It seems that Google penalized BetOnline for one reason or another. BetOnline’s marketing director issued this statement: “BetOnline outsources portions of its marketing effort, including portions of search engine optimization, to various marketing vendors. One of the marketing vendors, and more specifically one employee at one of the marketing vendors, appears to have been ‘playing the edges’ of the rules at Google. Google has placed a search engine ‘penalty’ not only on BetOnline but all sites for which the marketing vendor performs search engine optimization. BetOnline is in direct contact with Google, and is currently going through the process of resolving the issue.”
Link buying, while frowned upon by Google is still a common practice in the gambling industry where landing on the front page for highly searched keywords can make or break a sports season.
What companies will do is pay a marketing company to solicit high ranking websites to add a static link to a particular page on the online gambling company’s website. For example if the Sportsbook was trying to rank high for March Madness Betting, they would have these highly ranked sites embed a link somewhere on their site for March Madness Betting and the link it back to the gambling operators website, depending on the page rank of site, individual links can cost between $80 and $500.
“It looks like a classic case of not being careful with their link building and having too many site wide links. Things like this trigger filters and that draws the attention of the Google Police,” Garner said.