Parasite SEO involves stealing competitor traffic by using their own website. This differs from Barnacle SEO as Barnacle SEO requires using your own domain name.
What is Parasite SEO?
Parasite SEO is leveraging competitor websites to steal, and drive traffic to your own website. This is done by using their own websites against them, particularly if your competing sites support Profile Creation, or Commenting on article posts.
Parasite SEO involves going onto competitor websites and inputting information that would lead users to your website instead. This can be link dropping, disguised linking text, creating fake profile accounts, or using a messenger feature.
This form of SEO will enable you to increase your number of back-links from your competitor sites. This improves the likelihood of you becoming tagged into their niche by Google, which will help you rank better. It will also allow you to steal a percentage of traffic from your competitor sites by providing valuable information, or incentives to go to your website instead. This drives up user interactions, and of course SEO as well.
This SEO is best used for sites that are in super saturated markets, which mostly revolve around a few “industry giants.” Barnacle SEO often works in unison with Parasite SEO to allow small players to quickly enter large markets. However, utilising Parasite SEO and Barnacle SEO incorrectly will cause your competitors to grow, rather than allow you to steal traffic and DA.
How do you do Parasite SEO?
Parasite SEO is considered bad practice, and I do not recommend engaging in this. It will make your website look more fraudulent, and potentially deter otherwise engaged users. However, if you believe it would be a beneficial strategy for your niche or site, follow these steps:
1. Identify Your Major Competitors
Create a list of 10 competitors in your niche that dominate your market. These can be sites that generate a lot of content, provide great services, or receive lots of traffic. Ideally you want to be looking for sites that support Profile Creation, Commenting, Message features, or a means of 1 way communication with the site.
2. Create Your Penetration Strategy
Once you have found competitors, create a list next to each competitor that discusses opportunities for you to utilise their website. Here are the most common penetration strategies:
- Profile Creation
- Article Publishing
- Article Commenting
- Message Features
- Group Creation
- Local Directories
If your competitors support any of these, then great! You’ve got a good opportunity at pulling off some good Parasite SEO.
3. Conduct Parasite SEO
Now that you have a list of competitors with penetration strategies. Go into each competitor website and utilise their functionalities against them.
For example, if Website 1 supports article publishing, go into Website 1 and create a profile. Create a nice, honest profile with a picture, a description of yourself, and if possible link it to your website domain. Then create an article that discusses “Website 1 vs. Your Domain” and create an honest review of both companies. Of course, you can lean more towards yours if you are trying to sell something to your end-user. Once completed, make sure you have sufficient hyperlinks to internal content, and content on your site, and hit publish.
Congratulations, you’ve just completed your first Parasite SEO project. The objective behind it is people that are utilising their platform are now exposed to your site, benefits, and will potentially convert into traffic for you.
Warning: Do not use Parasite SEO to create spammy information, auto-generated content, or to harass website users. It is terrible for both internet etiquette, and the long-term sustainability of your own site.
Is it black-hat?
Parasite SEO is considered a black-hat technique. It is an unorthodox, and “slimy” strategy that uses other websites to gain an advantage. While it does not necessarily impact the other websites’ SEO, it does effect their user traffic, click rate, and potentially the long term sustainability of their site.
Black-hat techniques are punishable by Google, and often do occur. Conducting Parasite SEO will put you at high risk of being marked as a spam site, or by being reported by Webmasters who are operating your competitor websites. This will cause penalisations to your own site, and potentially cripple your long-term Search Engine Visibility (SEV).
The best way to keep Parasite SEO clean, is to ensure that all the information you provide is honest, not to harass users, and do not mass-publish content. Utilising competitor platforms is a great way of building your own DA, if done correctly.
Notice: If you believe you have been penalised by Google, please read our Security Actions for SEO article.
Barnacle SEO vs. Parasite SEO
Barnacle SEO also relies on competitor DA and keywords, but does not involve the actual use of their website. Parasite SEO relies on your interaction with the competitor website, whereas Barnacle SEO relies on your interaction with your own website.
Barnacle SEO utilises your competitor’s brand name, and core competencies in order to pull up your site in SERPs, by ranking for their keywords. This also allows you to “steal” traffic to a degree, but is completely white-hat because you are only interacting with your own site.
Barnacle SEO has proven to provide better long-term traffic and user-friendliness, whereas Parasite SEO provides better inbound marketing initially, as. the content exists the moment you publish it on your competitors’ website. This makes the comparison more of a short-term / long-term investment, which depends on your objectives as a company.