- Affiliate Gambling Marketing: An SEO-Driven Approach
- SEOWORK Data Analytics in the Gambling niche
- Case: Online Casino Review Website
- Subdomains and variety of domain names in hreflang section.
- Country Settings
- Language-Based Approach for Multi-Location SEO
- Pros of the Approach
- Cons of the Approach
Affiliate Gambling Marketing: An SEO-Driven Approach
Affiliate Marketing is a tough niche. And gambling affiliate marketing is probably the toughest. No one will reveal their secrets of how to work on gambling affiliate projects, but we at SEOWORK can shed some light on the SEO of some gambling-related websites.
Gambling affiliate marketing is a sphere, where webmasters monetize their traffic from gamblers that are surfing the web, wanting to play “best online casino”, “new online casino”, or other “online casinos”, depending on the search intent of a single user.
A review website is a “connector”, that guides the player to a casino website, and the casino website is thankful to the webmaster of the review website, and pays them according to the model which is described in the Affiliate Program of each online casino.
Usually it is:
CPA (Cost per Action) – The webmaster gets a one-time payment based on each a user who comes directly from the webmaster’s website and registers on the casino website.
Revenue Share (RevShare) – The webmaster receives regular payment based on the losses of a specific player who came directly from the webmaster’ review website and registered in the online casino.
Hybrid – Both of the models described above are combined, and all conditions are discussed individually.
SEOWORK Data Analytics in the Gambling niche
But that’s the basics. We at SEOWORK handle different websites, from major eCommerce brands and ending up with Amazon affiliates. And we have clients in gambling who need us to analyze their website and organic search traffic to provide them with some insights.
Case: Online Casino Review Website
Today we are going to talk about Casino.Guru, which you’ve definitely heard about if you work with online casino reviewers.
They have a beautiful online casino affiliate project for different locales. And that’s what is great about them
From the technical point of view their approach is exemplary: they have different subdomains and domains for each language, so all their semantics are clustered in, what we call containers, depending on the language they refers to:
So, all online casino players from Spain or other Spanish speaking countries will get to the Spanish subdomain of Casino Guru when the look for “mejores casinos online”.
Subdomains and variety of domain names in hreflang section.
As you may see, for some language groups this website does support subdomains, and for some – uses another domain name with the brand name included.
There are not so many possible reasons for making such a decision. But the most obvious from the top of our head was that some subdomains were banned by local authorities in countries where online gambling is prohibited.
How do we know? Let’s take a look at the kazinoazov.net website. As you can see from the hreflang attribute value, which is “ru”, the audience of this website are Russians, and online gambling in Russia is prohibited.
What can a competent SEO specialist do in a situation when their website is blocked? Migration and 301 Redirects!
Let’s go to the Ahrefs Backlinks module to look through this website.
Among the countless number of backlinks we can find these guys:
Hi, kasinoazov.org! What do we have in YOUR backlink profile?
Greetings to kasinoazov.com too! But are we sure these are the ones that generated traffic before being banned, or were they just restored dropped (expired) domains redirected to the money site for link juice?
Let’s go to the Web Archive to check it out!
We take the earliest snap possible:
Aaand…Here we are!
The benchmark Casino Guru logo in the header says it all.
That’s all about language settings and subdomain division based on Google users’ language preferences. And all the aforementioned is done not for The User, but for the Google search engine to understand which version of the website to show in the SERP. That’s what hreflang stands for.
Now let’s talk about “Country” settings…
At this stage the web server processes the visitor’s information – specifically, their IP and location – and after that, a JS script shows the visitor the content they want. Let’s take a look at a web page on a subdomain for English-speaking people located in Spain (with a Spanish IP) and Greece (with a Greek IP).
You’ll have different content for specific users, which is nice for behavioral ranking factors, because this little Spanish flag may be the reason for a spanish online casino player to go click the link on the page, which will redirect him to an online casino, and close the tab, which makes this URL a “last-click” one in the SERP for this specific search query.
Language-Based Approach for Multi-Location SEO
Pros of the Approach
But what are the pros and cons of this language-based approach? As we can understand from what was explained above, there are several countries for each subdomain to work with. It may be Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and Ireland for an English domain/subdomain, or Germany, Austria, and Switzerland for the German domain/subdomain, or any other options. And the content is replaced each time depending on the IP of the visitor. You can call it a kind of cloaking, if you wish.
But the fact is that because each domain is trying to work through the audience from different same-language countries at one time, they lose the competition to some smaller websites built for one geolocation. And that’s a fact.
Let’s take a look at some data from SEOWORK. For this specific case we took an online casino review project for Australia and put all the keywords that include “australia”, “au”, “australian”, and “aussie” in one group. That’s 875 keywords out of 6454 keywords in total.
Now we can see the dispersion of all the competitors in the SERP for these specific search queries in the dynamics on our dashboard with a line graph:
or in a table, if you love numbers:
This line chart and the table above show us the TOP10 SERP rankings among domains for these 875 specific keywords. And as you may see, there’s no Casino Guru brand on the list, which can tell you that casino.guru website can not rank high for keywords with toponymes included because of their multi-language approach.
Cons of the Approach
On the other hand if you take a look at how the SERP TOP10 behaved for ALL keywords in the system for this project, you will see casino.guru in the TOP-10, which means that their website ranks much higher for all non Australia-related search queries.
If we were Casino Guru SEO engineers, we would definitely go to all the competitors we saw in the top for that “australia” one keyword group, to understand the reason for these websites getting higher positions than we do. And the answer would be pretty simple.
- Almost all of the competitors have domain names literally “built” for reviewing online casinos in Australia locale, which means that they have “australia”, “au”, or “aussie” in their domain name.
- They also have H1 and H2 with mentioned keywords included
- Their servers are hosted in Australia.
- Their backlink profile is based on, and their backlinks are from Australian websites
And sure… We won’t tell them about efficiency of the Palau ccTLD.
And that’s not even the full list of the reasons.
So, now you have a better understanding of how you can work with your gambling projects in SEOWORK and look for insights with us. Good luck. Cheers!