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Machine translation quality assurance - 1ST Blog

Machine Translation quality assurance

Even though the classic fully human translation, namely the one totally entrusted to professional human translators, still remains the top choice when seeking the highest translation quality, machine translation reviewed by human translators (called MTPE or Machine Translation Post-Editing) is nowadays considered a viable alternative that has the advantage of reducing costs and delivery time to the client.

4 minutes – read

In the past decade, great progress has been made in Machine Translation-related research, especially thanks to neural machine translation engines, which have been created and calibrated in relation to the increase in multilingual content to be translated under tight deadlines and the reduction of related budgets. MTPE is the effective solution to these needs: thanks to human revision, it produces, within certain limits, a good quality translation, quickly and with significant economic benefits.

Machine translation quality assurance – 1Stop Blog

Machine Translation Post-Editing

MTPE is a type of hybrid translation, in which the automatic process is followed by a phase called post-editing, or revision by human translators. But how does this type of translation work? First, the software translates the textual content in bulk; then human translators verify the entire content, improving its accuracy by checking form, syntax, terminology, and adaptation (localization). Through this process, the work of the machine is refined, with the goal of achieving a level of quality that can only be achieved by human intervention: the latter adds nuances that the machine is unable to achieve. In this way, the final output of MTPE will be very close to that of fully human translation.

MTPE is a type of hybrid translation

ISO 18587:2017

For Translation Agencies, MTPE is regulated by the ISO 18587:2017 certification, which defines the necessary requirements for workflow, activities, and skills related to post-editing. Specifically, it provides:

  • the assurance by language providers of the total correspondence between source and target (translated) text, as well as the full comprehensibility of the output
  • the complete documentation of all necessary requirements for post-editing projects
  • a set of specific requirements for the figure of the professional proofreader
  • the precise identification of the translation output (human or machine)

In addition, ISO 18587 helps improving productivity, selecting the most appropriate resources to be allocated on the post-editing activity, and thus allows the agency to remain competitive, and still provide a quality product, in a market where the demand for machine translation is growing.

What are the benefits of MTPE?

MTPE combines the speed of machine translation with the skilled attention of a professional translator. In addition, the editing activity on the machine-translated text is faster than classical translation because the time required to revise a text is less than the time it takes to translate one from scratch, allowing the overall costs of language localization to be reduced.

Human revision also ensures that the result is:

  • structurally, terminologically, spelling, and grammatically consistent
  • error-free and accurate in meaning
  • clear and understandable to the target audience
  • improved in terms of cultural sensitivity
  • in line with industry standards and client guidelines
MTPE combines the speed of machine translation with the skilled attention of a professional translator

Conclusions

In conclusion, MTPE is a type of hybrid translation that can be applied in various sectors, including iGaming, which guarantees an excellent output. This type of translations is highly beneficial for the client since it reduces costs as well as delivery time; however, it is always preferable for the machine work to be accompanied by the review made by a professional translator so that eventual inaccuracies can be polished. To do so, it is of utmost importance to work with companies that follow precise requirements, have high quality standards, and are experienced when MTPE is concerned.

1Stop Translations, an ISO 18587-certified translation company, is the ideal partner to turn to and guarantees the highest quality of the translated text, regardless of volumes, languages and technology used. Our translations meet the highest quality requirements set by international standards, which dictate not only perfect comprehensibility of the text, but also consistency of terminology, lexical, and stylistic consistency.

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Quality? Checked.

Quality? Checked.

The choice of a trusted partner is a complex and delicate action. When selecting a supplier, it is essential considering aspects like competence, quality, professionalism, seriousness, and reliability. But how can these elements be recognized beyond reputational information, which is often difficult to verify in advance?

4 minutes – read

One of the tangible proofs are undoubtedly system certifications, issued by independent bodies when achieving certain standards in a specific field of activity and followed by periodic audits and renewals to ensure that the certified levels are maintained over time.

The most important global organization that deals with the definition of technical standards and the requirements to be met for issuing certifications is the ISO (International Organization for Standardisation). Possessing an ISO certificate guarantees and demonstrates a company’s commitment and responsibility to continue to improve its processes and comply with regulations; it also provides a transparent, objective, standardized, and international technical reference framework.

But let’s see in detail which certifications are of interest in the translation field.

Quality? Checked
Quality? Checked. – 1Stop Blog

ISO 9001:2015 – Quality management systems

ISO 9001:2015 is the international standard for Quality Management Systems (QMS), published by the ISO, that determines the standards for the creation, implementation, and management of a QMS for any company, regardless of its size or sector of expertise. As an international standard, the certification is recognized as the basis for creating a system that ensures customer satisfaction and improvement in any company and, therefore, many companies consider it as a minimum requirement when choosing their suppliers. 

The ISO 9001 consists of ten sections; the first three are introductory, while the last seven contain the Quality Management System requirements. Its main benefits are:

  • improving a company’s image and credibility
  • improving client satisfaction
  • completing process integration
  • basing decisions on facts
  • creating a culture of continuous improvement
  • involving people
ISO 9001:2015

ISO 17100:2015 – Conformity for the quality of language services

ISO 17100:2015 is an international standard – which replaces the previous standard EN 15038:2006 – focused specifically on the translation services sector and directed at translation agencies as well as translation offices within companies.

The certification identifies the requirements for the main processes, resources and other aspects needed to perform a quality translation service that meets all the applicable specifications. Moreover, its application allows Language Service Providers to demonstrate the conformity of specific translation services to the Standard and the ability of its processes and resources to perform a service that meets the client’s specifications and other applicable requirements, that can be company-specific or related to the adoption of good practices or codes of conduct and relevant legislation. 

The most important feature of the certification is the definition of the translation process, in which translation in the strict sense is only one of the steps and does not guarantee quality unless a revision is carried out by a second translator, as well as the precise definition of the professional skills of each of the participants in the translation process, mainly the translators, revisers and project managers.

The aforementioned skills defined in the ISO 17100 standard include:

  • translation competence
  • textual and linguistic competence in the source and target language
  • research competence
  • information acquisition and processing competence
  • cultural competence
  • technical competence
  • sectoral competence

Furthermore, the translator is required to have at least five years of experience in the field in which they translate/review.

ISO 17100:2015
Trust the experts.

1Stop Translations is ISO 9001, ISO 17100, and ISO 18587 certified for the quality of language services.

Our translations meet the highest quality requirements set by international standards, which impose not only perfect comprehensibility of the text, but also consistency of terminology, lexical and stylistic consistency, making us your ideal partner when multilingual content management services are concerned.

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Sigma Europe 2022: towards new markets!

Sigma Europe 2022: towards new markets!

Once again SIGMA EUROPE has proven itself to be an amazing chance to meet old friends and potential partners in the wonderful Maltese islands.

3 minutes – read

The second edition of SIGMA after the COVID outbreak returned with a bang. This time the entire MFCC was dedicated to the exhibition, resulting in both the number of exhibitors and visitors to increase in a significant way, if not even double.

Sigma Europe 2022: towards new markets!
Sigma Europe 2022: towards new markets!

Thanks to this boost, the 1Stop Translations team was able to meet hundreds of people from all over the world, cultivating relationships with existing customers and establishing new connections. It was interesting being able to speak with them, to evaluate all the possibilities of partnership, to talk about upcoming projects, and to highlight the value that 1ST can provide by guiding iGaming, Fintech and Esports businesses towards new aims and targets. Once again, human contact was proved to be irreplaceable, adding that extra touch and sense of closeness that is missing when compared to the everyday communication via email or video calls. The feeling of meeting people we recognized from LinkedIn and simply seeing names of people in the field we know but never met in person was one of the highlights of the conference and something not achievable online. Our journey towards new markets was off to a great beginning, starting with the graphics of our stand and our spectacular advertising campaign courtesy of iNTERGAMINGi.

Sigma Europe 2022: towards new markets!

The leitmotiv that 1ST wanted to follow during the exhibition was the journey towards new horizons, represented not only by emerging markets (Asia, Africa, LatAm), but by all those markets that embody a new point of expansion for all those companies that have decided to internationalize and broaden their business. Said internationalization process takes place primarily through Localization, mixed to the implementation of Marketing Services such as SEO Outreach, Influencer Marketing, SMM and so on. During the various meetings, we had the pleasure of being able to explain how, thanks to our expertise and integration of services – extending from multilingual content management to the implementation of digital and international marketing services – we help companies in the iGaming, Fintech, and Esports sectors to expand their horizons and reach new markets. Furthermore, as we all know, SiGMA is not just business; the joy, the people, the drinks, the music, and the whole atmosphere is what the event really stands for.

Walking around the floor in between meetings and talking with new people who were enthusiastic about their inventive and imaginative products or services was intriguing. By doing so, we could interact with others and discover answers that we might otherwise have overlooked. Attendants were not only part of big companies but also start-ups with great ideas and potential, so this kind of networking is ideal for widening our horizons regarding perspectives for business.


Sigma Europe 2022: towards new markets!
1Stop Translations interviewed by SiGMA TV

Having said that, we are looking forward to 2023 and all the surprises we are sure SiGMA will have in store for us.

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LIGHT UP NEW HORIZONS - AFRICAN MARKETS

Light up new horizons: African Markets

African markets have attracted a growing number of iGaming investors in recent years, since Africa has both short-term and long-term potential, and the market is still far from being completely saturated.

5 minutes – read

This increasing interest was due to the continent’s consistent economic growth and the rising accessibility to mobile devices. The local government’s willingness to work on establishing a controlled legal environment for the internet gambling business, which also assisted them in generating new local revenue streams, also aided the continent’s position.

LIGHT UP NEW HORIZONS - AFRICAN MARKETS

Light up new horizons

Regulations overview

The rapid expansion of the African iGaming business could not have happened without regulatory support in addition to technological developments. According to their level of gambling regulation, African nations can be categorized into three main groups:

  • Countries with market regulations
  • Countries with no market regulations
  • Countries where gambling is prohibited in all forms

Countries belonging to the first category benefited from large investments in the iGaming sector. As a result, tax revenue has increased, and those money can now be used to invest in other industries. The first country to legalize gambling was South Africa, and thanks to its successful implementation, other nations have followed suit. Consequently, iGaming flourished in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Nigeria. These nations have increased revenue through gambling taxes by preventing offshore corporations from profiting fully from online casino activity.

The big three

Even though the sector is expanding across the whole continent, three nations stand out as Africa’s top gambling markets in 2022: South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

African markets, a new horizon to explore

Nigeria

In 2021, Nigeria had the biggest GDP in Africa, equal to $441 billion USD. Moreover, the population of the nation is the highest on the continent. In Nigeria, gambling was made legal in 2004, and the first online casino opened its doors in 2013. The National Lottery Regulatory Commission issues licenses to both online and offline gambling businesses and the popularity of sports betting, particularly on European football, has increased as a result of the proliferation of mobile connections and payment methods. Furthermore, over 30% of Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 40 gamble on a daily basis. However, games like poker, roulette, and dice games, are still prohibited in Nigeria.

South Africa

South Africa ranked second in 2021 with a GDP of US$420 billion. Business endeavors, including iGaming, find the nation to be particularly alluring due to the size and stability of its economy. Online lotteries, live dealer games, and sports betting are all quite popular in the area, but online casinos are not allowed, unless they are opened by legally recognized land-based bookmakers. Therefore, without many domestic options for online casino games, users frequently use offshore platforms. The bulk of sports bettors in South Africa, who make up about 50% of the adult population, wager at least once every month. In this regard, investors can consider this market to be an excellent choice for the creation of an online sportsbook.

Kenya

Most forms of gambling are legal in Kenya, and hundreds of brand-new online casinos have popped up recently. The nation is a pioneer in the development of interactive games, and millions of Kenyans frequently visit online casinos. The scenario in Kenya’s gaming market is comparable to that in Nigeria, but because it has a smaller population (47 million), it is not growing as quickly. Kenyans love to gamble on sports, especially football. However, due to recent legislative changes, some major international firms have left the market, potentially creating a sizable void that has to be filled.

Growth opportunities

The increasing number of young people on the continent is important when it comes to online gaming and generally enhancing the user experience on mobile devices. Mostly, iGaming players in Africa are between the ages of 18 and 35, making it the only place in the world where younger people make up a bigger percentage of the general population on an annual basis. Uncoordinated regional bureaucracy makes it more difficult for the iGaming sector to thrive in Africa. Nevertheless, it is a modest price to pay given the favorable changes in legislation, the size of the markets, and the cultural acceptability of betting and gaming. Overall, the youth of the continent love to gamble and have broad access to the internet, which suggests that Africa has a lot to offer.

Payment methods

In Africa, mobile payments are by far the most popular type of payment. Many players simply do not have the choice to keep an account with a conventional financial institution; in other circumstances, some banks will not execute transactions involving gambling. Mobile is the answer, just like it is for internet connectivity. For example, Kenyans who don’t have access to bank accounts now have economic independence thanks to Vodafone’s M-Pesa service, which enables users to make payments using their mobile contracts. All the nations of East Africa, including Tanzania and Uganda, are familiar with the solution. The three most used payment processors are MTN, Airtel Tigo, and Vodafone.

To now more about NFT read our article

The importance of localization

Africa is huge, with a wide variety of cultures, languages, financial requirements, and betting preferences and customs. Therefore, for those operators aiming to flourish in this diversified and dynamic industry, they have to include all these elements in their planning.  In particular, if we consider the linguistic aspect, it is important to remember that Africa has more than 1000 languages, but the most spoken ones – besides English – are Swahili, Ahmaric, Yoruba, Oromo, Hausa, Zulu, Shona, Arabic, French and Portuguese. Therefore, being able to offer as many languages as possible, or at least the most commonly used ones, is of utmost importance in order to allow more people to enjoy the iGaming experience at the fullest. Not all companies can accommodate such request, thus working with a provider specialized in this market is almost mandatory; a lot of experience is required to manage and choose the right language to implement in order to firmly establish your presence.

Conclusion

Following Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa’s footsteps, several African nations are attempting to enact gambling-related frameworks and laws. Governments throughout the continent are drawn to the potential of the favorable effects of investment and the financial gains to those that proactively embrace gaming legislation. The rise in the number of young people, the popularity of sports betting among millions of people, the availability of cheap mobile phones, and the rollout of 4G and 5G networks could all accelerate the future change of the African gambling industry.

And you, what are you waiting for?

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Light up new horizons: Latam Markets

Light up new horizons: Latam Markets

Numerous dynamic nations, some of which hold exceptional prominence in the iGaming industry, may be found throughout Latin America. There will always be opportunities for businesses to succeed in markets like Brazil and Mexico even just considering their size and number of potential players.

5 minutes – read

In the meantime, favorable competitive situations can be found in countries like Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. Of course, there are less developed countries, but even these could eventually prove to be very promising. This largely depends on the regulatory environment and economic stability of the nation; if these two elements come together at the right time with the appropriate telecommunication and payment processing options, nations like Venezuela, Ecuador, and Uruguay would present formidable potential to both operators and suppliers.

Despite this, only Colombia and, more recently, Argentina and Brazil have made progress when it comes to regulation. Alternate payment methods and social acceptance of internet commerce have been the biggest advances. Additionally, the Covid problem appears to have sped up the shift to online gaming and served as a signal for nations to swiftly enact iGaming regulation.

Light up new horizons: Latam Markets

Light up new horizons

Regulations overview

Some nations have outlawed gambling due to its complicated regulatory position, while others have only deregulated it. In the meanwhile, province-by-province regulation is the norm in places like Argentina. As a result, the landscape must be examined case by case, country by country, and partner by partner in order to target the finest chances. Essentially, quality rather than quantity ought to be the main priority. Making the ideal local alliance and maximizing the current company’s offering can be more profitable or ROI-effective by carefully analyzing the available possibilities and comprehending the long-term nature of business.

Growth opportunities

Despite the long delay between the regulation of the Colombian iGaming market in 2016 and other nations, LatAm is still a particularly attractive region for the gaming industry due to the sheer scale of the potential market – there are more than 200 million people living in Brazil alone. According to the GSMA, smartphone adoption will reach 73% across the region by 2025, while the World Bank projects that internet use will exceed 80% in Latin America and the Caribbean in the next few years. Additionally, there will be a wider variety of legal gaming alternatives available through this connected penetration. While positive advances have been achieved in Brazil across numerous channels and verticals, online betting and gaming are currently being legalized in Chile, Uruguay, and Peru.

Light up new horizons: Latam markets

Latam markets, a new horizon to explore

Payment methods

Statistics on banking and payments in Latin America vary significantly from country to country and region to region. For instance, compared to people who live in the south of Brazil, the majority of individuals in the north do not have access to financial services like bank accounts, debit cards, or even credit cards. Latin America does not have as much access to the market as other nations like the US or Europe, consequently local financial institutions, payment networks, and fintech firms are more well-liked than those based elsewhere.

Even though there are still many people without bank accounts and cash transactions still predominate in the area, consumers are growing more at ease utilizing digital wallets and contactless mobile payments. By adapting and innovating, several Latin American nations have created alternative payment systems for their citizens without access to financial institutions. As a result, to improve the inherent financial inclusion of this region, fintech, banks, and even governments are rapidly embracing digital payments.

It is crucial to understand local bettors’ payment preferences and provide alternatives that people are accustomed to in their native nation and will find to be the most advantageous given their current situation; doing so enhances their betting experience and builds trust.

light-up-new-horizons-latam-markets_1Stop_Translations

To now more about NFT read our article

The importance of localization

Latin America is one of the most diverse regions in the globe with 20 nations and 13 dependencies. The majority of these nations speak Spanish and Portuguese, but there is also greater variation when taking into account that there are English-and Dutch-speaking parts. Before approaching these particular regions, these key considerations ought to be considered while customizing a project.

However, languages are only one component of localization; sports, leagues, and betting preferences of the locals are also important elements. Given that Latin Americans are among the most ardent football supporters in the world, it should come as no surprise that football is the dominating sport in this region, subject of more than 67% of their wagers.

Content localization is therefore crucial when it comes to sports enthusiasts; LATAM bettors follow more than just the major football leagues, therefore operators must also cover the native football leagues and teams in each of the countries in Latin America.

The betting experience is another significant factor. Each nation in Latin America has its own unique gaming culture. For instance, European players bet differently than those from Latin America. Operators can anticipate lesser wagers placed more frequently; for slot machines, this will mean more spins throughout a session. The involvement of gamers can be raised by various bonus types, cross-sales, and other marketing strategies. Additionally, the region is quite open to adding new features.

The enormous importance of localization – 1ST Blog

Conclusion

The iGaming sector sees great promise in Latin America. Countries with imminent favorable legislation are anticipating extraordinary levels of growth in the near future whereas markets that have already made the decision to regulate online casinos and sportsbooks are witnessing stable expansion in the sector.

In the next five years, it would be in Latin America’s best interest to have regulations in the majority of its countries. As of now, players are not protected, and these nations’ economies are not benefiting from the tax advantages that laws would offer because either semi-regulated or uncontrolled markets are still operating with little to no control. Once a strong regulatory base has been established, we can actually begin looking into the possibilities that this dynamic continent has to offer.

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Light up new horizons: Asian markets

Although Asia is undoubtedly not a continent that encourages gambling, dismissing it would be a mistake.

6 minutes -read

Although Asia is undoubtedly not a continent that encourages gambling, dismissing it would be a mistake. In many countries, opinions have changed noticeably in response to the growing awareness of player safety measures and the potential worth of the sector in terms of state income, making legalization possible where it had previously been unthinkable.

The iGaming sector too has had a rapid expansion due to millions of people turning to online entertainment as a result of the pandemic outbreak and restrictions on socializing, leisure activities, and access to land-based casinos. According to the data provided by e-Conomy, in 2020 40 million people in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand placed their first online bets or gambled.

Light up new horizons: Asian markets

Light up new horizons

Regulations overview

Operators are drawn to Asian markets by their enormous potential, yet it is still difficult to enter the sector. Most countries have strict laws governing gambling and betting, and only a small number of businesses are legitimately authorized to operate. Nevertheless, the tendency appears to be toward a gradual legalization.

This is mainly due to the fact that black markets operated by gambling syndicates (which provide neither player safety nor transparency) have grown in many nations where gaming has long been outlawed. Therefore, some countries are altering their policies in an effort to counter this phenomenon – and monetize on the residents’ newly discovered entertainment preferences – by gradually allowing gambling.

Light up new horizons: Asian markets
Asian markets, a new horizon to explore

Growth opportunities

In 2021, it was estimated that the worth of the online gambling market was around USD 57.54 million and that it would increase at a CAGR of 11.7% from 2022 to 2030. The industry is being driven by rising smartphone usage for online gaming both at home and in public, as well as rising internet penetration rates. Additionally, elements including cultural and legal acceptance, ease of access to online gambling, endorsements, and sponsorships are encouraging business growth. Thus, the market is anticipated to expand even more as a result of the accessible and reasonably priced mobile applications. 

Blockchain’s contribution

Play-to-earn models that are integrated with NFTs are receiving a lot of attention, since they offer full ownership and let players generate money from the time they spend playing the game. For instance, the Asia-Pacific region particularly enjoys the NFT game Axie-Infinity, with between 40 and 50 percent of users coming from the Philippines. With the Play-To-Earn technique online gamers may develop, breed, and create more while earning extra passive revenue. Consequently, the persistent desire to expand economies instantly becomes embedded in society. This encourages a solid and resolute relationship. In particular, India has a high population of phone users and gamers, hence the growth of blockchain-based gaming may outpace the economic growth of the country. 

1stop-translation_light-up-new-horizon_asian-market_3

To now more about NFT read our article

Local payment methods

Operators must assist the Asian markets by providing a wide variety of payment options in order to give comprehensive regional convenience and experience. Generally, Asian players prefer eWallets over bank transfers, credit and debit cards, and other payment options. Additionally, there is Thaipay, which is available to gamers from Thailand, and 2C2P, the largest payment system in Asia, which takes payments from users even without credit cards.

International marketing

A strong marketing strategy is necessary when expanding into new areas. To draw in and keep participation, advertising must be properly localized as well as relevant and sensitive to cultural differences. For a marketing strategy to be as efficient as possible, SEO outreach and link building are some of the best services to be carried out. As a matter of fact, through local connections and affiliate networking, it is possible to reach gamers in any desired region and enhance traffic, as well as to improve advertising results. It is not a coincidence that using affiliate networks with contacts in the region is what has helped the Asian market grow.

The importance of localization

Success in Asia requires a segmented approach that takes into account the political and cultural preferences of each nation. Hence, knowing your players and providing them with material that is specific to their region is a terrific way to draw them to your website.

When talking about efficient localization, multiple variables are taken into account, such as preferred content and suppliers, languages, sports, leagues, offering views, and odds formats. Taking cultures as an example, Mahjong is well-known in China whereas Pachinko is more prevalent in Japan. In general, the most widespread games among gamblers are live casino games with local live dealers, baccarat, roulette, sic-bo, slot machines, lotteries, and skill-based games with very popular activities such as hunting and fishing.

Another example is related to India, where cricket is the most popular game for sports betting, so it is important to provide wagers on local games for bettors who wish to bet on lower-tier leagues as well as the World Championships in order to satisfy individual demand. Some of the other prominent sports in the area are Basketball, UFC, badminton, Muay Thai, and football.

Language is another element that is crucial to the success of localization. Major linguistic distinctions exist across several nations and geographic areas. Operators must provide versions of their websites in the languages that players prefer in order to satisfy local requests. To do so, it is of utmost importance to collaborate with translation companies highly specialized in the iGaming sector that cover all the languages needed to enter these markets.

1stop-translation_light-up-new-horizon_asian-market_4

The enormous importance of localization – 1ST Blog

Conclusion

Until the Asian gaming market is stable and regulated, operators wanting to enter the market must be aware that there will be periods of low revenues as well as periods of high turnover. Moreover, once regulations are loosened, governments should be aware that Asia is likely to become the next major market for internet gambling.

So far, the legalization of sports betting and online casinos has been made possible by the decriminalization of casino gambling in numerous Asian countries. According to current trends, live dealers, table games, and slots are expected to rule the gambling sector in Asia. Currently, the only options available to residents are gambling in brick-and-mortar casinos, going to countries that permit online gambling, or using offshore platforms to access online casinos.

 

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Asian markets

Link Building, explained properly

Positioning a website on Google requires an appropriate link building strategy, but sometimes this activity tends to be neglected or not done properly.

10 minutes -read

Positioning a website on Google requires an appropriate link building strategy, but sometimes this activity tends to be neglected or not done properly. 

Forcing the positioning by link building with unsuitable practices may produce the opposite effect, causing the website to fall in the SERP and, in the worst cases, to disappear completely from the search engine. 

In this article we’ll address the topic with the knowledge that, especially for the iGaming and Betting sector, there are few ways to boost organic positioning and to increase visits to a website, being severely limited by current regulations and content sponsorship.

link building
How to navigate the link building jungle – 1Stop Blog

What is link building?

Link building is the construction of a network of links among websites. If you think about the web itself, it’s made up of these links among web pages, and all search engines do is browse this huge network, evaluating which pages are most suitable based on search criteria and rewarding, among other factors, those pages that receive more spontaneous references from other pages. 

Google not only appreciates links but also needs them for its own proper functioning, in order to give users the answers they’re looking for when they perform a web search. Google itself is keen to let users know that links are awards given by choice, which reward the quality and usefulness of the content. Therefore, the more valid and interesting the content, the greater the chances that another user will offer it to their readers and include the link in their content.

By means of complex and sophisticated algorithms, search engines can understand how pages are connected to each other, evaluating links with their own internal parameters.

link building
Do you think that’s the right way to look for connections?

How Google evaluates backlinks

At this point there’s little scope for quantity—it’s quality that reigns supreme in Google’s evaluation criteria. Before Penguin (the latest update of Big G’s algorithm), it was possible to increase popularity and positioning based on the number of inbound links to a given page. Quantity was the only yardstick. No checks, no attention paid to individual pages, not even a basic analysis of the site hosting the backlinks. This jungle in which SEO analysts wallowed lasted until 2012, when Google’s algorithm saw a drastic overhaul. 

The main goal of Penguin was to break down all kinds of spam activities, identify unfair link purchases and exchanges between networks that had no other goal than to distribute backlinks here and there without any logical criteria. In short, Google started a battle against “adulterated” pages, as was said at the time. Wild link-swapping practices were considered by Big G to be an outright violation of Google’s webmaster instructions. From that moment on, things changed dramatically.

The evolution of Google and SEO

In recent years, Google has further perfected its algorithm, its key goal being the evaluation of link quality, which looks at a variety of factors. However, the evaluation of a webpage continues to be based on backlinks, and this parameter remains one of the key evaluation criteria, even though today the algorithm is much more precise in detecting evil webpages.

So, how is link building actually done?

After having clarified the theory, let’s look at the practical aspects. Link building remains the most effective technique for optimising off-page positioning—pushing an ill-conceived page with mediocre content won’t serve any benefit overall. In practice, increasing the number of inbound links to a webpage pushes the search engine to assign it greater authority, placing it towards the top of the SERP. Of course, as we have seen, Google is currently also able to evaluate indicators such as quality, nature, origin, relevance, etc., of which the incoming link will leave a trace. 

link building
the enormous importance of analysis – 1ST Blog

The importance of backlink analysis

As mentioned above, the determining factor in setting up an effective link building strategy is the credibility of the site the backlink originates from. If the latter comes from an authentic website, with a history and a high reputation in terms of SEO, the quality index of your site gets a boost. 

Conversely, if the site the backlink originates from is designed to host “guest posts” and generate links only on paper, the backlink has a high probability of receiving a negative score and being penalised in terms of its quality index.  

The main strategies to link build effectively

A tried and tested strategy involves the creation of optimised content with specific target keywords, which deepen the topics covered by the host site. Remember that Google’s algorithms have become very accurate in capturing the relevance of backlinks. In this regard it might be useful to study the current ones and track them as No-follow or Follow links

Another effective way, especially in the iGaming and Betting sector, is to be included in themed websites or blogs with topics and reviews related to online gaming platforms: this increases the access points to the site of highly targeted users and offers a significant boost in terms of SEO.

How to get natural backlinks

The best way to obtain natural backlinks is through “link earning” – the free and unmanipulated increase of links and citations of your page. The natural earning of backlinks occurs when the content (news, information, insights, etc.) is deemed useful by the host site. Google is keen to ensure that links are spontaneous and free from manipulative interventions. As it is easy to imagine, link building experts set up strategies to disguise the planning of campaigns that at first glance are classified by Google as natural links. 

The risks of link building

It is practically impossible for Google to recognise paid backlinks from spontaneous ones; however, some steps to this end have indeed been taken by Big G. It’s possible for the search engine to detect the so-called “link schemes”. This includes, for example, a practice called “link neighbourhood”, or the bidirectional exchange of backlinks without any added value and in non-linear contexts. And it’s certainly possible that Google will be able to identify content full of links, anchor texts and keywords with the sole purpose of increasing a page’s ranking. If this is exaggerated, the page ranking system collapses to the point of jeopardising the visibility of the entire website

For this reason, link building is now considered an art, and the SEO analysts who master this discipline are few and far between. A strong strategic ability is required to plan a link building campaign, as well as also creativity, intuition, overview and, of course, an adequate budget.

How are backlinks evaluated?

Now that the big picture is a little clearer, let’s take a look at the practical aspects of link building. 

First of all, we need to understand the value of the link that we have received and whether it could offer a real-world advantage in terms of positioning. It is practically impossible to fully define all the factors that contribute to the progress in the ranking (or to the loss of positions in cases of malpractice). The detailed functioning of the Google algorithm is only known by Google, but we certainly have access to clues and signals to help us understand it a little more.

Quality links

The quality of a backlink is evaluated by analysing and combining a series of parameters.

The most important parameter is popularity, or how relevant and authoritative the website is. Then the geographic and content relevance is assessed:a completely off-topic site coming from a foreign domain will be looked down upon by search engine crawlers, whereas a vertical, on-topic site with high domain authority will most likely offer excellent benefits in terms of SEO.

Another relevant variable is the site’s trust. We can define the trust parameter as a kind of “criminal record” of the website. If in the past the site was subject to link exchange activities aimed at deceiving the search engine, it will have a dirty criminal record, or a lower trust score than the sites that have always played by the rules. Obtaining links from websites with high trust scores guarantees 100% SEO improvement.

The main SEO monitoring apps define trust as a value ranging from 1 to 100, 100 being the maximum score.

The age of the link is also considered. Search engines favour younger links as they consider them fresher and more current.

Lastly, there’s the social spread. It’s still not abundantly clear how search engines interpret links from social media, but it seems that these have some influence on page ranking.

link building
always looking for the right key – 1ST Blog

The key elements of a link

Along with the characteristics that define the quality of the backlink, which we can consider more “generalist”, there are more specific parameters related to the content the link points to. 

An increasing number of experts argue that the position of the link within the page is significant. Links positioned at the top and easily visible seem to provide greater quality to the backlink, but to date this remains a hypothesis, supported by non-exhaustive data and evidence. On the Google side, all is quiet, so we have to figure this all out for ourselves.

A point of consensus among the vast majority of SEO analysts is the anchor text factor. Anchor text is that portion of text that links to another site, which we usually find underlined in a different colour. This practice is almost unanimously considered one of the strongest signals for the ranking even if, in the past it’s been used with a certain flippancy, leading to huge penalties in the most serious cases. 

We should avoid forced cases, for example if our site includes too many anchor texts which, coincidentally, are all identical and match the keyword of the page the link originates from, we’re giving Google the impression of wanting to play fast and loose with the rules. 

Conclusions

Our journey through the Link Building Universe ends here, but let’s end with a consideration.

We know that there are few opportunities to promote the iGaming and Betting sector online and we know how difficult it is to create a complete 360º strategy to “turn on” a sales funnel. The restrictions in terms of advertising are well known, and SEO outreach/link building remains one of the most important practices to increase online visibility and receive new traffic, which we can then use to implement lead generation strategies.

If you decide to invest in this practice, rely on genuine professionals and be wary of those offering low-cost strategies: link building shouldn’t be a “low budget” practice but a complex tool which responds to precise strategies. As well as complex, it’s also delicate, and there’s a non-trivial risk of spending money and obtaining the opposite effect to the desired one.

Did you like the article? Contact us to let us know what you thought.


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Metaverse

5 things you should know about the Metaverse

Will Virtual Reality really become part of our Real Life? As we start to familiarise ourselves with the Metaverse, here are the main fun facts we would like to share with you.

3 minutes -read

Metaverse
5 things you should know about the Metaverse

1. Why the Metaverse is not new

A Metaverse is defined as any form of digital reality populated by avatars capable of interacting with each other. Video game fans are well aware that this type of reality has already been established for years: just think of Roblox and Second Life, just to name a couple.

The idea itself is not new either: the term was coined in 1992 by science fiction author Neal Stephenson in his cyberpunk novel ‘Snow Crash’.

2. What the Metaverse really is

The Metaverse is a virtual world we choose to visit to distance ourselves from the real world. It is and will be an escape from the world inhabited by our bodies, which will allow us to have completely new experiences and which we can enter through a PC, a game console, a mobile device or a wearable device. Our experience will be 100% 3D. The link with reality comes through the type of experience we are going to have: often we will find ourselves in front of an exact copy of the real thing we experience every day, for example a café where we go in to have a coffee but as our avatar. Escape from Reality, but also a new Reality.

3. What you can buy in the Metaverse

Compared to familiar experiences such as Second Life, in the new Metaverse, thanks to NFTs, virtual coins can be purchased with real money: a real, certified digital asset. The revolution lies in the fact that images, and virtual objects in general, become exclusive objects that can be purchased through the use of the blockchain, with a non-replicable code that makes their possession unique.

4. What is the difference between the Internet and the Metaverse

If you think the Internet and the Metaverse are the same, you are wrong. The first one is a network of computers, servers and other electronic devices: users, once online, communicate with each other, interact, visit sites, make purchases, and so on. The Metaverse, on the other hand, is a true Virtual Reality where users, through their avatars, interact, perform activities, make purchases and participate in events in a world that mimics the physical one and which they access using technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), social media, and digital currency. On the Internet you simply surf, in the Metaverse you live.

5. How to enter the Metaverse

Meta is accessible via the Oculus Quest 2 VR. However, there are also other devices that can open the virtual doors of this reality: VR headsets, AR glasses, computers, tablets, and smart phones. This aspect is not yet fully outlined and definitive, but we know that the more immersive the device, the more engaging our experience in the Metaverse will be.

Are you looking for an influencer for the Metaverse? Get in touch!

influencer marketing

Influencer Marketing: advantages, types, and best practices

The success of Influencer Marketing lies in its ability to increase the awareness and profits of companies.

The term Influencer Marketing refers to the action of ‘influencing’ people, with the aim of generating strategic word-of-mouth to positively influence brand awareness. Influencer marketing must, however, be part of a broader and more precise marketing strategy that establishes testimonials, channels, and targets, while respecting the rules of advertising.

Some facts on Influencer Marketing

According to statistics, the influencer market is constantly growing. While total sales reached $15 billion in 2021, it is estimated to reach $20 billion in 2022 and it is not expected to slow down until 2025. It’s no surprise then that 63% of marketers plan to run social campaigns with influencers as part of their marketing strategies.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Is nothing more than a marketing branch interested in pursuing activities involving one or more influencers, that is, people who have an influence on the purchasing power of others.

The influencer can be a testimonial, a blogger, or a social reviewer, to name but a few examples, but also a more or less famous personality from the world of sport or entertainment.

According to a recent study, 77% of users use social media to search for products and services; the presence of influencers is therefore crucial as it mainly concerns the younger age group between 18 and 34.

Brian Christopher – global influencer. 1ST Blog

Key factors of Influencer Marketing

For digital content creators, the key factors that determine the Influencer Marketing strategy are reputation and authenticity; then they analyse the influencer’s followers and their loyalty. The factors to consider when choosing the right influencer include the number of followers, their perceived authenticity, narrative, compassion, originality and some kind of “normality” about their story.

With this basis, you can build a brand reputation and a strong Influencer Marketing campaign.

influencer marketing
Lady Luck HQ – YouTube Influencer

Defining influencers

There are four types of influencers:

  • Micro influencers: with a following of between 10,000 and 100,000 followers
  • Mid-range influencers: with a following of between 100,000 and 500,000 followers
  • Mega influencers: require a high investment because they have a following of between 500,000 and 2 million followers
  • Star influencers: here the number of followers surpasses 2 million, they are considered real stars, exactly like Chiara Ferragni, the queen of influencers

Conclusion

Influencer Marketing is a world that requires specific knowledge and skills related to general marketing, social media marketing, and digital PR. Since this is a very complicated field, working with an agency specialised in this sector is essential for companies looking to invest in this type of advertising, regardless of the type of influencer.

For more information, ask for a free consultation here.

advergames

Advergames are not gamification

We live in a time characterised by huge competition, a lot of strategy, persuasive technology but also… boredom.

In fact, in the digital marketing sector, it’s increasingly difficult to find useful content and tools to secure the attention of the target audience. Buyer personas increasingly tend to distance themselves from the brand if it fails to constantly fulfil their need for stimulation.

Advergaming fits into such a scenario. It’s the emerging promotional tool with the highest potential for effectiveness, capable of generating fascinating results.

Advergames are not gamification – 1ST Blog

What are advergames?

Advergames, also known as advertising games, are among the most powerful tools that a company can use to bring customers closer to its brand. With this technique, the product is advertised while the consumer has fun.

In the UI/UX creation of the video game, each element is key to achieving the goal: music, graphics, names, colours, and so on. The creation of an advergame requires strong commitment, similar to the one needed when creating a video game, in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of the game itself. Even though it will certainly be less complex in terms of structure, levels and plot.

What is the difference between gamification and advergames?

Advergames should not be confused with the current trend to apply game mechanics and techniques to non-game activities, i.e. gamification. The difference between the two concepts is clear.

Gamification uses videogame mechanics to build customer loyalty among the various contexts in which the game is not initially expected. Advergames are games created around a brand seeking to engage the public and convey its values to consumers.

M&M’s Flip the Mix

It’s a new way to achieve brand awareness, aimed directly at users to make them feel an integral part of the entire process.

We also need to differentiate advergames from another industry concept: in-game advertising. This technique consists of including advertising for a product or brand within the game. The best-known example of this is the collaboration between the producers of The Avengers and Epic Games when the character of Thanos was included in the hit video game Fortnite to promote the film.

Advergames virality

A feature that distinguishes successful advergames is virality. If designed correctly, some features can help the game reach virality. Here are three ideas: 

Ease of sharing. Advergames playable in web browsers are much more shareable than apps to download or software to install. To share the game with a friend, simply share the link. Fast connections and the latest smartphones allow you to create increasingly complex games that can be played on browsers.

Social Currency. Will players be proud to tell friends about their gaming experience? The answer depends on how the advergame is structured. We like to share our status, achievements, useful information and victories with other people. An advergame with game mechanics capable of stimulating these feelings will be more likely to be shared.

Two examples of advergames

Nike React Land

Nike React Land

The traditional experience of trying on shoes in stores has remained unchanged for decades. Nike tried to rethink this phase of the customer experience for the launch of React.

How it works

To try on running shoes, you run inside a video game similar to Super Mario. The game is simple: you have to keep running in the real world to move your avatar forward and press a button to jump over obstacle. When you fall, it’s game over.

Game mechanics

Avatar. When you enter the store, a photo of you is taken to create your own personalised avatar.

Ranking and Points. Your score increases as you explore React Land. Game over marks the end of the experience inside the store. When you lose, you are shown the position you reached on the leader board.

Shareable element. Upon exiting the store, you are given a 10-second video to share on social media. The video is personalised and shows your experience inside the store.

Limited number of participants. The experience is exclusive: there can’t be hundreds of people entering the store at the same time.

Rescue Matilda

Rescue Matilda – Advergame of Chiara Ferragni

This is Chiara Ferragni’s advergame in which you have to save her little dog Matilda. The game is a platformer in which the user plays as Chiara Ferragni. The advergame encourages users to subscribe to the newsletter and visit the brand’s e-commerce site. The first step in order to play is to create a profile with a username and password. The advantage of creating a profile is the ability to save the game and resuming it at a later time.

The advergame has achieved interesting results: 350,000 games played by 120,000 users in 140 countries around the world. As many as 40,000 people have given their consent to subscribe to the newsletter.

Positive aspects of advergames

If you’re interested in advergames for your business, you’ll need to know the main advantages for promoting your product or service:

  • if the video game goes viral and the brand’s goals are exceeded, the impact can be astonishing
  • it’s a form of advertising that adapts to any medium
  • it allows you to outperform the competition
  • it’s a new and attractive experience for the user
  • the product or brand remains engraved in the consumer’s mind
  • high ROI can be achieved if the advergame campaign is successful
  • it can be easily integrated into your existing marketing plans, accelerating goal achievement

… If you want to know more, contact us for a free quote here

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