Linking To Rival Poker Media Sites

One of my poker industry heroes, Bill Rini, picked up on something in my last blog which I wanted to expend upon, and that is the practice of poker media sites linking to other, rival, poker media sites, in their news reporting. And of course what I mean by this, is poker affiliate sites linking to other poker affiliate sites. 

A few years ago, this would be a tantamount to treason on a poker website. If a new poker writer made the noob mistake of innocently linking to a rival website, or a non affiliated poker room, in a story, then they would get a severe dressing down. 

Of course it makes sense why that would be. If the website in question had worked hard to create content, get good affiliate deals, and bring in traffic; why would they ever want to divert traffic to someone else who could get them to sign up to PokerStars? This was at a time where people were buying/selling/trading/bartering links like cigarettes in prison. 

The times have changed. The poker audience is much more sophisticated, and poker news is significantly more complex. I don't want to go into the debate about whether an affiliate site can have true journalistic integrity today, but it is clear we have turned a corner where linking is concerned. 

There is simply so much going on in the world of poker that we have to report the most important findings, and that means linking to rival poker media, and non affiliated poker rooms, who have broke the news. The Full Tilt scandal was a perfect example, PokerStrategy.com,PokerNews.com, and twoplustwo.com, were all getting exclusives that impacted the storyline. 

Given the gravity of the story, it would have been irresponsible not to link to each others findings, even though the three bodies could be considered rivals. 

It is not just ground breaking news like Black Friday where poker news sites are readily linking to each other. I mentioned yesterday that 'News In Brief' features are seeing this happen every day, and often on much more whimsical stories. 

Ultimately poker media sites do not want to out of the loop with any stories that are taking place in poker. We have got to the point where we have realised that rather than pushing our traffic away, never to be seen again. If we provide a good enough source of news and/or affiliate deals, the audience will keep coming back for more. 

It also shows, in my opinion, a great deal of integrity that we are prepared to take such a risk in the name of good news reporting, and I think the audience get that. 

Of course, the absolute worse thing you can do is still carry the story, without giving proper citations. Although the typical reader probably wont notice, your peers in the poker media will, and expect a cold war on twitter and snubbing at WSOP and PokerStars parties forever more. 


Holdem Radio said...

Proper attribution is the key here when aggregating poker content. Be absolutely certain the original author gets full credit, the link is prominent and ideally is repeated, and the aggregator only uses a small portion of the original content when feeding information to their readers.
When done both properly and ethically, sites can aggregate content from others and be seen as a valued poker news source that gives its readers access to all major issues in the poker community.

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