THE HERE AND NOW


“The future is always interesting,” says Jochen Dickinger, Board member at bet-at-home.com AG, but that nothing is of more importance to his company than the present. What we can expect from bet-at-home.com for the remainder of 2012


Let's start with the background to your affiliate program and how it directly benefits your overall business.
We started the affiliate program in November 2005 and, since then, we have been welcoming new partners every day. In addition, I believe that part of the reason behind the program’s success are the family values that are employed throughout every sinew of the company. Integrity and openness is very apparent resulting in people being very secure about where they stand both within the company and as a strategic partner.

In terms of how it has affected the business, with the aid of our affiliate program partners we have managed to significantly increase brand awareness in recent years, establishing the bet-at-home.com brand as a reliable partner in the gambling industry. The program therefore makes a significant contribution to the continuation of our growth curve.

The last couple of years have seen significant growth for sportsbetting businesses. What sort of year was 2011 for bet-at-home.com?
2011 was a successful year for the company. We achieved sales in betting and gaming of around €1.78 billion, which is in comparison to €1.48 billion the previous year. Gross gaming revenue (betting wagers less betting winnings), the key number in online gaming, increased to approximately €73 million in contrast to €66 million in 2010. At our offices in Austria, Germany, Malta and Gibraltar, we have 200 highly qualified and motivated staff and we have 2.8 million (as of May 2012) registered and satisfied customers.

"Ultimately, affiliates are happy when they feel that a program is rewarding them for their efforts and is likely to continue doing so for the long run”
 
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HOW TO WIN WITH A ONE MAN SEO TEAM


This article looks at what I would consider to be an optimised process for a small in-house SEO function


Having built SEO departments of all sizes ranging from large scale iGaming specialist agencies through to small affiliates, the one thing I can be sure of is this: performing SEO in-house is the best way forward. We won’t go into the many reasons why this is true here, as we’ve covered it in great detail in previous articles.

Having built SEO departments of all sizes ranging from large scale iGaming specialist agencies through to small affiliates, the one thing I can be sure of is this: performing SEO in-house is the best way forward. We won’t go into the many reasons why this is true here, as we’ve covered it in great detail in previous articles.

LET’S LOOK AT the most typical of affiliate SEO departments... the lone gunman. You’ve employed or contracted an SEO expert to work on your affiliate site(s). In a department of one, process is crucial as the lone SEO will we tasked with executing everything; this may even include running PPC and maintaining a social media presence - so they’ll be under a great deal of pressure with everything falling on their toes.
 
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LIVING IN THE WORLD OF NEGATIVE SEO


Within the recent blog network penalties handed out by Google and the WMT (webmaster tools) warnings that many affiliates will have received, we have seen undisputed proof that being linked-to from the wrong areas can get you penalised


YOU’VE BUILT GREAT content, you’ve interacted with the community and built a website to be proud of, only to have a competitor throw a load of ‘spammy’ network blogroll links amongst other filth to your site resulting in you being penalised. So what do you do now?

Submit a re-inclusion to Google

In all honesty, this approach is likely to get you nowhere. Google receives thousands of these every hour and if it ever gets to yours, the fact that you’re in gambling will probably weigh against you. I’ve tried this with some of the world’s biggest brands (inherited issues) and that was after we’d cleaned up an awful lot of the rubbish. The response was still something of a disappointment.

The 301 quick fix

This isn’t necessarily an awful idea assuming that you can get away with it in terms of branding. Many businesses are unwilling to take this approach but if you’ve picked up a penalty and lost your traffic then what do you have to lose? It should be noted that this probably won’t work if you are switching from ‘example.com’ to ‘example.net’, but changing from 'example, com’ to ‘examplepro.com’ works most of the time. Don’t just take my word for it: “I’ve seen a bunch of these and weirdly, the 301s do seem to (often) remove the penalty in cases where it’s a true penalty." Rand Fishkin - SEOmoz.

The Google WMT warning email

Ignore it! If you do anything about it then Google knows that you have been building links. By admitting to this you are guaranteeing your penalty; if you ignore it, play dumb or blame it on an SEO company then you are far more likely to survive than if all of the unscrupulous links disappear overnight (in addition to which you risk taking out links that are helping you). If you still get penalised then react; send an email asking for help because you don’t know what you’ve done - then act. Following that, try asking nicely to be re-included - although as per my previous point, it may not be the quickest solution.
 
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