Casino Link Building Guide: What’s Working in 2022?

casino link building

Link Building for Casinos

In 2020 the online gambling industry brought in approximately $64B and is expected to rise to over $100B by 2025. New online casino sites are emerging all the time, which creates more competition not only for business but also in search engines. For this reason, developing and implementing an SEO strategy that includes backlinks is important for gambling sites. 

Google views backlinks (derived from a link building strategy or naturally occurring) as another site “vouching” for the quality and legitimacy of your site. When it comes to gambling and casino companies–an industry that’s notorious for appearing scammy–this is even more important. Whether it’s the FBI shutting down casinos for money laundering or individuals engaging in identity theft, this is one industry that seems prone to fraudulent activity. Not only do you not want to be a fraudulent or low-quality site, but you also don’t want to appear as one to Google. Links are one of the ways to boost your trustworthiness and credibility with Google.

Link building is all about mitigating risk while maximizing the return on your investment. You can do that through white hat link building tactics which mean other sites are vouching for the quality and authority of your site. Building trust will go a long way in how your site is viewed by potential customers and search engines. 

In this post, we’ll cover: 

  • The benefits of casino link building 
  • How companies get links
  • The shoulder niche sites companies are building links on 
  • What makes a good casino link
  • Putting together your casino link building strategy
  • Casino link building mistakes to avoid

Benefits of Casino Link Building

When coupled with on-page SEO tactics, building quality links can help search engines recognize your site as one of quality.  For this reason, it’s very important to develop a solid strategy for building quality backlinks as part of your search marketing campaign.

Search engines value quality over quantity, so you’ll want to focus on getting a few high-quality backlinks instead of a bunch of low-quality (and potentially spammy) links. You can build links on your own, but you run the risk of obtaining toxic backlinks.

Additionally, if the sites you use to build links aren’t abiding by Google’s policies for gambling sites, you run the added risk of being penalized by them. 

Instead, you should use reputable casino link building services. As a result, your site will receive the “stamp of approval” from other, quality websites, and Google will view your site as more legitimate. 

How are companies getting links?

There are several ways to obtain quality backlinks for casino and gambling websites. Some of these include:

  • Paid links. This is when a website pays a third-party site for a followed backlink that points back to their site. 
  • Link swaps (aka link exchanges). This occurs when two (or three) websites agree to link to each other. 
  • Private Blog Networks (PBNs). This is a network of websites that are used to build links and pass authority to another website. This method is a bit controversial and can be very risky if not done right. 
  • News/PR campaigns. This is a method of having larger media outlets link back to your website. One way you can effectively do this is by providing reviews of casinos – including your own – and directing readers back to your site as the one providing the review. 
  • Leveraging shoulder niches. This is a method of building links in niches that are similar to yours to get quality backlinks to your site. 

White Hat Link Building for Casinos: 

Historically speaking, gambling companies have been known for having websites with flashy animations, gifs, large words, and a ton of “click here!” links embedded throughout.

As a result, these days they’re often all lumped together and it’s assumed that a gambling site is a spammy website. This has made ranking higher in organic searches and getting links much more difficult. 

This makes it more challenging to build links traditionally viewed as “white hat” but, with the right resources, it can be done. In most cases, we have found that casinos prefer to use “grey hat” tactics to balance out the cost vs. rankings improvements. In either case, the right process can help you rank higher, among other things.

Here are a few things that typically come from an outreach campaign.

  • Relationship-building. Creating quality backlinks requires outreach on your part. While the ultimate goal is to build links, in the process you’ll be developing or nurturing relationships with people in your industry or niche. This can benefit you in the long run, especially as you seek to build links again in the future. 
  • Press/publicity. Generating publicity for your brand will go a long way toward establishing your site as credible. You can do this by implementing a PR campaign for your casino site. 
  • Increased traffic to your site. As a result of building links directing traffic to your site, you can expect a good amount of increased traffic. 

To build relations, credibility, and boost traffic, you must know which sites to contact. Finding sites in a “shoulder niche” is the best place to get started. 

Types of Shoulder Niche Sites for Building Links

A shoulder niche site is one that’s similar to your category but that likely offers more opportunities for building links. For example, if you are a pastry chef and your niche is “baking,” a shoulder niche would be “cooking.” If you’re an online casino or gambling website, some shoulder niches might include: 

  • Gambling affiliate & review sites
  • Gaming 
  • Travel
  • Tech
  • Sports
  • News

All of these in some way are connected to online casinos and gambling and can be a part of online gambling link building. The key is to create content that bridges the gap, making your link appear natural and relevant. Along with content relevancy, there are some other key factors to consider when vetting sites for outreach.

What Makes a Good Casino Link? 

When evaluating a site to potentially link back to your online casino, here are some easy but effective items to check:

  • DR 30+. Domain Rating is a value developed by Ahrefs that shows a site’s backlink profile compared to all others in their database. This is more “current” than domain authority.
  • Organic Traffic Estimate 1K+ (Ahrefs). This is an estimation of the amount of organic traffic the target site gets each month.  
  • No major recent traffic drops. Choose a site that hasn’t had any recent drops in traffic, which you can monitor on Ahrefs using their Organic Search Report tool. Big drops could indicate a penalty or that the site was sold and repurposed to sell links.
  • Posts not marked sponsored. Too many sponsored posts indicate that other people are paying to have their content on that site. In the long run, it causes those sites to lose credibility in Google’s eyes, which will impact your site if you’re relying on backlinks from that site. 
  • No write for us/submit post in menu/sidebar/footer. This is a good indication that a site is a content farm or that they exist solely as a landing spot for people to submit content, rather than to provide useful content to searchers. There are exceptions, but when practical avoid sites with these pages.
  • No sidebar links to casinos, essay writing, forex. This is a dead giveaway that the site is publishing paid linkscasino-igaming-gambling link building
  • Contextual links. Links pointing back to other sites should appear in the article, not in the sidebar/footer. Avoid sites that do not allow contextual placements.

Putting Together Your Casino Link Building Strategy

Developing a good SEO strategy that includes link building for an online casino and gambling site takes precision and it must be done right for a maximum return on your investment. Here are some things you can do to increase the likelihood of an excellent return: 

  • Set a realistic budget. Strategically boosting your organic search rankings is a fight to the top, and then you have to defend your position. Other companies are making hundreds of millions from Google, so you must invest accordingly if you want to compete with them. 
  • Diversify your link profile as much as possible. Don’t just pick one strategy and go with it. Instead, invest in a variety of tactics including PR, paid links, link swaps, news/media, earned links, and nofollow links like social media profiles.
  • Analyze your competitors. Look at what your competitors are doing and where they’re obtaining backlinks, then reverse engineer their strategy. Reach out to their best placements and try to replicate what they’re doing when possible.
  • Create your anchor text plan. Your anchor text plan should come from the top-ranking sites in your niche/location.
  • Be mindful of link velocity. Pay attention to the link velocity and stay within a reasonable range.
  • Use aliases. When doing outreach, use multiple aliases to avoid being busted for buying links. Save the domain-based email outreach for PR/media outreach or strategic partners.
  • Be consistent. Continue employing the same tactics repeatedly and stay on top of changing trends among your top-ranking competitors.

On top of doing the right things, you must also steer clear of common pitfalls. 

Casino Link Building Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Mismatching your strategy with your budget & company size. Unfortunately, casino sites have a bad reputation (in Google’s eyes) for being low-quality sites. This means it’s important to invest a reasonable amount of money in casino link building services for your site, regardless of your company size. The smaller your company size, the harder it’s going to be to compete with larger sites that have already made their mark in SERPs. 
  2. Buying high volumes of low-quality links. Once you’ve aligned your strategy with your budget and company size, it’s time to pay attention to what you’re looking at buying. You shouldn’t buy many links that are low-quality or that have low metrics such as a low DA/DR (stick with a minimum of 30 DA/DR). You’ll also want to avoid buying too many links that have low traffic or that come from sites with excessive outbound links and poorly written content, spammy sidebar links, etc. 
  3. Over/under optimizing your anchor text profile. Your anchor text profile is a summary of all of your backlinks and the anchor text people are using to refer back to your site. Take the time to review the profile of your top-ranking competitors and model your anchor text strategy accordingly, instead of using general “best practices”.
  4. Investing in casino PBNs. There’s a growing risk with this approach. It’s still an option for some people, and the cost is likely to be much cheaper than those from quality websites. Generally speaking, buying paid links on well-vetted real websites is a little more expensive, but they work better and have a lower risk of penalization.

Does Stellar SEO offer Casino Link Building? 

Yes. We help casinos and other gambling sites get links that move the needle. Our link building for casinos falls under our hourly billed custom outreach service. We use this model because it keeps the focus on what matters – quality links that produce results, not simply trying to hit a link quota. 

If you are interested in a different approach to gaining links and improving the rankings of your casino, get in touch today to discuss your project.

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