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What is parasitic SEO? And how to use it in 2023?

Vojtěch Bruk
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Parasite or barnacle SEO is the process of using third-party domains with high authority to rank in searches for competitive keywords that you would not normally rank for. In principle, you can 1) build an entire site this way with, for example, Google sites or 2) create a touchpoint, for example, by writing an optimized…

Parasite or barnacle SEO is the process of using third-party domains with high authority to rank in searches for competitive keywords that you would not normally rank for.

In principle, you can 1) build an entire site this way with, for example, Google sites or 2) create a touchpoint, for example, by writing an optimized post on Emimino or Reddit.

Using Google’s emphasis on trusted, large sites

In May 2022, a major update to Google search took place, again increasing the emphasis on high authority sites.High-authority sites like YouTube, List, and Medium are loved by Google. It knows it’s probably not spam or fraud, and it’s happy to show people results from these sites.

The trend is that authority is increasingly valuable in Google’s eyes.

And that’s why parasitic SEO certainly makes sense.

Why?

Spam Resistance

If you bought a new domain, added 1000 links to your site, nothing would happen. Google would never rank such a domain in a search because it would easily know it was spam.

If it was a domain that you have owned for some time, Google would start to consider it spam and delist it.

It’s different with parasitic sites.

Google, YouTube and Medium don’t de-host. Which means you can still have 1000’s of concentrated links from these sites… and these links can actually help you.

You can also get away with over-optimization, keyword overuse, and other techniques that you would have a hard time getting away with on a personal site much more easily.

How can a parasite page be used ?

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Increase website traffic
  • Back links (although most are nofollow, I personally believe that even nofollow links from large sites have an SEO impact)

Possible platforms for parasitic SEO

Actually, any page where you as a user can insert something can be used for parasitic SEO.

  • Medium
  • forums (reddit, emimino, interest forums)
  • Social networks (Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr)
  • Google Sites
  • Wikipedia
  • Tripadvisor
  • Quora
  • Blogging platforms (optimally as authoritative as possible – idnes.cz, aktualne.cz, etc.)
  • Yelp

How to choose a platform?

The first thing to think about is which platform best suits your purpose (target audience, type of parasite page).

You will usually be clear after this step.

Next, look at the authority of the platform and the number of backlinks. This can be determined through third-party metrics from Moz, Ahrefs, Marketing Miner, etc.

If a given platform allows **tracking links, that’s a huge plus.

Benefits

  • You don’t need your own website
  • Often a parasite page will get itself into searches (you don’t need to build links)
  • Most parasite platforms are free
  • Extremely fast (days to weeks) ranking for competitive keywords
  • “You can’t pay anything for a trial”

Disadvantages

  • You don’t own the site – you have limited control, at any time the provider can cancel/ban you from publishing the site
  • limited design
  • limited on page SEO
  • limited analytics capabilities

Summary

Considering parasitic SEO as a whole, it comes out to me that the minimal cost makes it definitely worth a try.

However, you shouldn’t go for it if you don’t know “why”. But if you know the “why”, go for it.

Let me know in the comments if you are considering parasite SEO or have any experience with it!

About author

Vojtech Bruk

I enjoy exploring things in depth. That's why I write this blog. And I also try to make my clients as much money as possible), that's the second reason.

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