In this edition of Affiliate Spotlight, we caught up with Buen Paso Media Co-Founder and Managing Director Felipe del Pino. Before founding his own company, Felipe had spent time as Global Head of SEO at The Stars Group.
Buen Paso Media is an international SEO agency specialising in iGaming, with a fully-remote team. The company offers its services in English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
Felipe discusses the importance of link building for online gaming affiliates, as well as best practices. He also talks about why Buen Paso Media chose to focus on iGaming.
Anyway, that’s enough of us talking. Over to you, Felipe!
AffiliateINSIDER: What is the benefit of the “middle-man” method on link building and what does it mean for affiliates?
Felipe del Pino: “Many affiliates, especially small and medium-sized ones, tend to spend their link building budgets wisely and want to make sure they build links to theis most important landing pages. These are normally those driving the most traffic and conversions, which are usually money pages. There is always the feeling that building a link to a non-core page is a bit of a waste.
“Building links like this is fine. But long-term, it probably isn’t the best option because the site’s link profile might be considered unnatural.
“The middle-man method, as a well-known SEO tool named it recently, has been around for a while. This method consists of building links to blog posts or non-money pages, editorial content that will have internal links pointing to the money pages on your site, ideally with exact matches as you can control these.
“Page rank flows onto those money pages via internal linking, helping them rank better. Links built this way might not be as impactful as building them directly to money pages, but they have many benefits in my opinion.
- They make the site’s link profile more natural.
- Publishers are more inclined to link to an editorial piece than to a money page, so you will have more chances to obtain links from higher-authority sites.
- When you get editorial links, you can’t always decide the anchor they’ll use but can control the anchors of your own internal links.”
AI: How effective is tiered link building, compared to other forms?
FdP: “Before I get into that, let me explain that tiered link building is the process of building backlinks to your backlinks. Now, going back to your question, let’s say it works and it helps.
“When talking about links, we need to have page rank in mind too. If five sites link to a publication with a backlink to your site, that backlink will carry more page rank, more SEO value and therefore help your rankings.
“This requires more effort and I would not base my entire link building strategy purely on this. However, I’d definitely focus on building a second tier of links to the best links you have built over the years. You can even rank those articles and get some extra referral traffic when you do tiered link building correctly.
“Dedicate some of your time on this and the benefits for your affiliate business will probably surprise you.”
AI: What are common iGaming affiliate struggles you see when it comes to link-building? How do you help to address these?
FdP: “Most affiliates’ concerns are around backlinks. They want to make sure they build the right links on the right sites, so their rankings in Google go up.
“Many would just go to a competitor, review their link profile, and contact the same sites that are already linking to the other guys. Some lack the time or knowledge to do proper outreach, to look for sites that are not linking to any site competing against them in the SERPs, or sites that are not even linking to any iGaming sites at all. It takes time to convince webmasters to do it, which is where we come in.
“We help affiliates find suitable online publications that otherwise they may not be able to find, and offer advice on best link building strategies.
“Building links in foreign markets is also incredibly challenging for many UK-based affiliates. They need local links for their non-English websites and we can help them with those too. For instance, there has been a lot of interest in Brazil lately, with a decent number of operators and affiliates entering the market in the past year or so.”
AI: Why did Buen Paso Media decide to specialise in iGaming?
FdP: “Our background is in iGaming; I have personally worked in the industry since 2007. We understand the challenges that both affiliates and operators face on a daily basis. The technical issues on their sites, the links they can’t get, the content they are not producing.
“We want to help them overcome these challenges. I believe we do it successfully with most of our clients as our retention rate is high.”
AI: Going forward, how do you see link building evolving over the next 2-5 years?
FdP: “Difficult question, as with all things SEO and Google. Links have been around forever, and I think they will continue to be one of the most important signals for Google for years to come. Having said this, as Google keeps giving other user-centred metrics more weight, it is possible that links might count less in the future.
“My advice to all hard-working affiliates would be to focus on building contextual links on strong domains that have a good relationship with Google. Those links will matter more as time passes by.”