Tomorrow is the race that stops the nation in Australia, with millions of dollars to be bet on Race 7 and millions of dollars been bet across the country.

Backlinks.com.au decided to take a look at another point of Melbourne Cup which many people do not even think of. This is the Organic Visibility of those whole rank on commercial terms for betting related keywords. As huge money can be made on the days leading up to the Melbourne Cup SEO & Link building are a HUGE part of the lead gen process. A great SEO strategy is a key element to any successful Melbourne Cup marketing plan.

Given that PPC bidding is quite expensive in the racing niche mainly it is flooded by foreign businesses who are cashed up and able to pour millions into Adwords campaigns and not even think twice. Many of the savvy larger affiliate players in this space rely heavily on SEO as a source of traffic and link building is easily 70% of the game we decided to take a quick look at some of the players in the space.

Taking a sample of websites which are ranking on commercial terms such as –

– Melbourne Cup Odds
– Melbourne Cup Form Guide
– Melbourne Cup Betting
+ Many more.

Now we have decided to look at root level URLS first in this analysis, taking the following websites from the analysis we have removed news portals and other non-affiliate or gambling based sites, because lets face it sites like News.com.au are going to have a very complex link profile which is not focused on Melbourne Cup Betting.

Now we can see from the analysis below that someone at Tom Waterhouse made the call to use a sub domain for link building and SEO reasons, in my eyes sub domains are not as effective as sub folders or root level targeting in commercial terms and this is evident from the organic reach of that page tho it could also be built for promotional reasons (who knows).

1. punters.com.au
2. racenet.com.au
3. tab.com.au
4. sportsbet.com.au
5. betfair.com.au
6. horseracing.com.au
7. races.com.au
8. justhorseracing.com.au
9. melbourne-cup.tomwaterhouse.com

Now the following graph below shows the total activity from a domain level point of view. 

Now as we can see brands like Tab, Sportsbet, Betfair and Races have been investing heavily in long term home page level link building to build the authority of the websites up. Now some newer players in the space seem to be going more after the long tail from the strategies they are focusing on.

Total-Links-Melboune-Cup

Now taking a look at fresh link building activity we can see that brands like Tab, Sportsbet, Racenet and the Races have been very aggressive with link building efforts in the last 2 months leading up to cup day.

Melbounre-Cup-Fresh-Links

Now we could spend all day looking at all the link profiles and doing deep analysis, though we decided to take two main affiliate players from the space and do some analysis on them – 

1. Races.com.au

2. Punters.com.au

Punters which seems to be a relatively new player in the space has really kicked off link building heavily in the last few months according to fresh link data, it is also worth noting that puntersparadise.com.au 301’s to punters.com.au which would impact the crawl rate of new links from the old domain.

Punters-Analysis

 

Races seems like they have been focusing on a more long term targeting strategy yet we see some huge fluctuations in fresh links in a short space of time:

Races-analysis

 

Looking into link context races also seems to be using PR and Link building hand in hand due to the large amount of Media based links in the profile:

link-context-races

Now compare that with Punters they do seem to be doing after various niches in the link building efforts and have not refined the targeting:link-context-punters

 

Looking at top level Anchor text targeting Punters link profile it does seem like they are going for a more branded approach with anchor text targeting:

Punters-anchors

 

Now a quick look at Races (Anchor text profile) shows they are focusing on a Generic link building approach:

anchors-races

A search for a query such as “Melbourne Cup Odds” the second most targeted anchor in Races profile shows they are on page two and Punters is in first position.

So this analysis shows us that companies need to focus on branded high quality link building if they want to do well, with something like the Melbourne Cup you would think they have their link building targeting on point in 2014. Sure one could argue that a historic link profile or a negative SEO campaign could be to blame for a high level of generic targeting, yet that is debatable.

These companies are probably more focused on long tail traffic and overall search visibility as well, so ranking for a few commercial terms is probably something not high on the overall agenda.

 Please comment on the article below and please don’t mention thing about specific link profiles sure we could pick little things out of all the websites. I am sure you could spend 20 hours doing analysis on all these sites and find out interesting things.