23.05.2022, Vladislava

Link building case: computer games localization site (updated)

Localization niche overview

Localization of any product (game, service) is quite a complicated process, both technically and financially. This is especially true for products where the development team has not yet completely determined the target audience. Any service with a wide audience and high ambitions will need more languages than English.

More often than not, translation alone is not enough. A great responsibility for the success of the product falls on the designers, because it is necessary to take into account the cultural characteristics of potential users. A computer game that is popular in the United States with the same graphics can be indifferently accepted by Chinese players and vice versa.

How to get the TOP-10 sites for localization of games

Let's take a look at the top 10 game localization sites and how to get them. Such sites can be obtained by using key phrase searches through Google, for example: "game localization".

For this query we have collected TOP-10 sites that are engaged in localization of games on different platforms.

Among the domains found there may be competitors' sites, content resources with low traffic activity (an abundance of posts with zero or single views), irrelevant to the subject. From all pages that are of minimal interest for our purposes, we got rid of them.

  1. https://www.morningtrans.com/services/localization/game-localization/
  2. https://tragoratraducciones.com/en/game-localization/
  3. https://localizedirect.com/translation
  4. http://www.localsoftgames.com/#translation
  5. https://interpretersunlimited.com/game-localization-translation/
  6. https://altagram.com/game-localization/
  7. https://www.tomedes.com/video-game-localization-service.php
  8. https://www.daytranslations.com/services/localization
  9. https://mogi-group.com/gaming_services/localization-overview/
  10. https://culturesconnection.com/video-game-translation-and-localization/

Thus formed our top 10 search engine results.

Analysis of building a link profile for the TOP-10

Now we can analyze the domains presented and see where and how they were placed using Ahrefs backlinks. According to the link mass we can see that some companies promoted their website by posting links on forums, others – registering the company in directories, others promoted their website using outreach. Some companies (a smaller proportion) have chosen to build a more natural link profile, promoting the site in all directions at once. Consider a little more detail about how they did it, what content was used. For outreach, the bulk of the companies chose the "top applications" route. They and their competitors placed their links in one article, as the article is a review of game/application localization companies. There are pros and cons to this kind of outreach. Of the minuses are the number of "live" links to competitors' sites. Not the fact that your site will reach if it is at the end of the list.

Now consider the crowd-links. The texts are both good and not so good. You can see that the comments are custom written and with errors that are easy to distinguish and call unnatural. The date of the posts, more often than not, is 2017, which suggests that the company's link profile is overdone. And judging by the dynamics of referring domains, you can see that it's dropping.

How else can we get links other than on forums and article books?

Crowdsourced links can be obtained in different ways:

  • Q&A sites
  • company registration in company directories
  • game portals outreach
  • sponsorship of gaming tournaments (you can start from the local level)
  • access to the beta version via shoring links in social networks
  • a contest among designers (for example, for the drawing of the main character)
  • a competition to find bugs in development with a monetary reward

All of these methods are aimed at solving these problems:

  • accurate page promotion
  • attracting the attention of the audience (CA)
  • to distribute mentions of the site
  • clicks
  • increase in site positions

Niche challenge

In March 2018 we were approached by a client to improve the quality of their link profile. The client's website is https://alconost.com/  – an IT company that specializes in translating computer software into dozens of world languages, performing localization of applications and games, videos and contextual advertising. We have developed a link building strategy - 80 dofollow links monthly:

  • Donors – forums, niche directories, Q-A sites, Youtube (comments to videos).
  • Geography: USA, Spain, Germany, Russia
  • Company's main areas of activity for promotion: game-localization, software-localization, website-translation, technical-translation

The target audience of our project is the computer games developers who need localization or translation of their product.

Promotion algorithm and results in 3 months

Let's start with the first direction – Game localization. This direction is the most popular and discussed, so there is no problem with the selection of donors and specific tracks.

An example of forum

An example of a donor

In the screenshot below are the figures after 3 months of promotion.

Referring pages by Ahrefs

Here is a screenshot of referring domains and Organic Keywords statistics for the last 90 days.

Referring domains on Ahrefs.

From these charts you can see that the number of referring domains per link has increased a lot and only a small portion has dropped off. Links tried to put evenly, but because of moderation did not work to post the same amount.

Parameters of donors.

The next direction in which crowdsourcing was done – the Localization of software. This direction of the company's activity is more narrowly-specialized, that is why it is almost impossible to find thematic fresh discussions, but it was decided to develop the tracks on the thematic sites by ourselves.

https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/powershape-forum/software-localization-language-error/td-p/6884797 

https://forums.foxitsoftware.com/forum/portable-document-format-pdf-tools/localized-foxit-reader 

Below are the results of link promotion:

This is the link building page ranking for 3 months. The first difficulties appeared with this page – at the end of May we lost a significant part of links, the links were deleted even on those forums, where links on game localization were still hanging. After that we were actively engaged in re-posting these links.

Dynamics of backlinking page by Ahrefs.

Linking dynamics. At the end of May – down.

According to the dynamics of linking, you can see that at the end of May – falling down because of "links falling down", which we replaced further.

The parameters of donors by Ahrefs.

Let's move on to the next direction – technical translation online. In Runet, the subject of translation is discussed almost at every step. In the U.S. we were disappointed because there were very few live discussions, so we initiated the tracks ourselves.

http://forum.submitexpress.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=220379 

The page parameters after 3 months of promotion with Ahrefs.

Referring pages according to Ahrefs.

At the end of May we also noticed some link subsidence – some of the links fell off. Links were re-posted and they also went into the index.

Sites were chosen only thematically. All the posts were as useful as possible for the target audience. Some had to go back and answer questions from "residents" of the forum to support the link in the comments.

Update: algorithm and promotion results for 6 months

The first analysis of the work was done in June 2018 – you can see that the number of referring domains to the link has increased significantly.

Our work on the project did not stop there. On the contrary, the assignment even expanded: for the next 3 months we also adhered to the strategy and continued to place crowdsourced links. This is what came out of it.

Game localization

Referring pages by Ahrefs

Referring domains on Ahrefs

New and lost backlinks in Ahrefs.

Here is a screenshot of referring domains and Organic Keywords, stats from March to September.

We tried to use an equal amount of links, but due to moderation we could not post the same amount.

Parameters of donors

Software localization

As we mentioned above, this direction of the company is more narrowly focused, so we continued to develop tracks on thematic platforms.

Referring domains by Ahrefs

Referring pages by Ahrefs

New and lost backlinks in Ahrefs

Donor parameters.

Website translation

Referring Domains on Ahrefs

Referring pages on Ahrefs

New and lost backlinks in Ahrefs.

Donor parameters

According to the donors it is clear that the placement was more even, but there are lost links, which is 100% unavoidable.

Technical translation

Referring domains by Ahrefs

Referring Pages by Ahrefs

New and lost backlinks in Ahrefs

Donor parameters

For this direction it is seen that the number of lost links is more than the number of new links. As it was said above, this direction on Western sites is not strongly developed, however, from the experience gained I can say that the target audience in this direction is also there.

Update: promotion in the Germany niche

In August 2018 our team was tasked with improving the quality of the link profile from German platforms. That is, the link building strategy was the same, only for a different geography of sites.

https://www.mydealz.de/diskussion/redmi-note-5-startet-nicht-mehr-1210993 

https://steamcommunity.com/app/254200/discussions/3/135511455873481159/#c1734336452549952312 

In the screenshots below – the figures after a month of promotion in the same areas, as for the United States.

Game localization

Referring domains by Ahrefs

Referring pages by Ahrefs

New and lost backlinks in Ahrefs

Donor parameters

Software localization

Referring Domains on Ahrefs

Referring pages on Ahrefs

New and lost backlinks in Ahrefs.

Donor parameters

Compared to the previous direction it is clear that this one is more narrowly focused, the presence of relevant topics leaves much to be desired, and moderation is more stringent.

Website translation

Referring Domains on Ahrefs

Referring Pages on Ahrefs

New and lost backlinks in Ahrefs.

Donor parameters

Technical translation

Referring Domains on Ahrefs

Referring Pages on Ahrefs

New and lost backlinks in Ahrefs.

Donor parameters

Based on the results of the analysis of this direction, it is clear that it is the most demanded and relevant for Germany.

Promotion results

Sources of website traffic during link building period

From these charts we can see that traffic to the site has increased. The company has fulfilled the goal of improving the quality of link profiles, although the theme of the project has shown that there are points for growth :)