GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 40- February 2018

COVER STORY NICK GARNER CEO and Founder of Casino eCommerce Thoughts on SEO for 2018: The age of competitive rankings based solely on links is coming to an end. As Google’s artificial intelligence/machine learning continues improving, we will hear stories of brands pouring fortunes into link acquisition and getting no results. Instead, this year will be the year of “satisfying content,” where web- masters who understand the importance of user satisfaction and engagement will rank. Why do I believe we have now entered the age of user satisfaction? Simply, when a ranking signal like links is abused so badly by so many people, resulting in such bad content rank- ing, it’s inevitable that Google will do whatever they can to get around this massive problem. Anyone reading this: Check for your- selves. Do a search query, and ask your- self whether these sites are satisfying to users in the context of the keyword you have searched. Invariably Google is finally delivering on satisfying con- tent. Furthermore, if you check out the link profiles for a large number of these pages, you’ll see either very few links or no links for rankings on big commercial phrases. Simply: Make your 2018 the year of user satisfaction. Thoughts on affiliate marketing in 2018: It’s the year of compliance (if you are car- rying UKGC-licensed brands). Operators are frantically putting together compli- ance programs to deal with the serious risk of losing their licenses. The catch is that different operators have different inter- pretations of UKGC recommendations, so it’s going to result in a large workload for affiliates. With the mega networks, they will have compliance systems that work across all their sites, but for smaller affiliates it’s going to mean a fairly serious compli- ance overhead and probably the loss of a number of operators on your sites. For operators, it’s going to be a difficult year ensuring compliance. I also see other regulated markets follow- ing the example set by UKGC on its drive for affiliate compliance. In other words, compliance is here to stay. My advice: Read up on the UKGC rec- ommendations, pay close attention to the mega affiliates and come up with some kind of sensible compliance pol- icy that operators can feel confident with. Then you’re more likely to keep those valid relationships and maybe even carve out a better revenue share for yourself. With 2018 upon us, GPWA members and contributors gaze into their crystal balls and predict what’s to come for the iGaming affiliate industry. The GPWA speaks W W W . G P W A T I M E S . O R G 36