One of the best ways for both beginners, and advanced marketers to tap into the oh-so profitable search engine traffic is through the use of parasites, or pages on authority sites that let you post user generated content — or “UGC“ for short.
This strategy is one that requires more time, than money, in most cases.
That means if you’re just getting started and only have a small budget to work with, you can open the floodgates to search engine traffic without having to wait on your own site to gain authority, or blowing through your SEO budget on a bunch of high authority links.Keep reading. You’re going to learn the best parasites for SEO in 2016, as well as how to find your own platforms to post to. You’ll also learn the best approach to use, and why the strategy works so well.
Before we continue, though…
Like the name describes, parasite SEO entails you relying on a host to provide you with the authority needed to rank highly in the search engines. In other words, your page is acting like a parasite, sucking the authority out of the host domain.
Thankfully, there’s tons of these high authority sites that will allow you to submit user generated content. Once you practice the strategy a few times, and see how quickly you can rank for low to medium competition keywords, you’ll be amazed at the strength.
It’s not just for low to medium competition keywords, though. These sites built-in strength lends themselves toward helping you rank for highly competitive keywords, as well. We’ll get into that shortly.
Absolutely. In fact, it’s probably stronger in 2016 than it has been in the last few years.
As the sites you’re going to post content to grow in age, and more pages indexed, the amount of strength they hold — in terms of ranking power — increases at the same time.
This is a strategy that, at this present time, looks like it’s just going to get stronger, and stronger in the next few years. Unless there is a major algorithm update that shifts how Google views large brands, you can rely on parasite SEO to rank and bank in some pretty competitive niches.
Why parasite SEO works so well.
If you’ve been in the industry for any length of time, you probably remember the time when small, 5 to 10 page websites could “snipe” out keywords, and reliably rank at the top of the search results within a matter of weeks.
From 2010, to 2012, Google made various updates to their algorithms that stopped showing so much love to smaller sites, instead leaning towards providing the lion’s share of traffic to larger, more trusted brand names and massive authority sites.
Smart marketers figured out that if Google wants to see high authority sites at the top, and makes a point of ranking blog posts on these sites over the smaller “niche” sites, that it just makes sense to give them what they want.Google spent millions (billions?) on trying to prevent the spam, only to have new methods pop up.
Even if they manage to find a few platforms that are letting spammers run rampant, and devalue the sites themselves, it just means that there are going to be a few more large, authority style sites that are going to take their place.
So, now that you know what it is, and how it works, where do you go to start publishing content?
Finding quality platforms that Google deems authoritative is actually easier than you might think. There’s a site, if you’re unfamiliar, called Alexa that tracks the global ratings of as many sites on the internet as they can.
What you’re looking for are sites that Alexa ranks within the top 100,000, in terms of traffic numbers that they can (as accurately as possible) track.The lower Alexa rating that a site has, the better. For instance, a site rated 100 means it is within the top 100 most trafficked sites on the web. A site rated at 10,000 is the 10,000th most trafficked site on the web, so on, and so forth.
You want to start at the top of the list on Alexa, working your way down. As you go through the sites, you’re looking for opportunities where you can submit your own content.
To help make your life a little bit easier, we’ve rounded up some of the highest performing platforms that you can use for parasite SEO.
If you sell physical or digital products, there are a few sites that are better to create pages on than others. By utilizing eCommerce platforms for your parasite SEO, you’ll be able to convert visitors on the same page, rather than funneling them through a link to one of your sales pages.
#1 – Gumroad.com
#2 – Amazon.com
#3 – eBay.com
#4 – Etsy.com
#5 – Shopify.com
Find keywords related to your products then determine if there are already other pages on the host targeting the keywords you’ve chosen.
If you aren’t competing against a bunch of other pages on the same host, give yourself the green light to launch the parasite campaign.
Setup your product pages on the sites, and optimize them like you would a blog post or page on your own site. Then get started building links to them.
If instant conversions aren’t necessarily the goal, or the competition for the keywords you’ve chosen is too high on the eCommerce platforms, there are other content-only hosts that hold just as much ranking power, and are just as easy to create pages on.
#1 – YouTube.com
#2 – Facebook.com
#3 – Instagram.com
#4 – BuzzFeed.com
#5 – Medium.com
When you’re trying to take over the entire first page, parasite hosts are one of the best ways to do it, after building out your own site to dominate multiple listings. By creating pages on multiple hosts, you can effectively lock out other competitors from the first page.
Dirty? Maybe. Effective? Highly.
Stats you’re looking for:
Since this list is public information, the majority of marketers are going to know about the same sites you’re trying to post to. That’s why you need to dig in, put in the time, and spend the energy on finding your own set of platforms to post to.
Remember, if Google gets privy to a few of the sites allowing more than their fair share of spam, they can easily penalize the authoritative domain. That means you need to have backups to continue posting to, in order to keep your traffic levels up — should the UGC platforms you’re using ever take a hit from the almighty G.
To help you quickly identify whether a site is good to use as a parasite host, there are a few stats that you want to look for. This will help you determine whether or not the site is authoritative, without having to rely completely on the data from Alexa.
After all, they can’t accurately track every website on the internet, but they do a good job on the sites within their top 100,000 list.Making sure a platform is solid to host your content comes down to verifying a few different metrics:
Domain Authority: As a general rule, the higher domain authority you’re able to tap into, the easier it’s going to be to rank at the top. Also, with a high DA, you’re able to get away with some of the darker types of link building, like GSA, SAPE, and other “churn & burn” style strategies.
Trust Flow / Citation Flow: A quick way to determine how trustworthy a host is, is by verifying the Trust Flow and Citation Flow (TF/CF). This is a metric that helps you figure out how close to the internet’s most trusted sites the host you’ve chosen is. The more links the host has from high TF/CF sites, the more trustworthy it is — in the eyes of Google’s algorithms. Think of it like the “circle of trust”.
Total # Of Backlinks: Backlinks are the key to providing strength and authority on the internet. While it’s not a hard-fast rule, you can generally assume that the more backlinks a host has, the better your pages on it are going to perform in the search results.
Pages Indexed: Google loves large sites. Having more pages indexed on the host helps you flow more of that internal juice to your own pages, making the required link building work substantially smaller.
No pages targeting your keywords: This is the holy grail of parasite SEO. When you’ve found a host that checks out, and there are no other marketers and SEOs targeting the keywords you’re aiming for, you’ve stumbled onto a gold mine.Without competing on the host with other marketers and SEOs, you get the chance to build your own “mini-silo” on the site.
There are platforms that you can utilize as a host for your parasite SEO efforts all over the internet, in every single niche imaginable. The next time you’re browsing through the search results, pay close attention to the sites that you see popping up time, and time again.
Chances are, these sites (if they allow you to post content) are ranking highly for a reason — Google loves them. That’s your opportunity to swoop in and capitalize on the opportunity.
Google has spent a large amount of money and time ensuring that their algorithms only display the most relevant results. I don’t see them reverting back to older algorithms, giving smaller, untrusted sites the same type of love that they give big brands these days.
Even if a few high authority platforms fall off, for whatever reason, there will always be more hosts to step up and take their place — giving you new opportunities.
In other words, Google can’t fix parasite SEO. They actually created the landscape for smart marketers to take advantage of, without realizing they did it.
Now that you understand the why, behind the how, it’s time to start getting some work done. There’s two different strategies you can use to build parasite pages: create them yourself, or outsource the process.
Building them yourself.
If you’re just getting started in the SEO game, it’s highly advised that you build the first few out yourself.
Using basic onpage optimization, and good keyword discovery techniques, you can quickly rank at the top of the search results — building your confidence in the process and bringing in a few bucks at the same time.
Outsourcing the process.
Let’s face it, though. SEO isn’t exactly a fun process.
Even if you’re making a killing, it’s usually pretty hard motivating yourself to sit down and crank out a bunch of parasite pages. That’s when it’s time to start outsourcing the process.
The profitability of parasite SEO, when you’re targeting keywords that will make you money, is absolutely insane. It leaves you plenty of room in the budget to outsource the process, and still make money in the months (and years, sometimes) to come.Finding writers that understand what you’re trying to accomplish is where you’re going to encounter problems. The writers that are worth their weight are going to get paid what they’re worth.
Content mills simply can’t provide the personalized value required to keep these pages ranking highly, either.
So what do you do?
You leave it up to us, that’s what you do. We’ve been building parasite pages for our clients for years, and have gotten it down to an exact science.
If you want to start capitalizing on the opportunity, it’s time to take action.Either get to work finding some keywords to target, and build the pages yourself, or reach out to us and give us a bit of insight into what you’re trying to accomplish.
We’ve got your back.
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