Expert Interview: Darko Ivanoski, Head of SEO at GiG Media

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In this post, we quiz Darko Ivanoski, Head of SEO (Nordics & Crypto) at GiG Media on the successes, challenges, and strategic directions that defined the company's digital presence in 2023 and into 2024.

In an industry where adaptability is important, our conversation delves into the impactful SEO opportunities, industry changes, and the anticipated trends set to shape the SEO landscape for iGaming in the remainder of 2024.

What have been the biggest SEO challenges for you and your company from 2022 to23?

In 2022/23, our company faced and successfully navigated several significant SEO challenges. One major development was the decision to acquire high-potential sites from other companies like Catena Media, a move that required a strategic approach to integrate and optimise the SEO efforts of both entities.

Furthermore, our focus on the Nordic markets saw the successful implementation of an (Authority, Trust, and Maintenance) strategy, resulting in substantial growth in revenue and sales, reaching an all-time high. 

Owning rankings for high-value keywords in the Nordic markets became a priority, and our dedicated efforts led to notable success in securing prominent positions for these keywords.

A standout achievement was the remarkable 450% increase in traffic for our crypto gambling websites year over year. 

This substantial growth not only demonstrates our adaptability to evolving trends but also underscores our proficiency in capitalising on the expanding market for cryptocurrency-related content.

Despite the dynamic nature of the SEO landscape, our commitment to innovation, strategic acquisitions, and a comprehensive approach to keyword optimisation has allowed us to overcome challenges and achieve substantial success in the ever-competitive digital space.

What has been the greatest SEO opportunity for companies in your industry in 2023?

In 2023, the greatest SEO opportunity for GIG Media in the iGaming industry has been the establishment of new standards and achieving all-time highs with 

This accomplishment signifies not only the growth and recognition of the platform but also the effective implementation of SEO strategies to elevate its standing within the iGaming space.

Furthermore, a forthcoming development that holds immense promise is the integration of Kafe Rocks websites into our portfolio.

This strategic move is anticipated to significantly boost our SEO growth, opening new avenues for visibility and engagement within the iGaming sector. The addition of Kafe Rocks websites underscores our commitment to expanding our presence and influence in the ever-evolving landscape of online gaming.

With these key milestones, GIG continues to position itself at the forefront of the iGaming industry, leveraging SEO opportunities to enhance visibility, user experience, and overall success in this dynamic and competitive market.

How do you feel Helpful Content and successive Broad Core Updates will impact brands in different industries in 2024?

Helpful Content and Core Updates from search engines like Google aim to improve the overall relevance and quality of search results. If search engines continue to prioritise helpful content, it's likely to have a significant impact on brands across different industries in 2024. Here are some potential effects:

  • User-Centric Approach: Brands that prioritise creating helpful, user-centric content may see positive outcomes. Search engines tend to reward content that satisfies user intent and provides valuable information. Brands should focus on addressing the needs and concerns of their target audience.
  • Content Quality Matters: Brands will need to invest in high-quality, authoritative content. This involves not only producing informative articles but also ensuring accuracy, relevance, and engagement. Well-researched and comprehensive content is likely to perform better in search rankings.
  • E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness): Google has emphasised the importance of E-A-T in evaluating the quality of web pages. Brands should establish themselves as authorities in their respective industries to build trust with both users and search engines.
  • Mobile Experience: As mobile usage continues to rise, brands should ensure that their content is mobile-friendly. Search engines may prioritise pages that provide a seamless and optimised experience across various devices.
  • Multimedia Content: Diversifying content types, including videos, infographics, and interactive elements, can enhance user engagement. Visual and interactive content often leads to better user experiences and can contribute to improved search performance.
  • Community Engagement: Brands that foster a sense of community and engage with their audience through social media, forums, and other platforms may see positive SEO effects. Social signals and brand mentions can influence search rankings.
  • Adaptation to Algorithm Changes: Brands should stay informed about algorithm updates and adapt their strategies accordingly. Regularly monitoring industry trends and adjusting SEO practices will be crucial to maintaining visibility in search results.

In summary, brands or affiliates that focus on providing helpful, high-quality content, prioritising user experience, being technically strong, and adapting to evolving search algorithms are likely to fare well in the competitive landscape of SEO in 2024.

What SEO skills and general work skills do you think you'll be using most in 2024?

All three pillars are needed even in the future: technical SEO, on-page SEO and off-site SEO. They were always the most important skills and that will continue in the future. UX is one of the most important, kind of new factors in the SEO industry that will help big time overall.

For those new to digital marketing/SEO in your industry, what are the key skills they should work on acquiring? What are the best tools/sources of experience?

For newbies you have a lot to learn in the digital marketing world. When it comes to SEO I think that they should start with on-page and content-focussed SEO, which is the foundation for each new SEO lover.

When it comes to tools, Google Search Console and Google Analytics are the most important tools that you need to specialise. 

The rest is just third parties helping you to narrow down your SEO strategy, like Ahrefs,, SEMrush, NightWatch, Frase, SurferSEO, Figma, Screaming Frog, Screaming Frog Log Analyzer, SERPs competitor research.

What are your tips for maintaining a work/life balance in the SEO field?

Just go with the flow, if you love SEO, you will have a perfect work/life balance. Sometimes it can be intense but that's the SEO field, your vacation sometimes could end up with you checking the rankings, content, and technical errors, but that's common within SEO. 

What's the best advice you received in your career so far? What advice would you give to early-career SEO professionals?

The best advice for me was that this will pay off in the long run - you just need to believe in yourself!

That happened, if you manage to have the patience for this you are on the right track for success. 

After 10 years of working as an SEO Lead in multiple niches, I can say that I'm enjoying it, even for the most competitive niche on the search engines, which is iGaming.

Advice for SEO newcomers: Execution is the key; rest is just a debate.

To sum up, there’s plenty of actionable advice here for new and experienced SEO professionals alike - brands must prioritise helpful content aimed at improving the user experience, while also making sure technical factors like speed and mobile performance remain a top priority. 

Newcomers should start with foundational on-page and content SEO skills, mastering fundamental tools such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

Maintaining work/life balance involves embracing the dynamic nature of SEO, with patience and self-belief.