Looking for an online casino?If you’re looking for an online casino, a good place to start might be one of the major search engines. Search engines certainly have a lot of information, but how do you make sense of it all? Does it matter that a particular casino is listed first in a search engine?
First, let’s take a look at how most search engines work. A site normally gets listed by the search engines in one of two ways. First of all, the site operators can submit their site to the search engine by the use of the search engine’s site submission form. According to the search engine’s particular schedule, it will begin a process called “spidering” in which the search engine’s servers will scan the web site, reading in its contents and noting all of its links. For each link it finds, it follows the link and spiders the pages it finds. Of course, the search engines are smart enough not to follow the same links over and over again, so that they don’t get into an infinite loop.
The second way a casino gets listed is to have other sites link to it, and thus it gets included when the search engines spider those sites. All in all, this is not a very useful process for a site trying to make sure it is included in every search engine. Additionally, it does not get the benefit of entering its site description, which many search engines use to help rank pages in the search listings.
Now that the search engine knows that the site exists, it has to evaluate what the page is about. For each particular keyword, pages are scored by relevance. Factors that influence relevance include keyword density, position of keywords on the page, number of inbound and outbound links, page title, URL, meta tags and many other factors. Those sites that best know how to take advantage of these factors will show up at the top of more search engines.
And that’s the real problem. A site’s position in the search engine’s rankings is largely dependant on that sites ability to manipulate their placement, rather than as an indication of how good the site is, whether they have decent games or odds, or whether they pay their players. In fairness to the search engines, though, if you have persistence enough to wade through the numerous sites listed, they can be an excellent resource to find new sites.
To get a better idea of where to gamble, take a look at the gambling portal sites and player advocate sites. Gambling.com, for example has a voting area in which its members can choose their favorite sites. This too can be manipulated, since some operators are now paying their customers to vote for them. Gambling.com also has a gambling community section in which players can voice their opinions. In particular, check out Gambling Grumbles, and see which casinos have had disputes that ended well for the player.
Another alternative place to find casinos is SafeBet.org. SafeBet is an independent organization that tests its member casinos for fairness of games. Another side benefit of finding a casino at SafeBet.org is that if you have a dispute with the casino, SafeBet can step in and help find a fair solution.
Still another way to find online casinos is to look at print ads. Generally, sites that spend the big bucks required to buy print advertising are not likely to be fly-by-night operations.
Search engines can be a great way to find casinos, but they are certainly not the only, or best mechanism. Take your time, do some research and pick a casino that makes you feel comfortable playing there.