Taking place straight after EiG 2017, the Berlin Affiliate Conference (BAC) opened its doors this morning at the Messe Berlin, a two-day conference dedicated to the online gambling and financial affiliate industry.
The BAC is notorious for a lively expo floor full of elaborate booths, upbeat music, gorgeous models, open bars, tasty treats and plenty of giveaways, which is exactly what delegates experienced today. Running alongside the expo are two conference tracks, with a heavy focus on SEO and marketing strategies for affiliates, complete with tips, tricks and takeaways.
Today’s “SEO Debate: Are links dead or alive” panel featured SEO experts Nick Garner, Gino Topini and Fili Wiese and proved to a be a spicy discussion with plenty of differing opinions. However, all three panelists agreed certainly agreed on one thing: links are definitely not dead.
“Are links dead? The answer is simply ‘no’, not necessary for page rank, but for discovery. That’s why for Google links are important. Without links people cannot navigate your website”, said Wiese.
Wiese emphasized his point by mentioning how the “web” in “world wide web” is referring to links, an absolutely integral part of websites, pages and the internet in general.
When it comes to SEO strategy, some of the newer and smaller affiliates are concerned they will be unable to compete with larger affiliates and networks that have big budgets to power SEO initiatives. Wiese assured smaller affiliates in the audience that its absolutely possible to compete, but that they must be creative in their efforts.
“Big budgets often refer to money, but the one thing you may have more of on average than a big player – often due to the bureaucracy- is time. And with effort and time you can compete with the biggest ones of them”, Wiese shared.
“Now obviously the big ones have an edge, they may be able to hire more people, but with the bureaucracy that comes with a bigger entity they may not be able to do as much with their time as you may be able to do as an individual, as a small player”, he said.
“So use that advantage, be creative, focus on traffic converting links, don’t waste too many on links that are purely for page rank purposes. If a link doesn’t drive convertible traffic to your website its not a good link, get rid of it”, Wiese added.
At the conclusion of the panel, Wiese advised the audience to review his blog post, “Linkbuilding 2018: how to build links for mind-blowing growth”, for more information.
Another one of today’s panels covered next year’s World Cup and how sports betting sites can maximize the opportunity. Tom Light spoke on behalf of SBTech and pointed out how the World Cup is an opportunity to grasp non-traditional punters such as casino players, so long as operators simplify the user experience.
“Keep casino players in mind, give them an exciting way to have a casino-like experience on the World Cup”, advised Light.
It was a surprising to see Light at an iGaming Affiliate conference, considering SBTech is a b2b supplier, dealing with some of the biggest sports betting operators in existence as opposed to dealing with affiliates. However, in Light’s previous life, he was a dedicated sportsbetting affiliate of Intertops until UIGEA was passed, so he’s familiar with the territory.
When asked what a b2b supplier is doing at an affiliate show, other than re-connecting with old friends, Light came back with an insightful response:
“I think [BAC] is a good opportunity to meet the affiliates. A lot of the time, especially at SBTech, we work with major companies- power 50 companies or PLC’s- we don’t really get our hands in the mud and get the value from the operators about their opinion”, Light told CalvinAyre.com.
“What I actually do here is speak to some of the affiliates- some young guys with backpacks- and I ask them about the product and I think I get the most honest, sincere and as close to the customer as possible opinion. So I think its very valuable for us as a sports betting provider to go to these places and speak to the affiliates and get their inputs’, he added.
The BAC also serves as a perfect location to unveil new brands to affiliates, for example, HighRoller.com, part of the GIG Affiliates family. Bruno Berlafa, Head of GIG Affiliates, walked CalvinAyre.com through the unique features of HighRoller.com, including the coveted URL itself.
“With HighRoller.com we’re going to enter an environment which is unique in terms of gamification. So as a customer, once you enter HighRoller.com, first and foremost you can choose an avatar, you can customise it and then the journey starts”, he said.
“There will be challenges where you get rewarded and what we have on HighRoller.com is a virtual currency. The unique part here though, compared to other brands, is that for example, you as a player can actually steal coins from other players when they’re not active”, he added.
Another new brand revealed at BAC 2017 comes in the form of BetOnPolitics.com, powered by BetContruct. BetOnPolitics is an unbiased political news site that also offers readers the opportunity to place bets on political outcomes, pool-betting style. Editor-in-Chief of BetOnPolitics.com, Karen Andreasyan, has a political background in Armenia and said he is delighted to start educating affiliates on his project.
“First of all, when you walk around, you see everything but politics. So when they see us here, they stop by, and they ask what politics has to do betting and claiming”, Andreasyan told CalvinAyre.com.
“I know that in the past we had experiences that people would bet on political developments but there was not such a big global platform that is going to serve politics and betting at the same time”, he added.