XLMedia has issued an FY 2020 revenue and adjusted EBITDA update, as the affiliate marketing publisher documents its latest steps in recovering from its Google manual ranking penalty.

As previously detailed in a prior market update delivering in September 2020, the firm is pursuing a multi-track approach to recovering its casino vertical, where a number of sites were penalised by Google in the early stages of last year.  

Previously, amid H1 struggles, the firm had detailed that unlike some of its competitors, the January Google deranking prevented the company’s casino division from being able to take full advantage of the industry-wide uptick in online casino and gaming.

Documenting its mitigation efforts, XLMedia updates that the process is being carried out “in conjunction with a fundamental rationalisation” of its portfolio, which it says will “significantly” reduce the overall number of sites and upgrade the quality of those remaining. This, it says, will be via a concentration on highly-engaging content and enhanced functionality to drive increased traffic and build consumer loyalty.

XLMedia assures that its approach to recovering this is an orderly combination of a four-step plan, which includes submitting to Google for reconsideration of certain sites which have been rebuilt in-house or in conjunction with a partner.

Furthermore, the company is to develop some entirely new sites, where this is the better strategic option; de-index those which are immaterial and may have a negative impact on the authority of the premium websites; and dispose of sites which no longer fit with the direction of the business.  

To date, the company has been successful in having the penalty removed for three of the ten sites that it wishes to recover, those being Casino.pt, Casino.gr and CasinoKiwi.co.nz.

Asserting that it has completed the core development work on all the rebuilt sites it is looking to take forward, submission processes to Google for reconsideration have duly followed.

Learnings from both successes and initial rejections are being applied to the ongoing refinement of the remaining sites, says XLMedia, which will be resubmitted in due course.  

Alongside this, XLMedia has also announced an expectation to deliver revenue of approximately $54.5m (H1 2020: $27.7m) and adjusted EBITDA in the region of $11.5m (H1 2020: $5.1m), excluding transformation costs and share based payments, for the prior year.