Being a poker affiliate entails a lot of work. And being a poker webmaster entails even more work when you get a bad idea stuck in your head about what it takes to be successful as a poker affiliate. We can call these bad ideas “poker affiliate myths”. I hope to dispel some of these poker affiliate myths in this post.

Poker Affiliate Myth #1

You have to buy links to succeed as a poker affiliate. This is total absurdity. A clever poker affiliate can find dozens of ways to succeed without buying links. One of the most obvious ways to succeed as a poker affiliate without buying links is to target keyword phrases that haven’t been link-bombed to death. Plenty of longtail traffic is still easily obtained in the poker market. Other ways to get links to your site are still plenty effective, including link trading, article submissions, and directory submissions.

Poker Affiliate Myth #2

You have to offer rakeback in order to succeed as a poker affiliate. This isn’t a critique of the rakeback business model; rakeback webmasters have their business model, and that’s fine. But when people start thinking that you can’t make a living as a poker affiliate without offering rakeback, then something’s wrong. The most successful poker affiliate webmasters I know don’t offer rakeback, and they make plenty of money.

Poker Affiliate Myth #3

You should only get links from relevant sites, and you should only link to relevant sites. Link to whoever you want to. Get links from whomever you want links from. “Relevant links” are a myth – I’ve seen no evidence that if I have a seven card stud website that would indicate only links from other seven card stud pages help me rank well. If you have a poker site, and your buddy has a site about boardgames, linking to each other isn’t going to hurt either of you.

Poker Affiliate Myth #4

Reciprocal links don’t help your rankings, and one-way links are the end-all, be-all of SEO. Google warns about “excessive reciprocal linking” in their webmaster guidelines. Most webmasters don’t understand what the word “excessive” means, so they just avoid reciprocal linking altogether. You can read various definitions of the word “excessive” in Google by typing in “define:excessive” in the search box there. Then make sure your reciprocal linking campaign doesn’t match any of those definitions.

Poker Affiliate Myth #5

You can “sculpt” PageRank flow through your site by nofollowing so-called “unimportant” pages like your contact us and privacy policy pages. Since no one has any idea what the real PageRank of your pages are, it’s impossible to measure for a fact that denying PageRank to some pages on your site increases PageRank flow to other pages on your site. A much better idea for wannabe PageRank sculptors is to never launch pages that don’t rank for something or don’t matter for some reason.

I can think of a whole lot more poker affiliate myths, but I’m going to post about them another time. Some of the poker affiliate myths I’ve written about above will probably be controversial enough anyway.