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ThePOGG Network launches POGGWebmasters.com

ThePOGG.com Network​ has just launched its 3rd property, POGGWebmasters.com. Over the last 4 years ThePOGG.com has established a strong reputation for their thorough and professional approach to the management of player complaints, recently becoming the only affiliate model operation to receive Accreditation from the UKGC as an Alternative Dispute Resolution service​. POGGWebmasters has been set up to extend this complaint service to affiliates.

 The logo of Pogg Webmasters“ThePOGG.com has done a great job of establishing itself as a very credible mediation and review service within the remote gambling sector. So much so that we became aware via forum posts and private communications that a significant number of affiliates were checking with our operator reviews on ThePOGG before selecting which program to work with. As time has passed we started to feel that there was a distinct gap within the marketplace for a resource that allowed affiliates to see at a glance how affiliate programs treated both affiliates AND players and another big gap in terms of a service where affiliates could gain help if they’d been mistreated. POGGWebmasters is our answer to these gaps.”

Affiliate Complaint Service offered for Free

Affiliate Complaints and Dispute Mediation

POGGWebmasters is the first site to offer a dedicated affiliate complaint service​. Building on their success and experience running ThePOGG.com’s player complaints service, POGGWebmasters provides a full complaints infrastructure to allow affiliates to submit a complaint, the complaint to be managed in the private manner which ThePOGG.com has demonstrated is most conducive to a positive resolution and finally a complaint report to be published to allow other affiliates to see the nature of the complaint, how it was managed and the actions that have ultimately been taken to remedy the situation.

Detailed Affiliate Program Reviews

The graphic of Pogg Webmasters

Alongside the management of affiliate complaints full reviews have been posted of over 250 affiliate programs, with another 100 programs to be added in the coming weeks. These reviews focus on providing quality information to affiliates, presenting a breakdown of the terms and conditions offered to the affiliate ­ highlighting both positive and negative terms that affiliates should be aware of – and an assessment of the reputation of the programs with respect to their treatment of both players and affiliates.

Paid for Placement Model Rejected

The logo of POGG WebmastersPOGGWebmasters is also the first affiliate community to reject the ‘paid for placement’ model for operators. To ensure that affiliate complaints are always managed with appropriate impartiality and that POGGWebmasters is free to take whatever actions they deem appropriate without restriction the site will not tie itself into ‘sponsorship’ type agreements. As such, instead of paying to receive premium advertising positions, featured program positions will be given to those programs that maintain an active representative within ThePOGG forum, contributing and improving the community and resources available to both players and affiliates.

POGGWebmasters aims to cover all types of gambling affiliate programs and for launch the majority of reviews tend to cover casino, sportsbetting and bingo and more will be added to cover lottery and poker. Out of about 300 affiliate programs reviewed upon launch, only about 50 have made the grade for being recommended.

Affiliates will also be able to gain links by posting on ThePOGG Network’s message boards,​ which will be significantly updated in the coming weeks. Three levels of Affiliate Membership have been set up allowing those affiliates that choose to work with stronger status programs to more easily gain rewards and incentives. Only affiliates choosing to work with Blacklisted programs will be entirely restricted from receiving links (and submitting complaints).

The driving purpose of POGGWebmasters is to help affiliates make more responsible choices in whom they choose to work with, both for themselves in terms of ability to earn money and for the players they send to the various operations they work with.

The launch of POGGWebmasters completes over a year of preparation that has seen ThePOGG Network extend its coverage of the gambling markets to include casino game strategies (POGGStrategies.com) and Affiliate Program reviews. The high quality information and wide coverage of various topics within the marketplace has turned ThePOGG Network into one of the most useful industry resources on the market today.

About ThePOGG

ThePOGG.com has been online since 2011 and is an online casino portal with nearly 1000 casino reviews that holds strict criteria for recommending a casino​. Some of the standout features of the site include a UKGC Accredited Alternative Dispute Resolution service for player complaints and player terms and conditions monitoring. ThePOGG also offers a unique Deposit Guarantee service for their highest recommended casinos protecting players by giving their deposit back in the event of a unfair treatment. ThePOGG also does fairness reports and testing of various online casino games.

John Wright for SiGMA: The Game is Changing

Don’t hate the player – hate the game

Being a webmaster means you are someone whom has to work hard and live in a constant state of change. You are the person your friends go to for advice on the latest trends for the changes in technology and for being the go to person for ranking a website. That said, it is also quite possible to spend your entire day doing research on all of these changes, trying them all and not really making much progress either. This information overload is what stops a lot of people from starting their own website and in other cases it intimidates other webmasters that are not sure they can keep up with the change. The people that were top of the affiliate game 10 years ago are not the same people that are #1 today. There may be a few exceptions but most would agree that some of the older sites that have been around for a long time are starting to fade away while some of the newer ones have been able to push through. In the
past 5 years there have been so many changes that webmasters have had to react to that it could be the things that make a webmaster sink or swim.

Renee Mate from Rewards Affiliates
“I’ve been at Rewards Affiliates since 2005 and I’ve seen a huge mix of things in terms of which affiliates come and go. A few years after starting here there were sites like LCB and Ask Gamblers who started from scratch and have gone from strength to strength. Small penalties might take them a few steps back but they always manage to get back on their feet and come back stronger than ever.”

In the past 5 years, webmasters have had to endure:
• Social Media
• Mobile Phone
• Numerous changes in Google’s algorithm

Social Media
Social media sites are some of the most visited in the world and are starting to make Google look small in comparison. Social media represents another way to collect followers to retain traffic, it represents another way to pull in more traffic. Most webmasters to date probably couldn’t answer how social media helps them and if it is worth the effort.

Mobile Phones
In the next few years, about 2 billion people will have smartphones around the world. There are many affiliate sites out there that are not responsive design at all or have any form of mobile experience for their users. If that wasn’t enough, mobilegeddon hit this spring as this year Google warned webmasters they would give less traffic to sites that were not mobile ready.

Google’s changes in algorithm

You really should know your Pandas and Penguins by now as Google has unleashed a constant barrage of updates to their algorithm where many webmasters were simply getting shaken down for their traffic. The changes certainly did kill off many websites where the webmaster was content with the traffic and income previously but couldn’t overcome the losses after the fact. In short Your Panda updates targeted low quality content and duplicate content while Penguin targeted your link building. What worked 5 years ago for easy rankings definitely doesn’t work today. That leads us to our next topic of Old School SEO where webmasters are really struggling to adapt to a new environment and a new set of rules.

Old School SEO
The changes listed previously in Google’s algorithm really highlight where a lot of webmasters are really struggling today and in many cases are fading very fast. They struggle to understand the things that matter in SEO today which is what Google has been trying to push for many years, a focus on quality. If you are dealing with an SEO company that is trying to help, you’ll run into companies that are too focused on SEO where the SEO game has really changed a lot over the past few years. In the book called Driven, written by Robert Herjavec whom is a very successful businessman and is a regular on the hit show Shark Tank, his quote on consultants should resonate with a lot of webmasters:

“If the consultants are so adept at suggesting how to run your business, why aren’t they running one like it?”

In my experience it is rare for me to hear sound solid advice from an SEO consultant. Quite often you’ll have someone with a website looking for an SEO to just find a way to turn things around and pay for it. What an SEO doesn’t want to do is to tell someone their entire website is shit and should be fully rebuilt or that it will take a year to recover. It is tough to make a living doing this.

Times are changing
If you focus too hard on SEO, you are going to struggle to find your way in a very competitive environment. For years Google has been screaming the word quality over and over again through all of their algorithm updates. Of course you need to always consider SEO when creating a website and growing it, but there are limitations. At the end of the day if you are focusing on quality content, making a quality website and focusing on your user then you are on the right path. Of course quality links as well are part of that equation. When you focus on quality and providing a good user experience and quality product or service, often you’ll find these Google algorithm updates don’t affect you at all and if they do, often it’s done in a positive way where you gain more search traffic as the expense of the low quality sites that are getting pushed down.

The Need for Speed
Having a very fast loading website is important for many reasons:
• Google likes to reward fast loading websites
• Faster loading means a lower bounce rate, retaining more traffic

This is the technology side of things webmasters will need to focus on more. If your site takes longer to load, this is automatically costing you conversions. There are plenty of case studies showing the correlation between conversion rate & sales versus site speed. One example is Amazon losing sales by 1% for every 100ms delay on site speed. You don’t need more case studies to understand the logic behind it.

Google does after all have their PageSpeed Tools as a means to assess your site’s performance and it gives back recommendations on how to improve your speed. This is of course one of my tests you can do and it’s important to know how fast (or slow) your site is and to identify ways you can make improvements on the load times. For the PageSpeed Tools you can visit them here.
In terms of how much would google reward your site for being fast, this is something Google has addressed at times over the years but in general state that a slow loading site would have a hard time getting ranked well. That said on a mobile device where page speed is going to be important, you’ll want a fast loading site let alone that it is mobile friendly.

Change in Technologies
Of course technology is changing all the time but I’m not so sure who’s ready or willing to change and adapt. Some of the early online gaming companies that started off 20 years ago used the programming languages and databases they had available at the time, not to mention the marketplace for programmers. In the past 10 years, some newer gaming companies have emerged where they used technology to their advantage. Using PHP and MySQL as a common denominator, this was the language and database of choice that started to appear everywhere and at one point PHP was like a sign you were ahead of the times where sites using ASP for example were slower and older. As of January 2013, PHP was used on 240 million websites and on 2.1 million web servers. No doubt PHP is still to have a long shelf life but for how long.

PHP and MySQL were released in 1995 making them 20 years old. This combination of programming language and database made them stable but for sites that grew in a viral sense, the database structure just wasn’t ready for the scalability. On top of that with the rise in the iPhone and Android in the past 6 or 7 years has also lead to the development and acceleration of programming languages and databases.

A new programming language should give you the flexibility of speed and scalability. With speed, you’ll have a website, programs or apps that use less code and should run faster. On top of this is the implied benefit of security. I will quickly review some of the emerging databases and programming languages that are new on the scene and in some cases are maybe even a year old. In the world or programming, the rate of change has never been greater. Of course this doesn’t mean you should always be updating and upgrading, but if you are on one of the older technologies and setups then maybe it’s time to consider something new.

Databases
There are a handful of databases on the scene and I won’t get into too many technical details either. The 2 main emerging players in the scope of databases are MongoDB and Redis.

MongoDB
Released 2009
Is a NoSQL database system that is used by some giantcompanies that include ebay, craigslist and FourSquare.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MongoDB

Redis
Released 2009
Is also a NoSQL database system that is used by some big companies: craigslist, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat. The standout feature and use of Redis is that the data is stored in memory which means you get the fastest speeds possible on a consistent basis.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redis

Best Applications for Affiliates: MongoDB is probably more than suitable for any webmaster. If you have a large forum with a lot of activity, then Redis is definitely something to consider.

Best Applications for Operators: Redis all the way. Players want their games and they want them fast, especially on their mobile phones.

Programming Languages
Javascript might not be something new but it is a pivotal language today with man branches coming out of javascript.

Node.js
Released 2009
Also written as NodeJS, this is becoming one of the go to languages that connects the database to the frontend. If you start to look up NodeJS and all the MVC frameworks with languages and databases it connects to, you’ll get a bit lost if you are not familiar.

MeteorJS
Released 2012
Meteor is an open source javascript web application and it’s very new but gaining a lot of fans in the programming communities. Meteor is something that also might be the most suitable for operators.

User Experience Design (UX)
User Experience Design isn’t one of those artsy flakey jobs that should be overlooked. Quite often they can be the most important people in any company or website and the reality is there simply aren’t enough of them around. Probably any website you visit there can always be something to pick apart of something that can be improved on the user experience whether on the menu, the homepage or any page for that matter. I could have written an entire section on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) but quite often that’s fully addressed when you focus your design around the user. If you focus on one, you indirectly address the other and vice versa.
While most people are chasing SEOs to fix their website and rankings, not enough are paying any attention to UX. With UX you could take the same amount of traffic you have and make improvements that would increase the pages per session of the view, average time on site and that could easily beat improving your search traffic. In a nutshell, we all want more traffic, but if you already have traffic you need to ask yourself are you getting the most out of it?
Igor from AskGamblers.com says “I often hear people are saying how easily they can find information on AskGamblers, comparing to other sites. It’s because that was our main goal when we did the last redesign. It’s not all about aesthetic. It’s also about something that’s not obvious, but makes the product or website useful and understandable.”

Hacking & Security
I think most can understand what hacking issues can do for any website. The consequences of it can do more damage than it has done before. Your site’s search traffic can be greatly affected by this and if your site has harmful files on it then it can be blocked more than just Google but other sites that link to it including social media like Facebook. Having newer technologies could in theory help minimize your risks but that said any popular platform will always be a target of hackers and people that can find ways to exploit your website. If we use one example of a WordPress site, it is php/MySQL and having more plugins just gives you too many ways of getting attacked as WordPress is just too big of a target for hackers.

Emerging Tools & Resources

Forum Softwares
This area is changing very quickly and those changes are a result of the new technologies in place. For some webmasters, the forum is all of their content and the existence of their site. I think it won’t be long before these new forum softwares start to become more prominent. For some webmasters, the thought of having to switch software, content and databases is a serious risk not to mention logistical nightmare. For people just wanting to launch their new forum, a lighter solution would probably be more appealing. At the end of the day it is all about speed and using new languages, databases and software, you’ll achieve this. Two forum softwares that are available that have a clean design and are ultra fast are NodeBB and Muut.

Muut
Muut uses Redis and it’s insanely fast. I can say one thing I dislike about their software as a service is the idea that you can’t properly moderate posts, that is they like this idea of permanence.
muut.com

NodeBB
NodeBB is great because it’s open source or you can use their shared hosting solution. If you self host then the software is free and you can choose from MongoDB or Redis for your database options. The forums are very fast and have a clean design and layout. Some features that different webmasters are used to are not always there but you can develop them yourself or wait for when they become available.
nodebb.org

Blogg ing and CMS:
Ghost
Open source like WordPress or use their hosted solution. Ghost uses Markdown which makes WordPress look complicated and bloated. If you don’t know what Markdown is look it up: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=markdown. Ghost was created by the former deputy lead for the User Interface team at WordPress.
http://ghost.io

Jekyll
Another open source CMS that uses Markdown.
http://jekyllrb.com/

Meet Your New Competition
To conclude this article I’d like to highlight there will always be competition but I think there will be the next wave of gambling webmasters to come through the door. I think many of them will be experienced webmasters coming from other industries and applying their work ethic and knowledge to the business. The topics I covered from UX design to technology are the tools the competition will use to their advantage. If you are a webmaster that is new to the gaming business then you should have the right attitude that despite tough competition that anything is possible. For those that have been in the business for a while and feeling things are stagnant, then it is time to revise the business plan and assess where your site is and where you want it to go.

About the autor:

John Wright has been working in the gaming industry for a number of years, focusing mostly on consultancy for search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization and user experience & user interface design. His strengths are with online casinos but does have experience in online poker and sportsbetting.

John is also the marketing manager, affiliate coach and editor of Gaffg.

John has been coaching affiliates for over 4 years and worked with many other top casino affiliates. He also works as an online gambling consultant and writes for the iGamingBusiness and iGB Affiliate magazines.His other strengths are in SEO, conversion and content creation. In 2013 he has expanded his skills to include video SEO and social media marketing and how to properly integrate these into website designs.  He has also started his design and consulting agency: HorseshoeAgency.com

He has already coached a few successful affiliates who have gone from barely earning income to 4 to 5 figures per month.

ICE A2O Seminar: Niche vs. mainstream operators

For the first time, ICE will offer a learning programme for affiliates. As iGaming affiliate businesses are growing and maturing, many have made the leap to iGaming by becoming operators, many others are considering that move.

The seminar at ICE will focus on affiliates’ aspirations to make that transition: what is the rationale to do that, how different the two business models are and what are the best ways to evolve, with case studies, presentations and discussions led by those who have gone, or are going, through that process.

Niche vs. mainstream operators

Besides the obvious language and territorial segmentation, should new operators focus on other niches? In this session case studies will be provided on how successful operators have managed to find a niche in the market.

Moderator: Zoltan Tundik, CEO, East European Gaming

Those and other questions will be discussed by some of the biggest names in the industry:

  • Mikael Strunge, CEO, Anna Casino
  • Dr. Angelo Dalli, CEO, Bit8
  • Efrat Judovits, Former director of business development, Playtech
  • Shai Ben Ami, CEO, Lottonetix
  • Shay Benhamou, CEO, Airsoft
  • Ran Cohen, CEO, Traders Education
  • Gev Balyan, VP Special Projects, BetConstruct

Date: Thursday, 4th February, 2016 (last day of ICE Totally Gaming)

Venue: Excel London, South Gallery Room 10

Registration: Admission is free for registered ICE delegates. Register here.

Clarion Events and SiGMA unveil new partnership

ICE 2015 exhibition

ICE 2015 exhibition

Negotiations have been underway for what augurs to become a solid seminar at ICE 2016 Totally Gaming. Thanks to this agreement, SiGMA will be organising a seminar for the very first time during ICE 2016 for affiliates planning on becoming operators.

The seminar will target affiliates who are aspiring to become operators.  Today’s affiliate is fast becoming a successful operator within months, which is why we believe that ICE could potentially host a conference for affiliates aspiring on becoming operators.

Representatives from Clarion Events were present at SiGMA this November in Malta, where discussions were held about the content of the seminar at ICE. The schedule is outlined below. Speakers who wish to be considered for this show may contact any of the SiGMA staff.

Date: Thursday, 4th February (last day of ICE)

Venue: Excel London

ICE link: http://www.icetotallygaming.com/ice-affiliates-affiliate-operator

SiGMA link: https://maltaigamingsummit.com/ice-seminar/

 

Victor Lerenius

Victor Lerenius, CTO of Game Lounge, entered the iGaming sector from e-commerce giant CDON Group (now Qliro Group). His experience from working within a holding company keen on both organic and inorganic expansion has now contributed to the growth of Game Lounge which has more than doubled the number of employees in the last year alone.
Game Lounge is tackling the various challenges of being a major affiliate in a market that is experiencing increased competition and a growing number of takeovers and mergers very well. It has been shown that to successfully determine the true market value of competitors as well as the expected ROI of a takeover is key to growing for the company. Mr Lerenius has university degrees in business law, nanoscience and business administration, which joined with valuable experience enable him to facilitate the company in making the correct decisions.
Jonas Cederholm and Fredrik Langeland, the founders of Game Lounge, sold a majority of the shares in the company to Cherry AB in January this year. Since then Game Lounge has, together with the new owners, launched two new online casinos (sveacasino.com and suomicasino.com). This new concept for both Cherry and Game Lounge has proven very successful and has strengthened the partnership enabling the two to gain market shares in online casino and iGaming affiliation.

Marc Kenigsberg

Marc Kenigsberg is an advocate for cryptocurrency and one of the world’s leading Bitcoin affiliates. The founder of BitcoinChaser.com, and a firm believer in Bitcoin, Marc also operates various Bitcoin websites and projects.

Marc is a veteran of the gambling industry with 15 years experience in various marketing roles, including being responsible for marketing at some of the largest Playtech and Microgaming licensees.

He has spoken at numerous events in the past, Including the London Affiliate Show, Ice Totally Gaming, as well as the Bitcoin conference held last May in Prague. He also advised gaming operators and businesses on strategy and marketing activities.

Today Marc is also an affiliate in the financial space and operates industry leading financial portals including TradeOpus.com.

 

Julia Logan: Are link intelligence tools becoming obsolete?

Ever since Yahoo! stopped supporting the linkdomain: search operator back in 2010, link intelligence tools have become a necessity for most online marketers. With links being an integral part of any ranking algorithm (up to this day, despite all the changes and updates), knowing what links to a site is a clue into ranking successfully.

Traditionally, link intelligence tools have been used for competitor research – if you know what a successfully ranking site is doing (and doing = building links), you know what you can do to achieve the same results. As of lately, since links became not only a ranking factor but also a large penalty factor, a different need arose for these tools: controlling the quality of your own site’s link profile.

However, when we look at a site’s backlink profile, are we really seeing the complete picture?

Take a look at some highly competitive SERPs and then check the backlink profiles of the top sites ranking on the first page – you will likely see thousands if not hundreds of thousands backlinks. But every once in a while, you can spot a link profile like this:

1

Seriously? 620 links off 36 domains – and this site is ranking for a really competitive keyword? How did they do it?

We are missing one very important point here. Look further, and you will likely see a breakdown like this:

2

Redirects, here is the clue. And never mind that you are only seeing 2 of them, in all likelihood there are more redirects in this site’s inventory (I would not even call it a link profile) than actual links. Problem is, no existing link intelligence tool is good at detecting them. Why?

Backlink tools are just that – tools designed to discover a site’s links. Redirects are a completely different animal. There are various ways to redirect URL A to URL B, including but not limited to: 301 and 302 (implemented via .htaccess), meta refresh, Javascript redirects, all sorts of conditional redirects and so on. To add to the hassle, there can be multiple redirects connected into a chain where URL A redirects to URL B which then redirects to URL C (this can go on for any amount of steps). Link intelligence tools have not been built for the task of discovering, dissecting and tracking down all different kinds of redirects, and although some of them are trying to catch up, this is not a trivial task and a lot of ideological as well as algorithmic questions have to be answered to build a suitable working solution.

The linking landscape has changed a lot in the last few years since Google has started its war on links. Ironically, the idea of punishing for low quality links has brought about an unseen amount of workarounds – not cleaner SERPs as Google was hoping.

Various redirects are just one of them. They haven’t been invented recently of course – but never before have we witnessed such a widespread use of redirects. To avoid penalties, some website owners have started using secondary throwaway domains, building links to them and then redirecting these domains to the main domain. If a site was caught by Google and penalized, all its owner had to do is remove the redirect. When buying aged domains with strong link profiles has become cheaper, easier and less risky than trying to do clean linkbuilding to your own site, more online marketers started doing just that – buying aged domains and redirecting them to their money sites. When redirecting a penalized domain to a new one began being perceived as a way to get rid of a penalty, this yet another reason to use redirects has further spurred their popularity.

But it is not just barely detectable redirects that dim the picture as we look at sites’ backlink profiles. The ability to disavow links, introduced by Google in October 2012, has been an enormous game changer. Initially promoted as “webmaster’s best friend” for cases when link removal (e.g. when trying to remove a penalty) was not possible, it soon started getting used and abused in ways never imaginable before. Good sites are getting disavowed along with bad sites, whole domains as well as individual URLs, and it’s all based purely on each site owner’s subjective judgement and often complete lack of understanding. The impact of the disavow tool is likely much larger than most people are willing to admit. Essentially, we are dealing with a giant black box: we do not know what goes into it, we don’t know what rules are applied inside, we don’t know if/when our disavow requests are granted, we don’t know how many disavow submissions make a site “bad” in Google’s perception and how it can influence all the other sites linked to from it, not just the site on whose behalf the disavow request is submitted. By looking at a site – any site – there is no way to tell whether or not it has ever been disavowed. And that’s where it becomes scary.

The World Wide Web has been called the World Wide Web for a reason – essentially, it IS a giant web where all things are connected to each other. It is built with links, links between URLs are its living matter.

3

Long before links became a ranking factor, they became the building material of the web. Long after Google is no longer around, links will still be there. EVERYTHING is connected to EVERYTHING and depends on EVERYTHING. Destroy links, and the web will be destroyed. Come up with as many alternative ranking factors as you can, links will still be there and they will still be important because they make up the World Wide Web.

Policing the links is the worst thing anybody could ever come up with. First assigning the links a meaning that was never meant (links as votes), then distorting that meaning and making it impossible to even approximately evaluate it. Unless Google decides to open its black box and share the data, we will never know what is really going on inside – and no link tool can help us here. Google itself could probably provide an adequate link tool presenting clearly all these data – but Google historically has been notorious for hiding the link data rather than sharing them.

Does all of this mean link intelligence tools have now become obsolete? Absolutely not.

As I mentioned above, one of the important uses of link tools is controlling one’s own link profile. Getting penalized is easy, removing a penalty is a tedious job never guaranteed to bring the desired result, and it is solely the responsibility of a site owner to keep a close eye on what is going on with their link profile.

Case in point: negative SEO attempts. Just to be clear, negative SEO is a very real threat, although it is not only about links, and not every negative SEO attempt is successful. But because of a few articles that have been making rounds, many people believe negative SEO is as easy as pointing a few spammy links at a site, and that type of negative SEO attempts accounts for the largest part of all negative SEO ever becoming discoverable.

Link intelligence tools can be very helpful in detecting such link based attempts. A sudden spike in link acquisition coupled with unrelated to the site’s topic anchor texts are usually a good indicator of some of the more uncanny attempts:

4

5

Moreover, these signals, coupled with a specific URL being linked to by the attacker, often serve as a “signature” allowing to trace it back to its originator.

Link audits are a vital procedure that should be done not once or twice but regularly as a prevention measure. Most site owners only decide to audit their links after a penalty has happened or a site’s rankings have dropped for some other reason, when in fact this is already too late. Timely detection of an issue can help solve it faster and easier.

But any tool is only as good as the person using it. Link audits should never be run by inexperienced interns or outsourced on the cheap. I have seen link removal requests resulting from poorly done link audits, ridding a site of its best links – not by some evil competitor but by the site’s own SEO team. Hiring an experienced consultant, ideally somebody specialized in link audits, is bound to be an expensive procedure, but there is no other way to do it properly. No automated tool kits, no amount of articles written on the topic of link audits on SEO sites can replace the experience, sharp eye and often even intuition of a true professional. We are dealing with fragmented information scattered all over the place in no logical order, and unless you can put it all together and read a site’s link profile like a book, don’t even attempt it.

The purpose of a good link intelligence tool is much more than just scraping the web and detecting the HTML syntax for links. A good link intelligence tool should be also capable of detecting and analyzing connections, dependencies, relationships between sites, evaluating links and other factors influencing the site and coming up with adequate metrics connected to existing search realities formally describing the results of these evaluations. The best link intelligence tools – such as MajesticSEO – are already evolving in this direction, but it is still a long and complicated way they need to make to get us closer to understanding the web better. The scientific foundation for this ongoing development is just beginning to be created and will no doubt involve the brightest minds.

 

This article by Julia Logan, aka the Irish Wonder, was first published on SiGMAgazine, Issue 1. Cover image credits: Jackie Hole. Cover image source: www.stateofdigital.com