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  1. #1
    dahammer2 is offline Private Member
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    Default Linking to Casinos

    Hi All

    Great forum, I've been lurking for a while reading everything etc and itching to qualify for full member

    Back to the topic.. casino affiliate programs provide linking code and often say "You must link like this" e.g. take referback casinos, or lasseters. From a SEO point of view this is bad because these are straight text links which release pagerank. The affiliate program Terms and Conditions usually suggest you could have your account canceled for linking in other manners. However, when I view other portals who often rank in the top 10, they don't link in these manners. They usually have their own custom link redirectory i.e.

    /links.cgi?id=XXX will take you to casino XXX

    Are these people risking having their accounts terminated or do the affliate program managers simple turn a blind eye?
    how do other people manage these links?

    Theres also the added bonus that I can track my own click thru's and keep casino's honest and quickly and easily compare the effectiveness of a range of banners etc

    Thanks

    Hamish

  2. #2
    VPJunkie is offline Private Member
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    I've never heard of anyone losing their account because they used a click tracking program. HOWEVER, you also have to be careful of whose links you change, because it can affect their tracking ability. Vegas Affiliates seems to have particularly sensitive tracking, but most of the others you can do pretty much what you want.

    Now - what does that mean about losing page rank for a straight text link? I never heard that before. :-?

  3. #3
    dahammer2 is offline Private Member
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    Ok, I'll give you a brief run down on my understanding of pagerank
    First: Pagerank isn't everything but its worth managing

    If you really want to see how it works AND hurt your head (mines still in recovery) check this link out.
    http://webworkshop.net/pagerank.html

    Here's a summary:

    You only gain pagerank from incoming links.
    Outgoing links release pagerank.
    The pagerank of any individual page on your website is a function of incoming links (and their pr value) and outgoing links.

    Theirfore any link that the google spider can see that exits your website releases some pagerank. For example a normal A HREF tag will release some pagerank if its linked directly to XX casino. Using a CGI redirect, javascript or some other method you can hide the link from google bot. Its visible on the page, googlebot simple can not follow it, hence its not spamming. Its the same reason why google doesn't like some sites with "cool" javascript menus because it can't get to the sub pages due to the javascript.

    The best analogy for how page rank works is to think of each webpage as a bucket with taps and holes. Each link in is a open tap letting water into the bucket and each link out is a hole in the bucket. Assuming there's no gravity, the water will flow between each bucket and form a certain equalibrium. Once equialibrium is established buckets with 1000's of incoming taps (think yahoo homepage) compared to few outgoing holes will have more water in them than those with few incoming taps and many outgoing holes.

    Remeber tho, people do get hung up on pagerank, and all the pagerank in the world won't rank your site highly if you don't do all the other things. Else if pagerank was the only factor then google, cnn, yahoo etc would rate number 1 for every search right? since there's only about 10 sites with a pagerank of 10....

    oh and another thing, link exchanges are still vital.
    Even tho you are giving away some pagerank, your also recieving pagerank. but more importantly your recieving pagerank from a website with similiar content and theirfore googles ranking algorythm will rank you higher on searchs concerning that content. For instance a link from a pr 6 site on horses isn't worth as much as a link from a pr 5 site on casinos. BEcause your advertising casino's not horses (well you *could* be advertising horse racing sports betting I guess

    I just don't want to give a casino pagerank when there not going to replicate the link back to my website

  4. #4
    VPJunkie is offline Private Member
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    This is the first I've heard of "giving up" page rank thru outgoing links. And I appreciate that thorough explanation, but I'm not quite sure I buy it. :-?

    If you're trying to prevent Goog from reading an outgoing link to prevent "PR loss", how does Goog feel about that? I mean, since it's their "ideal" internet to have everyone linking to everyone, it seems to me they'd realize it when they start hitting "stops" on outgoing links.

    Why, then, would I ever exchange links with a site that's using that practice? If *my* rank is dependent on the number of incoming links, and I'm exchanging links with pages that are blocking Goog from reading its outgoing links, where's the benefit to me? :-?

    And I have to agree with you that PR is highly overrated. I held #1 on Video Poker for the first 6 months of this year (just fell to 4 in the last dance), and I've *never* paid attention to my PR (5-6); and regularly add my friends' new sites - with 0 PR - to my index page, so they'll get indexed faster. It's never hurt my SE rankings. I think people confuse PR with Rankings.

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    dahammer2 is offline Private Member
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    Just check that the link to your website is a link google bot can follow, e.g. www.yoursite.com in a A tag. Then you will recieve the Pagerank benefit.
    I've seen many link exchanges from portal sites where they have googlebot ok links to each other but at the same time they have links to casinos which google bot can't follow. This situation is ideal for both parties because the person is restricting pagerank loss to the casino and then his gain is passed onto the person he's link exchanging with. (I hope that makes sense)


    Link exchanges are very important because both parties benefit from the exchange, both recieve a "Vote" from the other. If google can't follow the link from the other site back to yours, then you recieve NO benefit!

    And your right, I wouldn't buy it 100% either because google are continually change the way they work. If you focus on one tiny aspect such as pagerank and linking you won't get anywhere.. optimize your page and just keep in mind how pagerank flows

    I think we'll find google doesn't penalize people for plugging the wholes instead they will simple learn how to read the holes. If your browser understands the links why can't googlebot?

  6. #6
    Ace Fun's Avatar
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    I love people that put "cool" javascript links on their sites because when surfers disable java the links don't work and the surfer moves to another site.

    You get hammered a bit by Google if you have more than 40 outgoing links on a page, but I don't think the odd casino link makes much difference. If you're worried, run it through an intermediate page as internal links don't count (but a relevant keyword in the name helps).

    Just remember - if Google can't see it neither can some surfers.

  7. #7
    donl is offline Public Member
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    While dahammer's explanation is not 100% accurate, the gist of it is correct.

    The amount of pagerank that an outgoing link on your site gives is determined by 1) the PR of the page with the link and 2) the number of links on the page.

    There is no direct penalty for having a lot of outgoing links (to sites other than yours) on your pages, but there is an indirect PR penalty.

    For example, if you have no external links on your pages (ie you are only linking to pages within your site) then you keep 100% of your PR. The value of a link is the PR of the page with the link divided by the number of links on that page.

    So, let's say you have a 2 page site (an index.html and a page.html). Your index.html has only 1 link on it (to page.html) and page.html has only 1 link as well (to index.html). Therefore, page.html will get 100% of index.html 's PR and then page.html will then give more PR back to index.html. It seems like this would go on forever since now index.html has a higher PR now (from page.html) it would then give page.html more PR, and so on. However, google uses a recursive algorithm with a dampening factor, and on each iteration the PR given by the link decreases until the google DB reaches a steady state.

    Now let's say you've got a 2 page site (same as above) but each page has a link to some other site. You have this situation:
    - page.html will get 50% of index.html's PR and the other site will get 50% as well

    - index.html will now only get 25% of the original PR back from page.html (instead of 100%). This is because page.html has an external link as well and therefore "gives away" half of its total PR (which is only 50% of index.html's total PR) instead of keeping it all internal to the site.

    Now a good way of being able to have outgoing links but still maintain most of your PR is to have a large number of internal links compared to the number of outgoing links. Just to be clear, internal links are links to pages on your site. Since the PR contributation of each link is determined by the number of other links on the site this minimizes the PR contribution of each link.

    This is why it's good to look at the number of links on a person's link page before trading links with him.

    Now as far as using CGI redirects, this doesn't prevent the loss of PR. All it does is throw a bunch of PR at the CGI script. Since PageRank is calculated on a page-by-page basis, this is no different than linking directly to the casino.
    www.bettingmonster.com - PM me to exchange links.

  8. #8
    dahammer2 is offline Private Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by donl
    Now as far as using CGI redirects, this doesn't prevent the loss of PR. All it does is throw a bunch of PR at the CGI script. Since PageRank is calculated on a page-by-page basis, this is no different than linking directly to the casino.
    True but you can take measures to stop googlebot seeing that link.

    One thing I was wondering is if you put a exlude on the directory/file that you use to redirect to casinos, google won't index that file. These pages from memory usually have a pagerank of "0". Will google however include links to that page when calculating a individual pages PR that links to that page.
    If it does, then wouldn't that be creating a PR blackhole?
    Just in case that made no sense, put page B in the robots exclude list, page A links to page B and C. Is the PR of A calculated using B & C or just B.

    At a guess, since google can't determine the PR of page B, it might just ignore links to B. Perhaps thats more wishful thinking and I'll have to stick to other methods.

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    donl is offline Public Member
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    Blocking that directory from googlebot won't prevent the PR loss, it will just prevent the script from getting a PR boost.

    Use javascript links to keep google from seeing the outgoing links. I don't have numbers but I think most people have JS enabled.

    ...

    Just checked my site's stats out: 0.15% of my visitors have javascript disabled.
    www.bettingmonster.com - PM me to exchange links.

  10. #10
    universal4's Avatar
    universal4 is offline Forum Administrator
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    If you are blocking outgoing links.....why would we want to exchange links with you??

    I mean...it certainly won't help our PR because you don't want google to see the link back to us...

    Use javascript links to keep google from seeing the outgoing links. I don't have numbers but I think most people have JS enabled.

    Rick
    Universal4

  11. #11
    donl is offline Public Member
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    he was talking about linking to casinos (affiliate links) not link exchanges.

    It can be a good idea to mask the affiliate links because the casinos don't link back to you.

    Since you get a return link from a link exchange it is generally mutually beneficial to trade links, and thus no need to mask links to link partners.
    www.bettingmonster.com - PM me to exchange links.

  12. #12
    donl is offline Public Member
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    Masking affiliate links will also help link partners because it effectively lowers the number of links on a given page (as seen by Google) therefore making the link to your site more valuable.
    www.bettingmonster.com - PM me to exchange links.

  13. #13
    Alby is offline Private Member
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    Default JS Links

    There is another aspect to using links that Googlebot can't see, (like JS or re-directs), for the affiliate links.

    Some people, (quite a few), believe that Google actively penalise sites with a lot of affiliate links. Penalisation does not necessarily mean that they are given PR 0 and/or not ranking at all, but simply that they might rank lower than they would have done if those affiliate links weren't on the site. The reasoning behind this argument is that Google does not think affiliate sites add any real value to their index. They are simply sites linking to the "original" content, and Google would rather that the original content, (i.e. the casino) ranks higher instead of the user having to go via an intermediate site to get there.

    Although there are a lot of affiliate sites that add little or no value to the user, we all know that this is far from true for most well designed affiliate sites. I think Google knows this also, and therefore does not penalise sites that have a decent amount of content. Just my theory...

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