Welcome to the Pearl Gaming Newsletter for the week of March 27, 2007. In this week’s edition, you’ll find some very insightful tips on the importance of optimizing your web site’s first paragraph, and how the first paragraph alone can actually make or break your Google PageRank. You’ll also discover the importance of maintaining high visibility in multiple relevant Forums, as well as the significant benefits of managing of your own Forum. Learn some of the do’s and do-not’s associated with Forum posting and management to help maximize your web site SEO.

Some very interesting news stories have broken in the last week concerning NETeller and the DOJ’s case against them. Several members of the European Union topped the headlines, plus new efforts being made to regulate Internet gambling in the US. Be sure to read Pearl Gaming Internet Gambling News and Payment Processor News below for more information. Also, last week we announced the winners of Pearl Gaming’s Site of the Month and Property of the Month. If you missed them last time, be sure to check them out!

Special Announcements
CAP Award 2007 Nominations: CAP Magazine has announced their first ever Casino Affiliate Program Awards. Among the Nomination categories are Best Casino Affiliate Program, Best Poker Affiliate Program, Best Casino Affiliate, Best Poker Affiliate, Best Affiliate Manager and more. We at Pearl Gaming have made every effort to develop the most innovative, simplified Casino Affiliate Program to date, as well as providing 24/7 assistance and unlimited advice from our team of expert Affiliate Managers. If you think we’ve done a good job, please visit the CAP Award 2007 Nominations page to place your votes now!

Betfred Casino is holding a special promotion for on April 1, 2007. The promotion is called April Fool’s Bonus! All deposits made between 12am and 11:59 pm on this day will receive a matching bonus of 100% up to $100. A 15x deposit+bonus play-through is required to cash out the bonus.

Betfred Poker has supplied a new creative for their WSOP promotion. To utilize this creative, log into your CMS Admin Panel, click Banners and choose Betfred Poker from the drop down menu. You’ll find the new Betfred WSOP creatives under PokerPromos in the banner size/type options.

Shortcuts & Tips

Take Full Advantage Of Forums

There are two ways you can use forums to increase traffic and SEO for your affiliate web site. The first is by creating your own Forum on your web site. Pearl Gaming already provides an optional Forum for each affiliate web site. It is completely customizable and can be utilized to bring in more traffic. The second way is by posting on other people’s forums with related content.

We’ll cover posting on other forums first, because it will lead into why you should create your own Forum. Most forums allow you to add a signature to your posts, which is very important as you may edit your signature to contain a link to your web site. These kinds of Forums will require registering a user account. By writing interesting, relevant posts, and/or responding to other posts with ideas or good advice, you are not only making your name known, you are providing a backlink to your web site. Each backlink can raise your SEO, and by contributing useful advice and information, and becoming well known, other members may decide to click your link and even add your link to their own web site. In order to take full advantage of this, you should find as many related Forums as you can to post on. Visit them and post regularly – every day if possible.

The second method is creating your own Forum. As we just discussed, posting on related Forums will give you backlinks. If you’re doing it, many other people are doing it too, which means they are searching for related Forums. Create your own Forum and people will flock to it. Just throwing a Forum on your web site is not enough. Create a list of posting categories, relevant to your web site content, utilizing strong keywords. Post several topics in each category, also using strong keywords in the title and text. Create posts that are interesting and informative. You can also create Polls to attract responses from visitors. Check your Forum often to see if people are posting, and to respond to posts. By implementing these ideas into your Forum, you can not only gain a multitude of traffic on your web site, you’re doing wonders for your SEO as well.

Another benefit of having your own Forum is that it retains players. Once enough people are visiting your Forum regularly, you can set up Tournaments that will be more likely to draw an array of players. If good Tournaments are presented often, players will keep coming back for more.

Let’s review…

1. Seek out a list of Forums relevant to your web site content.
2. Post/Reply daily with quality information and/or advice.
3. Customize your own Forum with SEO in mind.
4. Develop strong Categories and Topics.
5. Create interesting Posts and Polls.
6. Once your Forum becomes active, create and post Tournaments.

SEO Secrets

Optimizing Your First Paragraph

When creating any web site, the structure of your first paragraph can make or break your chances for success and maximum SEO. However, SEO is not the only thing you must consider when writing your first paragraph. It must grab your visitors in order to keep their attention. If the first paragraph is boring, repetitively stuffed with keywords, or sounds like a complete advertisement, you might as well add a “Goodbye” to the end of the paragraph, because most of your potential customers will leave your web site. It should relay everything your web site has to offer and why your web site is the best place to get it. Read over the paragraph and make sure it flows, doesn’t sound like an ad, and is convincing to readers.

Do  not use an image above your text. This is for SEO purposes. Search engines give much higher relevancy to visible text than to image ALT tags, especially at the beginning of a page. Therefore, your site should start with keyword-rich content. Start the paragraph with a brief Title, placed within an <h1> Tag, utilizing one or two main keywords. Example: <h1>Place short title containing keywords here</h1>. The title should only take up one line, followed by the first paragraph. Search Engines give very high relevancy to keywords placed within an <h1> Header Tag.

Search engines also give higher relevancy to keywords that are emphasized with certain text decorations. In your first paragraph, when you use a keyword phrase for the first time, use text emphasis like Bold or Italic, or a combination of the two. Bold can be placed using <b>Bold</b> or <strong>Bold</strong>, use <i>Italic</i> or <em>Italic</em> to create italic text. When using the editor provided by Pearl Gaming to create a page, use the B and I buttons on the editor to automatically emphasize highlighted text. This should only be used once for each keyword phrase in the paragraph to prevent Search Engines from associating it with “keyword stuffing”, which will lower your page’s ranking. Over use of a keyword is also considered “keyword stuffing”. For instance, if the keyword “online casino” is found 10 times in a 3-sentence paragraph, it’s over-stuffed.

Follow this checklist to write the best First Paragraph for your web site:
1. Short title with keywords in <h1>Header Tag</h1>.
2. Informative and interesting paragraph – not an advertisement.
3. Emphasize each keyword once with Bold/Italics.
4. Do not use image above first paragraph.
5. Do not over-stuff keywords.

Internet Gambling Law News

US Bill Proposed To Study Online Gambling

It’s been confirmed that two congress members from Nevada, Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Jon Porter (R-NV), have begun legislation to conduct an 18-month study of online gambling. The study will be conducted by the National Academy of Sciences. Supporters of the bill, which is expected in the next few weeks, are sure this will convince the US government that adequate means of regulating online gaming are available. The purpose of the bill, Berkley stated, “is to provide a comprehensive study with detailed information on the expanded growth of Internet gambling."

Though it will be quite some time before the study makes any real impact on legislation, it is perceived that the results will offer enough evidence to convince the next president to enter the online gaming market.

EU Court Demands Open Market

The European Commission demanded Wednesday, March 21, that Denmark, Finland and Hungary open their gambling market to other EU States. The EU determined that their claims of protecting citizens from gambling were unfounded, as they promote and encourage the playing of lotteries and other gambling operations that acquire revenue for their own government. The gambling restrictions of these three countries do not meet EU law, and the European Commission stated they “have not been shown to be necessary, proportionate and nondiscriminatory."

Denmark, Finland and Hungary have been given two months to comply with EU law and change their national rules limiting sportsbetting within their countries. If they are not in accordance at that time, the European Commission is threatening to take them to court. It is widely speculated that Germany, Holland and possibly France, will soon be on the same “hit list”.


Payment Processor News

NETeller Returning Funds To US Account Holders

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) told NETeller Wednesday, March 21, that all funds belonging to US account holders, which were previously froze, may now be returned. The DOJ had demanded these assets be frozen earlier this year when they arrested two co-founding members of NETeller, John Lefevbre and Stephen Lawrence, accusing them of conspiracy and money laundering. However, more than two months have passed and still no official charges have been brought against the men.

Not so long ago, NETeller overpowered the online gambling payment processing market, claiming 85% of it’s business. Though their US account holders were disappointed at NETellers decision to terminate US member accounts, the disappointment paled in comparison to their outrage at the DOJ’s order to freeze all US accounts, which totaled a whopping $55 million.

You can imagine these same customers’ relief on March 16, 2007, when it was announced that NETeller signed an agreement with the DOJ and a forensic auditing firm, Navigant, providing NETeller a 75-day period in which to work out the arrangements as to how they’re going to return these funds in a practical, orderly manner to their US account holders.

This latest action by the DOJ brings in to question whether they actually have a case against NETeller. If the DOJ had brought official charges against NETeller, and won the case, the US government would have had the option of keeping the entire $55 million. Since they have elected to return the funds to their rightful owners, it is expected that Lefevbre and Lawrence will eventually be released and the case against NETeller dropped.

Another question is brought to the surface by these events. Assuming the DOJ does not believe they have a case against NETeller, even after the passing of the UIGEA in 2006, do they honestly have the right to prohibit financial institutions from processing Internet gambling payments to and from the US, as the laws stand?

Pearl Gaming Site of the Month

Nolan A – Beating Bonuses

From all of us at Pearl Gaming, we offer our proudest congratulations to Nolan, webmaster of www.beatingbonuses.com, and winner of Pearl Gaming's second Site of the Month. To win the Pearl Gaming Site of the Month, a web site must achieve maximum SEO, a high traffic rate, unique content and the most players. This can all be attained through the use of Pearl Gaming's innovative tools and features.

Nolan's Beating Bonuses web site is very unique and offers interesting content that draws multiple players to his web site. The web site is beautifully designed and is very easy to navigate. Visitors find excellent advice for novice and veteran players, including Odds Calculators, strategies, rules and other information on many of the most popular casino and poker games. As the name implies, you'll also find detailed tables describing the sign-up bonuses for each gaming site he offers. Bonus details can be viewed by all casinos, casinos offered by a particular software provider, game type, or by best casino bonuses.

Pearl Gaming spoke with Nolan about his web site, and asked him how he felt about winning Site of the Month. He replied, “I am happy and proud to receive Pearl Gaming's Site of the Month. There are many quality sites on Pearl Gaming, so the recognition is quite meaningful to me.” Nolan, who joined Pearl Gaming on Dec. 9, 2006, commented on Pearl Gaming's customer support, “Pearl Gaming's customer support has been outstanding, better than any other affiliate program I have been with. Karim and the team have gone out of their way to assist me on several different occasions.”

We at Pearl Gaming think Nolan has done an amazing job on his web site and are proud to have him as an affiliate of Pearl Gaming. Beating Bonuses will receive a featured link on the Pearl Gaming web site as our newest affiliate Site of the Month. Way to go, Nolan!

Pearl Gaming Properties of the Month

Pearl Gaming is proud to announce Manchester United Poker as this month’s winner of Pearl Gaming Property of the Month. Manchester United Poker has gained a magnificent reputation as one of the elite online poker sites. As part of the Betfred network, Manchester United Poker offers high quality entertainment, absolute security and great overall customer satisfaction.

At Manchester United Poker, players enjoy the finest poker games available, like Omaha and Texas Hold'Em. Powered by PlayTech software, game play is uninterrupted, providing streaming 3D graphics and an authentic poker playing experience. Promotions include Red Devil Loyalty Bonus, which accumulates points determined by the players VIP Level. The points are converted to Red Devil Bonus Dollars and added to the players account at the first of each month. Security and customer support are both excellent, with no problems reported in either department.

Another unique quality of Manchester United Poker, and one certainly worth promoting on your affiliate web sites, is that they offer Satellite Tournaments and Super Satellite Tournaments into the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Satellite tournaments offer lower buy-ins, allowing players to win their way to the WSOP, while the Super Satellite Tournament takes a higher buy-in of $375 ($350 + $25). However, the winner of the Super Satellite Tournament is automatically awarded a seat at the WSOP Main Event. The prize package, worth $14,000, covers buy-in, flight and accommodations.

As Pearl Gaming Property of the Month, we greatly encourage our affiliates to highlight Manchester United Poker as one of the elite online gaming properties available today! Manchester United Poker will be receiving a featured link on our web site as Pearl Gaming Property of the Month.

We at Pearl Gaming hope you've enjoyed and can put to use the knowledge contained in our Weekly Newsletter. In addition, if any affiliate of Pearl Gaming would like to contribute material to our future Newsletters, please feel free to contact and/or send the material to [email protected] Any material provided by our affiliates that is published in the Pearl Gaming Newsletter will receive a backlink to the affiliate's site. Please note that the content provided must be your original work.

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