We met Dorin Cechea from Gambling Judge for an interview about his company and thoughts about the industry.
Hello Dorin, how are you? Are you ready for SiGMA17?
Hello Marius! I am good, thanks! I really look forward to this year’s SiGMA. I will be attending for the first time and I am very excited!
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
It all started a few years ago after working as an SEO freelancer. I was passionate about sports betting and gambling in general and it seemed only natural to build websites for this niche. I made a lot of websites and projects since then and I still like to write and talk about gambling. I currently work on GamblingJudge.com and other affiliate websites.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
I started as a freelancer, doing one-man jobs, trying to learn a bit of everything, but I soon realized that strategy is not good for big and steady projects. So I started a company together with a business partner. We have now on our team developers, web designers, content writers, SEO consultants and server experts. Some are working from our office, some work remote, from other countries.
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
I am not, to be honest. The industry is huge and I think it’s expected to see big mergers and acquisitions. I know the value of traffic and the truth is that big affiliate websites really deserve to be sold for millions of dollars.
A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?
We are sticking to building affiliate websites, since bringing organic traffic is our main expertise. We do however bring investors and partners in our team, since we are very eager to expand.That is not exactly white label but it’s already something similar that could develop even greater in the near future. Going the real money operator route is a different type of business and I don’t think we are ready for that yet.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
Yes, that is a big part of our strategy. We finished developing our product, a website that is very versatile and customizable. We are now using that template to create more websites that are based on great content and later on, good marketing strategies. That is our plan not for the next 6 months, but for the next few years. I still don’t see enough people putting their main focus on building quality content and link building campaigns.
Which marketsdo you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets ?
We are focusing on the sports betting and casino industries, which are huge in most of the countries. We are taking up on them little by little, trying to cover them as best as we can. We’ve been looking to enter the e-sports betting market, since it grows by day.
How do you find UK market and competition?
It is extremely tough for the sports betting and casino niche, talking from an SEO perspective, but there still are lots of long tail keywords and sub-niches that can be used to build traffic, even by the new webmasters. Just don’t expect to make any profit in the first year without a decent budget.
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?
Well, we are all familiar to the golden ages of seo and marketing, when almost all tactics worked. We too, like many others had websites penalized a few years ago. That caused a shift in our thinking and strategy and since 3 or 4 years ago we started to focus only on white hat seo. It’s a lot slower and more expensive to build quality content and links but we are here for the long run and are not open to compromises. We are working now only with long term projects in our mind.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
We are continuing to grow in size and quality our websites like GamblingJudge.com and some newer ones. We’re planning to build some exciting communities around them after we allocate the resources for this.
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your sites?
That we are working hard to provide accurate ratings for each operator, that we provide geo-targeted bonuses and promotions and that they can find genuine and honest articles on them.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
All our websites were optimized for mobile, even before the mobile update from Google. So most likely it helped us. Mobile traffic is huge these days and we wanted to satisfy mobile users right from the beginning.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
Our biggest challenge would be to climb in rankings for keywords with great competition. Fighting with well-established websites from UK is a difficult thing, but we’re building strong from the ground-up and I expect to see big results in the next year.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
Any new affiliate should learn to do very good research before starting a new project. Know how to pick your battles: profitable keywords, good social media strategy and smart paid ads are the main component of a good ROI. You should be able to project the result of a marketing campaign before committing too much effort and budget. If you’re just guessing, chances are it’s not going to end good.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
I don’t play too much, to be honest. I found out that writing about slots games is more profitable than playing them. I would invest the 1 million in a company or project that would bring me back several more millions back in 2 or 3 years.
|Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.||Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?|