ORC Accuses Aff Power of Causing Negative SEO
by Glenn Baird - May 27, 2017
Last week, Online Casino Reviewer made claims that a casino affiliate based in Israel is responsible for a series of underhand attacks on their website.
Aff Power are a software provider and marketing company for online casinos such as, Company Casino and Deuce Club. The company have been the subject of a number of articles from OCR over the last 18 months, with the reviewer blacklisting Aff Power back in 2016.
Last year, a number of hacked casino websites led consumers directly to Aff Power endorsed websites. ORC claimed that the numbers were too large and too consistent for anyone but Aff Power to be responsible. This was then followed by allegations from Casinomeister that the company were pirating games from other online casinos and passing them off as their own. Casinomeister rightly pointed out that there is no effective way to regulate pirated games and that there is a high risk that customers could be “ripped off.”
Since then ORC have suffered a DDOS attack in April of this year. At the time, ORC were unable to point the finger of blame but after subsequent attacks they believe that the trail has to lead directly to Aff Power. The attack in question was designed to overload the site’s bandwidth and consequently shut them down. Whilst the attack was unsuccessful, a similar attack on Casinomeister had the desired effect, bringing down the site’s entire server network.
Earlier this week ORC were the victims of another attack, this time it was an attempt to lower their search engine optimisation. Negative SEO is normally the result of illegal hacking, where undesirable links can be created to taint a website’s reputation with a search engine. The result of this is a reduction in a website’s Google ranking, meaning that they will appear further down a list when searched for on Google. This will inevitable result in a reduction in a website’s traffic.
ORC claim that Aff Power left a “calling card”, with hacked links redirecting to an Aff Power Group blacklisted casino, indicting to OCR that the Israeli affiliate was responsible for the attack, which therefore, along with other information, led ORC to the conclusion that the previous DDS attack was also carried out by the affiliate.
What consequences does this have?
Firstly it is important to note that the accusations, as assertive as they are, are just that. ORC has not said that they have empirical evidence to prove that Aff Power are responsible for the attacks but they do believe that circumstantial evidence that they have is enough for them to “join up the dots.”
Whether the allegations can be proved or not, this does have consequences for the way in which operators and affiliates in Israel will be viewed throughout the gambling community.
It was only last week that an Israeli binary options company saw their CEO arrested on allegations of corruption. This latest accusation will further damage the reputation of Israeli companies and leave many legitimate operations tarred with the same brush.
As for reviewers and mediators, there is an apparent attempt here to intimidate. If the claims made by ORC turn out to be true then the picture we have is of an online cartel who will not accept criticism and will go out of their way to attack anyone who slights their reputation.