Search engine optimization is an arduous, complicated task...
It requires hard work, dedication to keep up with algorithm changes, constant learning, and a passion for testing and analytics. And, even when you do everything by the book, it can still take you a long time to rank high in search results.
Here’s the thing: over one billion websites fight for attention in search engines, which means that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to rank on Page One.
Your awesome content, compelling visuals, and the amount of on-site optimization you do for each new article, represent only half the battle. The success of your content depends on domain age and authority too.
That’s not fair for new sites that haven’t been around long enough to have quality links from authoritative domains pointing to them. They're at a disadvantage, and they have to work ten times as hard as reputable sites to get picked up by web crawlers.
Fortunately, there is a relatively simple solution that can guarantee you a spot among the highest ranking websites.
Enter Parasite SEO.
So, What Is Parasite Seo?
I know; Parasite SEO sounds like a shady tactic a la 2011. You imagine it’s a dangerous practice that can get your site penalized by Google and thrown into the void of search engine optimization forever.
However, Parasite SEO is actually a legitimate technique that can help you rank your site on page one quickly. That’s because it focuses on a factor that is at the heart of SEO and always has been: domain authority.
Parasite SEO means that you’re piggybacking off sites with high authority. Instead of taking the normal route, where you have to build your backlink profile slowly and steadily, you’re taking a shortcut by leveraging the domain authority of another site.
Taking advantage of the sites that are perfectly optimized and already have tons of backlinks can make it easier for you to rank on page one for a variety of topics. You are not trying to rank your own site, you are ranking an already established and credible website for terms that are related to your business, by publishing content as an author on these sites.
Here’s how to use parasite SEO to rank on page one of Google without publishing any content on your own site.
Step 1: Conduct Keyword Research
Even though parasite SEO might be a fringe technique, it still relies on the basic concepts of search engine optimization. After all, you want to ensure that you will get the right kind of visitors to your site, not unqualified traffic that doesn’t advance your business goals in any way.
The goal of your keyword research is to discover opportunities where you can publish content on high authority websites, and quickly rank on page one.
To make this process a bit easier, start with seed keywords. Seed keywords are at the core of your business. They help you explain your products, define your niche, and identify your competitors.
For example, if you’re an online store that sells iPhone accessories, then your seed keywords might be “iPhone add-ons,” “iPhone accessories” or “iPhone gadgets.”
Your research should go a little deeper than this and look for long-tail keywords too. Sure, they might not have the same volume as broad match keywords, but they are more likely to attract the right crowd.
A great tool for conducting in-depth keyword research is KWFinder because it gives you a ranking difficulty score for each keyword. See an example of its keyword suggestions below for “iPhone accessories”:
Step 2: Analyze The Current Ranking Articles
Now that you have your list of relevant keywords, it’s time to take a look at the articles and websites that are currently ranking high for these phrases.
Be objective and ask yourself: is the content new or outdated? Is it well-researched and written? Does it provide helpful, actionable solutions for Google searchers?
If you can confidently answer “No” to these questions, then there may be an opportunity to quickly rank for this search term on a high-authority website.
For example, when I searched for “best chinese restaurant sydney” there were a number of list posts, two of which are from 2013 and 2014. Knowing that Google favors recency, this could mean there is an opportunity to out-do this content on the right domain.
The key to this step in the process is to identify topics that haven’t been published by certain publications yet. This means that you can more confidently pitch them the idea, by making them aware of the opportunity to rank on page one.
Step 3: Look For Guest Post Opportunities
Now it’s time to pinpoint websites that will accept your guest posts on the topics that you have identified as opportunistic.
There are a number of ways to find guest blogging opportunities, but when it comes to parasite SEO your best bet is to look for sites that are already ranking for terms closely related to your niche.
To find these sites, take your seed keywords and conduct a number of Google searches with slight phrase variations.
For example, let’s say you sell cycling accessories, you could start to see what sites are ranking highly for cycling related terms:
From this process, you are looking to compile a list of potential guest blogging sites that are already ranking on page one for terms in the same general area as the opportunities you have identified.
In the above example, there are sites such as CyclingTips.com, Bicycling.com, and TheConversation.com on page one.
Once you have a list of potential sites, you need to determine whether or not they accept guest posts. You can do that by searching your keyword followed by phrases such as “submit a guest post,” “guest post,” or “guest post guidelines” along with the website name. Or, you can look around their site for contributor applications.
As it turns out, only one of the above sites accepts free author contributions, but that is only from one search!
In this example, TheConversation.com has a link at the very top of their website for this purpose:
Step 4: Pitch Them Your Article
Before you reach out to the top sites on your list and pitch them your article, you need to familiarize yourself with the site’s content.
Analyze their audience’s level (are they beginners, intermediate or advanced?), look at the type of audience they’re writing for (B2C or B2B?), and the type of content that gets the most engagement.
Next, become a familiar face in the site’s community before you reach out and pitch your article. Your chances will significantly increase if you are an active user on their site and social media channels. So take the time to comment on their latest blogs and social media posts for at least a few weeks prior to pitching them an article.
When you feel like you have built up enough trust and are are ready to pitch them your article, make sure to follow these guidelines:
- Write a professional email with a subject line that is clear and straightforward;
- Personalize your email and show the recipient that you’ve taken the time to analyze their site and understand their audience;
- Tell them who you are and why they should consider your pitch (Hint: Because you have identified a keyword that they don’t currently rank for, and you believe they can)
Step 5: Link Back To Your Site Strategically
Ok, so your hard work has paid off and you’ve managed to score a few guest blogging opportunities for high domain sites. Now it’s time to kick back, relax, and watch your traffic and page authority increase...
Well, not so fast.
For Parasite SEO to be effective, you need to ensure that visitors will click on the link(s) back to your site, and that once they do you have a tailored landing page waiting for them.
You need to decide exactly what you want people to do when they click on a link back to your site so that when your article ranks on page one, you can reap the rewards. Do you want them to sign up to your email list? Enquire for a consultation? Buy a product? Or something else. Be clear about this part of the process, otherwise all of your hard work will go to waste.
Also, look to place your links(s) strategically in the article you write so that people are enticed to click on them. Use relevant anchor text that compels readers to click, place them near the top or middle of the article if possible, and try to reinforce the same call-to-action in multiple sections of the article.
Getting on page one of Google is every marketer’s biggest dream. With parasite SEO, this dream can turn into reality faster than you can imagine.
Sure, the basic rules of SEO are still applicable: you need to do proper keyword research, ensure that your content is high-quality, and so on.
But, with the help of high-authority sites that already have credibility with Google, your journey to page one is fast tracked.