GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 18 - October 2011

You operate 13 sites, in languages includ- ingRussian,Greek,Polish,Danish,German and Spanish. They offer information and access to online poker,backgammon,casi- no and scratch cards.Which site came first, andwhich sites produce themost revenue for you? We operate a business that con- stantly adapts to market trends. We have a team that is capable and well-versed in launching multiple sites simultaneously. In my experience all gaming products are profitable if you do your homework in ad- vance and make sure you only invest ac- cording to foreseen revenues. We also have an in-house-developed CMS product that we created as there was noth- ing out there that could do all the things we needed it to do. Now, due to increased interest in our CMS, we plan to market it as a shelf product in the near future. Tell us more about the CMS system you built. We have developed our own CMS from scratch. It allows us to create and manage simultaneously multiple multi- lingual sites. We can very quickly launch a new site and then have it localized to other languages. Our system is equipped with all the basic and advanced CMS capabilities, SEO tools and a built-in translation system that al- lows freelance translators access from any location to create translations directly within our CMS (we do not use e-mailed Word and Excel files, which saves every- body a lot of time). How much do you have to know about each of your markets? Do you take a var- ied approach for each country-specific site? Or do the sites merely require trans- lation to be effective in a newmarket? We conduct research before choosing which markets to cover. Our content is written in English using professional writers and industry insiders. We try to create the most relevant and accurate content possi- ble. Then the English content is translated into other languages and additional coun- try-based content is added to reflect infor- mation that is important for those reading our sites in different languages. Howmany people does it take tomaintain so many sites? We have six full-time em- ployees and also regularly use the services of 10 to 20 freelancers. What’s the biggest challenge you face in terms of maintaining all of your sites? There are many challenges in running a business like ours and the biggest chal- lenge for me is creating sites in languag- es we do not speak. We need to rely on freelance translators who are not easy to manage. How do you ensure quality content in several different languages? Initially we encountered many problems with multi- lingual content management. For exam- ple, we had some translators who thought they could use the “Google translate” tool, but we learned from experience and built a tool that recognizes content that was translated automatically by software as opposed to by a person. This now saves us a lot of time and money as far as doing QA on all translations. Any plans to add more sites, or to take some of them down? Yes, of course. We constantly add new sites while maintaining our focus on quality design and content. How longhave youbeenworking in the in- dustry? What drew you to the business? I began my journey into the world of online affiliate marketing in the year 2000 when I started working in a marketing depart- ment for a big Internet company. There I gained basic knowledge in Internet mar- keting. In 2002 I started working for an SEO company, promoting different sites in search engines, and simultaneously started building my own websites, pro- moting them in search engines and work- ing as an affiliate. By 2005 my friend and business partner started a poker website for the Russian market – This gave me a bet- ter understanding of what I could achieve in the gaming industry. At one point in time I worked for an oper- ator. I also consulted Play65 (major back- gammon brand) and helped 888 enter the Russian poker market. In 2010 we started to operate as a full- time business, building big portals con- centrated on the gaming industry. Are you a full-time online gambling af- filiate, or do you hold down another job as well? Online gambling affiliation is my full-time job. You’ve said that as you became a big af- filiate your expenses grew accordingly, and that today expenses are much higher than they were five or six years ago. Could you elaborate on this for us? The industry is very competitive, with new businesses joining the rat race every month. You have to keep up with the competition and con- stantly update and invent. In addition Google is continuously de- veloping and improving their algorithm, which in turn makes Google work slower, making it much harder to get noticed in the sea of gaming affiliate websites. For example, just five or six years ago you could see results within three or four months. Now it takes much longer and requires a lot more people and bigger budgets to achieve. What do you like about the industry? I like the flexibility of being able to work with different people from different countries and backgrounds. It’s a chal- lenge, but it makes my working day very interesting. I can’t say that I ever experi- ence a boring workday. What don’t you like about the industry? There are still many unprofessional peo- ple in this industry. You see many “hit and run” businesses, and some companies don’t respect their affiliates. There are lots of opportunists. What surprised you themost about the in- dustry? The sense of camaraderie that af- filiates all over the world have. I frequent affiliate forums and see the amount of help and advice we offer each other and it warms my heart. I also tend to travel to all the big gaming conferences, where I enjoy in person the same sense of camaraderie I get online. GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES GIL GALPERIN genich99 Don’t let success get lost in translation! GPWA Affiliate Interview Series