We met Alexandru Stan, co-founder at Extremoo Ltd for an interview about his business and thoughts about the industry.
Hello Alex, how are you? Are you ready for SiGMA17?
Hello Marius, excellent! Looking forward to the SIGMA17 conference.
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
Back in 2012 I started a SEO and web-design company. We always put passion in the projects we’ve done and delivered exemplary work for our clients. One day one of our clients convinced me to work just for him, he had an online casino to promote. That is how got acquainted and fell for the industry.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
Certainly, we have a large mother company that owns two smaller ones situated within the same office. The first company is called Zozye.com and offers among others specialized SEO services for the gambling industry. The second one is focused on handling our web-sites network. Both company function as separate entities each one having their own CEO as well as Web Development, SEO, design, UX, Content writing, Social Media, Affiliation and Marketing departments. Today I am the Chairman for both companies. Here we laugh as much as we work … and we really work a lot!
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
I can’t say I am surprised, this is how things work in other industries too. Companies that reach a certain level switch their focus onto acquisition and less on developing their own sites or companies. We buy, sell but also develop. We buy when we have the assurance that, that site will grow in our hands. When we sell we do it at a fair price and we develop with the purpose to bring value to the market.
A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?
I believe that things get done properly when there is focus and passion. You can’t excel at everything, therefore we will keep focusing on affiliation and not brand acquisition. It’s a completely different business.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
We’ll maintain our focus on creating quality content and try to be two steps ahead Google’s algorithm. We won’t change our direction in the next 6 months unless better opportunities arise.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets ?
Although our focus today is in UK, SE, DE, NO, but because we have our office in Romania, we started a network of local websites trying to gain a market share of 20-30%. We see the potential of currently developing markets. In Romania there’s still no talk about CPA. So it’s as easy as taking candies from a child. And if we do not invest now, then bigger corporations will do it sooner rather than later.
How do you find UK market and competition?
Although the local UK market is strong, in the affiliation market (websites) there’s still a lot of room for development. Even now there are first page results of .com website with or without a mobile version, even though today 60% of the traffic is mobile.
Google would favor a website having an UK TLD (.co.uk), with servers in the UK, but there are still not enough websites of good quality. Google wants to give relevant results on each search, otherwise people would lose the interest to search.
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?
Us being at core a SEO company build on passionate specialist, we haven’t been affected by any updates made by Google in the last 4 years, actually we’ve grown each time. Google doesn’t change the factors influencing the websites’ position in Google, but rather the percentage of importance of those factors. The purpose is to get rid of spammers and irrelevant results.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
Yes. We planned to open an operational office in Malta and another thing, we are setting up a plan to be able to offer you an infrastructure in Romania, so SIGMA can organize a Bucharest Affiliate Conference.
What is the main thing that you’d like Sigma readers to know about your sites?
By this means, I would like to salute all SIGMA readers. We are opened to collaborations. With regards to the websites developed or owned by us, I can say that we’ll always keep up the quality and give people plenty of reasons to come back to us.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
Like I was said before, the traffic is about 60% mobile, so just about everything we do starts with that in mind.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
Personally, we aim that one of our websites wins the 1st prize, and for the entire affiliate sector, we believe that this should be their biggest challenge.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
To the affiliates starting down this path, I say that there is still a lot of room in the market and if they have passion for the industry and act accordingly they will succeed. As for advises: develop your network, be fair and don’t be afraid to try new things. When Henry Ford created the car without a horse, everybody though he’s crazy.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
I play for fun. If I were to win 1 million Euros at a Jackpot, I would donate all the money to a hospital. I’m an entrepreneur and I know how to make my money by bringing value to the market. Again! I would donate all the money to a hospital.
|Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.
||Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?