with affiliate links and keywords.
In the pre-Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird days, keyword research was a walk in the park. All you had to do was do research on a particular niche and which keyword phrases were used the most. Once you compiled a list of all the keywords you then built a site based on those keywords. Don’t try and rank for a certain keyword but rather focus on a specific niche. Just remember that every niche has its own language or phraseology, this means ”talking the talk”.
Disavowing the bad backlinks is your last resort. Most webmasters have mixed feelings about Google’s disavow tool. Simply put if it’s not done correctly it might do your site more harm than good.
Once the algorithm updates rolled out, a proverbial tsunami of epic propotions hit the Internet. Most websites saw a severe decrease in traffic even if they never engaged in spamming. This could be ascribed to the fact that their content was not engaging as that of their competitors. Thousands of webmasters signed petitons, hoping for a less severe algorithm update to Panda. Constant rollouts became common and with every update traffic plummeted.
Five years ago, blog posts with 200 words could rank on page one. Today, this number has multiplied by ten. The content that usually appears on page one of Google contains 2000 plus words for competitive keywords. That’s it for now if you found my article interesting please share the news on Facebook, Twitter and G+.[addtoany]