Jun 05, 2024

Gambling & Casino Backlinks: How to Get It Right in 2024

AUTHOR
author

Nicholas Rubright

The online gambling industry is expected to reach a whopping $153 billion by 2030.

This is inclusive of online casinos, sports betting websites, and poker websites.

Many major gambling and casino companies are listed on global stock exchanges, such as DraftKings and Flutter Entertainment.

Over the years, the search term “online casino” has been rising in popularity alongside the fast-paced growth of this industry, according to Google Trends data.

online casino keyword growth over time chart

Given this high-growth opportunity, it makes sense why investors would want to double down on gambling SEO quickly. A huge part of a digital marketing investment often involves investing in casino backlinks and gambling backlinks, or links from gambling sites or casino sites.

Unfortunately, based on our 10 years of link building experience, getting high authority white hat backlinks for gambling and casino websites is notoriously difficult when using traditional link building strategies like guest posting or creating and pitching high-quality content.

There are law to consider, negative opinions to deal with, and the competition is fierce. Many websites are actively trying to get more links to boost their rankings on search engines. Big casino brands spend millions each year on this, many of which resort to black-hat tactics like buying backlinks.

In this article, we’ll go over:

  • What a high-quality gambling or casino backlink looks like.
  • Why you shouldn’t pay for backlinks.
  • How to get high-quality gambling and casino backlinks with digital PR.

If you prefer to have this done for you, our link building agency offers digital PR services are the best fit for gambling and casino link building needs!

What is a high-quality gambling or casino backlink?

Our definition of a high-quality backlink in the gambling and casino realm is one that boosts your organic search engine rankings and drives organic traffic to your website by improving your position in the SERPs (search engine results pages) for gambling or casino-related keywords.

Determining backlink quality involves several factors. Many gambling and casino SEO experts rely on metrics like domain authority or domain rating, website traffic, spam score, and others from tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush to assess the quality of their backlink targets or to guide their gambling link building or casino link building strategy.

Drawing from our decade of experience in link building within the gambling and casino industry, we’ve identified these key factors for securing high-quality backlinks:

  1. Anchor text relevance.
  2. Page content relevance and quality of the website linking to you.
  3. Domain quality and relevance of the website linking to you.

Alternatively, low-quality, spammy backlinks often originate from paid sources, directories, forums, or pages with minimal value.

For gambling and casino websites, getting backlinks from websites and pages that customers might actually read fulfills all of these requirements naturally.

This could involve getting a backlink from a gaming news site referencing insights from a study you did, or a travel blogger mentioning your “top casino destinations” blog post.

A placement like this with a backlink, for example, would pass the right kind of authority to a casino website based on the above:

casino link example

Why you shouldn’t pay for backlinks

I wrote about this before, but if you’re buying backlinks, Google probably knows you are.

Here’s how.

1. Outbound linking patterns

If we look at the outbound links on a site, we can sometimes identify whether or not a link was paid for.

How?

By examining anchors to understand link intent (the psychology behind website owner linking behavior).

If there are links in the content on a site that look like they don’t provide any true value to readers, the links are probably paid for.

Humans can easily spot this kind of thing, but Google has the smartest developers in the world constantly tweaking algorithms that are designed to identify this at scale based on link intent. For example, to me, this link looks very obviously paid for:  

 

Google can look at these pages at scale and can even examine outbound linking patterns across the entire internet.

When doing this, if they see fishy behavior, this can raise suspicion of breaking their Webmaster Guidelines and trigger a manual review. It’s much simpler to get links naturally through digital PR, as we’ll discuss later in this article.

2. Spam reports

If you think your competitors won’t submit spam reports on you, you’re wrong.

We do this against our client’s competitors all the time! You better believe our team is submitting spam reports against link sellers. Especially if it will help me rank my client.

Sometimes, we intentionally reach out to websites linking to our competitors as part of the Skyscraper Technique, a link building strategy that involves “stealing” backlinks from inferior websites.

When these websites, who are linking to our competitors, try to charge us for a link, we just report them to Google as a seller.

And Google makes this so easy to do.

So what’s likely happening if you’re buying links is that one of your competitors is following your trail of paid links, reporting them, and then these links you spent so much of your money on are doing nothing for you.

Not only that, but Google is likely also blacklisting links from domains they know are selling links and not telling anyone. They even confirmed that they use these submissions to improve their paid-link detection algorithms.

On top of reporting directly against competitors, if I’m frustrated at the number of paid links coming back for an outreach campaign, I might just report all of those domains for selling links, broadening the number of websites Google knows about.

So even if your competitors aren’t reporting you, if the domains you’re buying links on have been reported via some other means and Google has blacklisted them from their link counts, you’re probably just burning money.

So while link builders are asking, “How can Google possibly know!?” you might now be asking, “How can we know which sites Google knows are selling links?

We can’t. And we don’t even know what Google’s real means of detecting paid links are.

They’ll also likely never tell us SEOs because they know bad players are going to find a way to game it.

But what we do know is that, based on our CEO’s LinkedIn post about reporting link sellers, tons of other SEOs are reporting link sellers as well, so we’re not alone. 

link seller reporting comment 

Others have opened up on the post about being attacked by this kind of strategy themselves.

comment about being attacked by paid backlink reports.

So stay safe and steer clear of buying backlinks. Earn them with digital PR and proper outreach instead.

3. Domain neighborhood

Google looks at links in neighborhoods, which are groups of sites that commonly link to each other.

For example, in the news circuit, sites like Moz, Backlinko, and Ahrefs all link to each other frequently, so in Google’s eyes this is a “neighborhood” of SEO sites.

Neighborhoods like this are, in part, how Google determines link quality and relevance. It’s also how they spot PBNs (private blog networks). So if we got a link from one of those sites, Google would see us as more relevant in the SEO niche, which would drive our performance for related keywords.

When executing a link building campaign for a gambling or casino website, it makes sense to get links from legitimate websites that exhibit natural linking behaviors, such as media websites.

Paying for backlinks may not get you penalized, but it won’t help you, either.

How to get high-quality gambling and casino backlinks with digital PR

Digital PR in the context of gambling and casino link building is exactly what it sounds like. It’s PR tailored for digital platforms, and it’s the primary source of high-quality backlinks among our clients.

This strategy holds immense value as it not only secures backlinks from online media sources but can also be a source of awareness and referral traffic for your gambling or casino website!

This method of acquiring backlinks and media placements can also serve as a potent method to enhance the trustworthiness of your brand. If you land large placements, you can milk these for social proof on your website to drive conversions and trust from new visitors.

Below, we’ll walk through how you can build and execute a digital PR campaign of your own to win placements like this one that we got for our online casino client.

casino backlink example from digital PR

1. Brainstorm your story idea

Brainstorming digital PR story ideas in the gambling and casino niche can be exciting and challenging. Given the competitive nature of the industry and the need to adhere to regulations, creativity combined with data-driven insights becomes a go-to for many digital PR campaigns in this industry.

When brainstorming digital PR ideas, find story ideas that leverage data in a way that evokes one of these emotions:

  • Awe 🤯
  • Surprise 😲
  • Anger 😡
  • Anxiety 😰
  • Interest 🤔

The above example gets a combination of interest, surprise, and awe by showcasing lots of huge numbers. If you can find data stories that show something big, this is a huge plus. Here are some ways you can use data to brainstorm some digital PR story ideas:

  1. Leverage Industry Trends: Stay updated with the latest trends in industries that can be seen as related to gambling. Analyze reports, market research, and industry publications to identify emerging trends in tangential industries. Talking specifically about gambling would probably turn away journalists who don’t want to write what they feel might be an advertorial for your company, so leveraging related industries like banking, finance, and others tied to money usually works well because you can still be perceived as a subject matter expert.
  2. Player Behavior Insights: This one is specific to sports betting websites, but you can utilize data analytics to understand player behavior and preferences. Analyze data on popular games, betting patterns, peak gaming hours, and demographic information to identify insights that can be turned into compelling PR stories. For example, a story on the growing popularity of live dealer games among millennials or the surge in mobile gambling during sporting events.
  3. Responsible Gambling Initiatives: Showcase your commitment to responsible gambling by highlighting initiatives aimed at promoting safe and healthy gaming practices. Share data on the effectiveness of responsible gambling tools, such as self-exclusion programs, deposit limits, or player education campaigns. Emphasize your dedication to protecting players and fostering a safe gaming environment. Journalists love do-good stories, so this angle does well!
  4. Local and Regional Insights: Local journalists are always looking for stories, so if you can tailor your PR stories to reflect the unique characteristics of local markets and regions, you can pick up some easy wins. Utilize data to analyze regional lottery winnings, chance-related activities, or local sporting statistics. By providing localized insights and stories, you can connect with audiences on a more personal level, which can also reflect positively on your brand.
  5. Creative Stories: If you’re a gamer and want to get super creative, video game-related stories do well in gambling because they tie to the gaming factor. You can do stories where you generate AI images of what animated video game characters might look like in real life, draw huge maps of video game environments, or build a “time to kill” map of guns for a first-person shooter game.

Brainstorming digital PR story ideas in the gambling and casino niche requires a combination of creativity, strategic thinking, and data-driven insights.

Make sure you pick a topic that it makes sense to talk about and is loosely tied to your offering.

If you’re in sports betting, try the player statistics angle.

iGaming? Try the video game approach.

2. Build your content

Once you have your idea, put together your content in a Google Doc and write a press release around it.

When you’re putting together the content, you don’t necessarily need to publish it on your website. You can write everything in a Google Doc format like a blog post for the journalist to use. They’ll rewrite sections themself, but having it in a “ready to go” format is very helpful for them.

It’s also helpful to include visuals, as this is one of the most common forms of media journalists request.

multimedia for digital pr

They often use the graphic elements to promote their stories on social media.

For the placement above, we did just that. We published the lottery winnings data in a Google Doc like this with some graphics that help tell the story:

digital pr map graphic
 

Once you’ve finished compiling your data, built your off-site content, and have drafted your press release, you can start conducting outreach.

3. Pitch your target journalists

Once you have your story ready, you can use MuckRack or Prowly to download a list of journalists that talk about the topic you did your study on, and send them an email pitch like this with the press release copy and pasted below the email and a link to the Google Doc:

 

 

 

After you start sending pitches, it’s unlikely that journalists will tell you they published your story. Use tools like Ahrefs, Mention, and Google Alerts to track your placements.

Lastly, when a journalist publishes your story, reach out and say thanks! This is a great way to build relationships that last, which can have a compounding effect later as you launch more stories.

Conclusion

High-quality links are a part of any meaningful SEO strategy. For the gambling and casino niche, these high-authority links are generally earned through digital PR.

The alternative is paying for backlinks through a backlink service, but hopefully, we’ve convinced you as to why this is a bad idea and why building a backlink profile using white hat link building tactics is best for your gambling website.

If any of this sounds overwhelming, consider outsourcing your link building with our link building services or digital PR services!

Good luck out there!

 
 

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