OGQ: Affiliate and SEO analyses of the US igaming market in Q1 2023
Online Gambling Quarterly provides a vertical/segment-specific analysis of US online gambling operators’ affiliate and SEO activities
According to the analyses carried out by Online Gambling Quarterly (OGQ) in spring 2023, DraftKings leads the search engine optimization (SEO) betting rankings in the US. FanDuel leads the betting affiliate ranking and is featured on 90% of the betting-focused affiliates in the US, while BetMGM leads the ranking in casino affiliates.
The top gambling advertisers on affiliate websites in the US
To benchmark brand/operator presence on affiliate websites, OGQ looked into the affiliate sites that appear among Google’s US top 50 results for 20-30 betting- and casino-related keywords. The researchers then analyzed the advertisers/brands featured on each affiliate site.
• Betting-specific affiliate benchmarking: The analysis was based on 127 affiliate websites that made it into Google’s local top 50 search results for 20-30 betting-related keywords. FanDuel leads this ranking and is featured on 90% of the betting-focused affiliates. Runners-up are DraftKings and BetMGM.
• Casino-specific affiliate benchmarking: The analysis was based on 63 affiliate websites that made it into Google’s local top 50 search results for 20-30 casino-related keywords. BetMGM leads this ranking and is featured on 75% of the casino-focused affiliate sites. Runners-up are FanDuel and DraftKings.
The top-ranked US online gambling operators
As in most online industries, ranking in search engines is a crucial success factor. Therefore, the OGQ team prepared some analyses to answer the question of which operators are doing the best job in SEO in the US. To do so, the team analyzed the top 50 Google organic search results for about 20-30 specific keywords related to betting or casino (e.g. NFL betting).
They then produced a search result ranking for every keyword and vertical and gave each website ranked a reciprocal number of ‘SEO points’ regarding its rank (e.g. rank one = 50 points, rank two = 49 points, all the way through to rank 50 = one point).
The OGQ team then associated each website to key online gambling brands. The focus of the analyses is on brands/websites and not on companies operating these brands. For the final ranking, the brand/website with the highest number of SEO points received the SEO score of 100. All other websites were given scores based on their SEO points in relation to the score of the top brand.
In Q1 2023, the SEO analysis for the US market included 31 betting-related keywords and 21 casino-related keywords. (The full list is available from the OGQ.)
Betting SEO analysis: DraftKings leads the way
Across all 31 betting-related keywords, DraftKings takes the first rank. For 61% of the analyzed keywords, DraftKings was able to take the first rank (27% rank two). Runners-up are BetMGM (13% rank one; 8% rank two) and FanDuel (3% rank one; 6% rank two).
Casino SEO analysis: BetMGM takes top spot
Across all 21 casino-related keywords, BetMGM takes the first rank. For 0% of the analyzed keywords, BetMGM was able to take the first rank (0% rank two).
Runners-up are 888casino and Bovada.
Top-ranked affiliates on Google in the US
So far, only a few affiliates have been able to establish their own brand reputation in the US. Therefore the Google ranking is of crucial importance for most affiliates. To prepare the SEO ranking for affiliates, the OGQ team analyzed the top 50 Google organic search results for 20-30 specific keywords (or terms) related to betting or casino (eg. ‘best casino sites’). Then they produced a search result ranking for every keyword/vertical and gave each affiliate site ranked a reciprocal number of ‘SEO points’ regarding its rank (eg. rank one= 50 points, rank two= 49 points, all the way through to rank 50= one point).
The SEO analysis included 31 betting-related keywords and 21 casino-related keywords:
For betting-related keywords, Actionnetwork.com and Covers.com reached the highest SEO score.
For casino-related keywords, Casino.org and PlayUSA.com reached the highest SEO score.