Parasite SEO, Satellite Websites, & Barnacle SEO Pages 2018
As it stands today, we hold position two for the keyword “rank and rent SEO”, and it took us less than three months and about $300 to get there!
How Did We Do It?
We used a form of SEO called parasite SEO, also known as barnacle SEO in white-hat circles. It is a widely used SEO traffic hack that still works in 2018.
How Does It Work?
They call it parasite SEO because you leech off of high authority domains or satellite sites to rank your page with black-hat methods. Put simply, you create a high quality content post or video, that is at least 500–1k+ words, post it on an authoritative website, and blast links and social signals at it. It really is that simple, and if done correctly, can quickly get you to the first page of Google for some pretty competitive keywords!
Why Should You Create a Parasite Page or Subdomain on an Authoritative Website Rather Than Rank Your Own?
There are a few main reasons why you would want to do this:
- These websites are highly trusted by Google, so even with no links your article may still rank.
- You can avoid the sandbox period that comes with new websites.
- It is relatively safe to point links at a page on an authoritative website and not worry about being penalized by Google. It’s like going back to the 2010 days of SEO where rankings were more dependent on how much money you threw at buying links.
- It’s possible to build links and rankings in a shorter period of time.
- On an authoritative site, you will be relatively safe using high amounts of LSI and exact match keyword anchor text with no penalties (up to about 10–20% of the anchor text of your links can be keyword related). This would be quite risky with a regular website, so please don’t try it…
- The brand equity of a popular website can lead to higher click through rates in the SERPS.
Here is a step by step SEO traffic hack tutorial you can follow to be successful with ranking parasite pages in 2018 and beyond, with anecdotes of our own experience:
Step One: Keyword Research, Topic Selection, and Content Monetization Strategies
Think about your goals in this situation. For example, our main goal was to get more SEO related traffic to our tool while also posting some affiliate links for Konker gigs that we genuinely found useful.
Picking Affiliate Offers That Will Be Helpful to Your Readers
All too often people choose to do affiliate marketing with a product or service that they wouldn’t actually buy themselves. This is generally not a good idea. We recommend describing your experience with the product or service and recommending offers that you genuinely believe will be helpful to your readers. A true test would be to ask yourself, “would I recommend this same product or service if I wasn’t getting paid?” If so, go for it!
Determine Your Link Budget and Do Keyword Research Accordingly
If you only want to spend a couple hundred on backlinks, it’s probably a good idea to use a keyword that is relatively easy to rank. To find low competition keywords, we recommend using a keyword suggest tool like ours. You can also use our keyword difficulty tool at this link if you want to get data on a specific keyword. Anything with a keyword difficulty of 40 or less on our tool can probably be ranked with a couple hundred dollars. To find related keywords, we suggest putting a few of the sites that are ranking on the first page into Ahrefs or SEMrush and checking what keywords they rank for. You can just use the terms they are ranking for already.
Step Two: Write an Article and Focus on High Quality Content
To give you an idea, a 6k+ word article on rank and rent SEO and local lead generation took us a little more work than we had initially though. An in-depth article with this many words is called a skyscraper article, and is often taken well by Google. I distinctly remember one of my business partners and I sitting around at 2am, half asleep, while finishing that article before the deadline we had set for ourselves. In the end, it was worth it to spend most of our time on building high quality content. It provided us with low bounce rates which helped our rankings stick and helped our offers convert better.
Step Three: Pick an Authoritative Satellite Site That Google Is Ranking Often for Related Keywords
Effective parasite SEO lists will generally vary based upon the niche and keyword you are targeting. You can get a good ideas of which websites are performing well, by checking out Alexa’s list of top websites. You should also consider that parasite pages seem to generally work better than popular subdomains like WordPress.com for example.
Here are some websites that we have noticed are ranking well in 2018 for their respective niches:
For most niches:
In this case, blogs and forums tend to work well.
- LinkedIn (Must post from a personal profile)
- Reddit (somewhat regulated)
For local parasite SEO in the home service niche:
In this case, citation websites tend to work well for ranking parasite websites in local SEO results.
- Yelp (probably the best)
- YouTube (ranks well, but doesn’t convert that well)
- Google Sites (low competition keywords)
- Manta (decent)
- Houzz (decent)
Our Choice from the SEO Niche List Of Parasite Websites
For our barnacle SEO campaign, we chose Medium, which ended up working out well. We have also heard good things about LinkedIn, but they do not currently allow users to post from company pages. Another thing you can try is posting on niche related forums. Google really likes some of these forums, and every comment and up-vote will add unique content and built in social signals. Not to mention, that your article or forum thread will show up when someone is searching directly through the platform themselves.
Note: Some of these platforms may remove your content if they see you pointing tons of links at the pages, so they should be avoided. We don’t know all of them, but I would avoid Buzzfeed and maybe Reddit because they have been known to be highly regulated.
Keep in mind that Google’s goal is to match the searcher with what they believe the searcher intended to find.
In many cases, Wikihow, and YouTube videos seem like a solid option for ranking “how to” keywords because they match the searcher’s intent. Similarly if someone types in “local SEO course”, Google would be a lot more likely to rank websites like Udemy and Lynda because it can infer that the searcher is looking to reach a course related page.
Another SEO traffic hack you should consider is that Google seems to like diversity in the domains it ranks and often prefers niche relevant websites on the first page.
Google is probably going to be resistant to ranking ten Linkedin articles on the first page for a particular keyword, assuming the search term does not contain the word Linkedin, so look for gaps! On the other hand, as long as it is not completely overdone, it is a good idea to look for the platforms that are already ranking in your niche, and use those.
For example: if you see a Medium article ranking for your keyword on the first or second page, this is a great sign that this platform will work!
Tip: You can hack your parasite website selection by posting about a certain platform on that platform. For example, “how to change the URL of a medium article” may be biased towards ranking Medium articles, partially because the word “medium” is in the search term.
So if there are two Linkedin articles and a Medium article ranking on the first page and you notice that there is no forum ranking, this may be a good chance to try one. You can even parasite off of someone else’s forum topic that is already ranking on the first few pages by posting a thorough reply to the thread with a link, or multiple links, that you want to rank.
Note: Some forums highly regulate links in the comments section, and in that case, you should put your link in your profile’s signature instead. You can then point some backlinks at the thread so that it will rank on the first page, get you traffic, and be a more powerful link back to your website (no-follow links will also pass some authority).
Step Four: Backlinks and Social Signals For Parasite SEO
Overall, it is good to get a little bit of a link diversity coming into any page, but it is not as mandatory when ranking a parasite page.
Here Are the Links We Used to Rank Our Rank and Rent Article with a Budget of Under $300:
- 20 high authority Web 2.0 PBN posts
- 20 cheap website PBN links
- Social signals
- Diversity links: we repurposed our own content and turned it into a video and PowerPoint that we had people post on various platforms including YouTube and SlideShare. We also bought a gig that created 100 social profiles.
- High quality PBN posts: Many people don’t use these on parasite websites, but we think they can help a lot. We bought the Hatred PBN gig in addition to a couple other ones.
- You can also probably do a GSA blast and get away with it on satellite sites, but we generally prefer to stay away from software generated links when dealing with properties we want to rank relatively long-term. You can alternatively have some new web 2.0 properties made and blast them with GSA to create multiple tiers. Here are some good gigs for those tasks: Web 2.0 creation and GSA links.
Anchor Text Percentages for Parasite SEO in 2018 and Beyond
We typically like to follow these rough percentages when doing barnacle SEO:
55% Naked URL anchors
For example: https://www.keywordsheaven.com/local-niche-tool/
For example: “click here”, “view our article”
15% LSI and long tail variations of the keyword anchors
10% Exact match anchor text
Factors to Consider When Buying Links and Social Signals to Satellite Websites
- When buying PBN links make sure to check if they have a limitation on OBLs (outbound links). Oftentimes, they won’t for cheap links, but if they do, this will often make for more powerful and safer links.
- Assuming they send you a report, always check to see if the domains are indexed. If they are not, demand that they be changed or removed, as they will add no value and could potentially be harmful.
- Buy social signals that are manually created for slightly safer results.
How Fast Can You Rank With Barnacle SEO?
We didn’t pay for drip feeding or anything like that. For the most part, the links and social signals were all built at the same time and pushed us up from position 35 to position 5 in about one month. During the second month, with some added links, we were able to get up to position 3 for “rank and rent”, and on the first page for many related keywords.
Thanks for reading about how to do barnacle SEO. Bellow is a case study of our success with it.
Our The Journey to the First Page of Google With a Parasite Page and Barnacle SEO
Week 1: Article Publishing
As mentioned, there were many long hours put into actually creating the article. Here is what I sent my colleague when the first draft was finally done.
- We posted the article and realized after it was posted that the title tag, meta description, and URL were all messed up. While most of these problems were an easy fix, Medium does not allow you to change the URL without contacting their support. A week or two later we contacted them and got our crazy long slug shortened to something more concise: /local-seo-lead-generation-guide.
- We contemplated also posting the article on our website, but decided against it because there was no way to canonicalize the Medium article. Essentially, we didn’t want Google to filter out our the article the satellite website in favor of the one on our site.
- We submitted our article to search engines (Google and Bing). Believe us when we tell you that long form authoritative content is powerful. The rankings below were achieved instantly with zero off-page. It also made us feel confident that we could rank this keyword without too much work.
- Our content was stolen and Bing decided to mark our content as duplicate and rank the thief! We were upset as you can see… Luckily Google did not index the content and we filled out this DMCA form with Bing, and they got it fixed.
Week 2: Links
We bought 10 PBN links from a seller who we won’t mention because all of the links were de-indexed shortly after being posted. Unfortunately, we noticed this a bit after the Fiverr order was already completed, but they offered to replace the links with the following explanation:
Here was the exact order instructions we used with our old ugly URL:
Considering that we were using a barnacle SEO strategy, we were being a little bit more conservative with the anchor text than we needed to be, but it looked a little bit more natural and could potentially get us rankings for related terms.
Week 3: Social Signals
We posted the article and tool in a couple SEO related Facebook groups and on Reddit (which eventually took our post down) to try and get some buzz around what we were talking about. We would keep doing this every week or two over the span of a couple months. It helped build natural social signals and drive real visitors to our article with relatively low bounce rates. Facebook ads was something that crossed our minds to try as well for the same purpose, but we never got around to really trying it.
Week 4: The First Page!
Out of nowhere we hit the first page. It could have been a coincidence because the links started hitting, but we think the social signals helped a lot because we remember seeing a rank increase the day after the gig was delivered.
Week 5 and 6: Keyword Density
We had read an article that suggested that keyword density ratios on the lower end of the spectrum were better for rankings in 2017, when the article was published. We found that a good keyword density ended up being around 0.21%. Any lower, and the rankings would drop. Any higher, and we wouldn’t see much change.
Week 7 and 8: Power Links and Related Keyword Inclusion
We wanted to rank our main keyword “rank and rent” in the top 3 results, so we decided to buy some power links and include a few of the low competition related keywords in our article as well as in the anchor text of the power links. We ended up buying this PBN package.
Our order’s anchor text request included the following keywords:
Week 9+: Watch the Money Roll In!
To date, about 3 months after publishing this article, we have made a recurring $560 a month and around $300 in one time payments, all from ranking one small keyword with our barnacle SEO strategy! Imagine ranking something with a higher keyword volume and the same monetization strategy.
Have you given this a try yourself? Let us know your thoughts and experiences with parasite page SEO or any other SEO traffic hacks in the comments below.