Feb 12, 2024

What Is Parasite SEO: When You Should Use It And How

What Is Parasite SEO: When You Should Use It And How
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When you want to rank high for a very competitive keyword, parasite SEO offers some smart options.

Like a parasite, you attach yourself (or rather your pages) to a bigger organism (a high-authority website).

Out in the open, parasites feed off their host (i.e., 3rd party rankings) to survive and reproduce (get their content to the top of SERPs).

Just like in nature, parasite SEO is based on a consumer-resource interaction.

But this usually comes at a cost. You need to invest money or time.

What Is Parasite SEO?

Parasite SEO is an SEO strategy where you create keyword-focused content for other high-ranking websites in order to elevate your visibility for these keywords.

For your parasite SEO efforts to succeed, these 3rd-party websites must be authoritative and reputable, with numerous worthy backlinks. Your goal is to take advantage of all these qualities so as to get your content on top of Google.

As a parasite, you basically nurture your own pages with the link juice and domain authority of your host.

But parasite SEO works on many levels, setting it among the highest ROI SEO activities.

And for a good reason.

Like native advertising in the (printed) press, parasite SEO also works outside the ranking arena, bringing leads and conversions via brand awareness.

Indeed, reputable references are highly rated signs for humans as well as bots.

It’s worth noting that 95% of all online pages have zero backlinks (this number is based on an 11.8 million Google search results analysis). So, there’s plenty of “empty” space out there for you to conquer.

Backlinks from top websites can offer significant advantages. They create clever shortcuts to reach top positions. They also build trust in your prospects.

How Parasite SEO Works

SEO specialists use parasite SEO techniques when:

  • a website is new
  • a website is older but SEO-less

You can also use parasite SEO when you want to:

  • rank for ultra-competitive search terms
  • rank fast for specific keywords
  • establish your authority for keywords you already rank for
  • boost brand awareness

Sometimes, posting your content on a top-ranking website is enough. But you often need to give an extra boost via social media and link building.

Parasite SEO is mostly used for short-tail keywords, which, in fact, have the biggest competition.

Such “hot” keywords include ultra-popular terms like:

  • Best - “Best Books To Read On Your Holidays”
  • Near Me - “Chinese Restaurants Near Me”
  • [This year] - “All SEO Statistics You Should Know For 2024”
  • Cheap - “Cheap Compact Camera Deals”
  • [Geo name] - “Cancun Hotels”
  • [Tips] - “5 Tips To Stay Fit Over Christmas”

To get your content “up there” for this type of ultra-popular and evergreen keywords, you need to be either famous or rich.

In other words, you must own high topical/domain authority or invest in a parasite website (and a solid SEO strategy).

Further down, we’ve compiled a short list of parasite content that works.

Parasite SEO Techniques

If you are browsing SEO blogs, you’ll discover a wide range of techniques for parasite SEO. They include sending out press releases, joining forum discussions, and other SEO ‘authority hacker’ practices.

True, with Google’s user-centric algorithm updates, ranking results come from ever-expanding and diverse sources.

But actually, parasite SEO is mainly about your valuable content getting hosted on an advantageous website.

It works especially well and fast for industry-specific content and niche-specific keywords.

Parasite SEO Examples

Here are some ideas to get your content published on big websites and reap some ranking fruits.

Sponsored Content

From online press to industry blogs, you can find various authoritative websites that sell space for your content - and eventually give some valuable backlinks.

Sponsored articles come in many forms. Some are less subtle than others.

Explicit CTA’s

An advertorial-type article can include prominent calls to action and, at the same time, offer expert insight.

For example, check out this sponsored post in ‘Search Engine Journal’ that deals with Mobile SEO. It has explicit calls to action in anchor texts and also pop-ups, all linking to the author’s website.

Despite its advertising look, the content offers quality advice. It includes tips and CSS examples for responsiveness.

Parasite SEO example #1: Sponsored post with clear CTA’s.

This specialized article has gained 1st page rankings for some “mobile seo” searches. Plus, a top spot as a featured snippet for a couple of longtail keywords.

POV Articles

Point-of-View articles often work wonders - especially in industry-specific media.

Forbes, for example, runs an “Agency Council.” This is a paid membership scheme for selected executives in PR and advertising.

Participating members write their expert views on their field and get enormous visibility, top rankings, and an invaluable backlink for their organizations.

These Forbes articles come #1 for many SEO-related keywords. It’s a win-win situation that benefits the parasite and the host gracefully.

And because they often appear as a top featured snippet, users can quickly get expert information on industry-related queries.

Parasite example #2: POV article with author bio and links to their business website.

This article on Zombie Pages reaches a featured snippet or top 3 results for quite a few ‘zombie page’ searches.

The author’s website is linked in the intro and the bottom info section for added visibility.

Contributed Content

Contributed content allows you to reap the benefits of parasite SEO for free.


Interviews and case studies are a great way to have your content published free of charge. They work notably well for specialized niches within industry-specific press.

If you own an SMB, you can dig in your client lists and find available interview candidates willing to give you expert opinions and describe their work.

In turn, specialized niche publications are often happy to accept ready-made articles from professionals in their field.

Here is an example of an audio-visual designer interview in Live Design magazine:

Parasite SEO example #3: Case study interviews of industry experts that use your product or service.

This is an example of a case study based on an interview with an industry expert (i.e., your customer). The article offers insider knowledge on procedures and equipment used to light up a play - an interesting and insightful piece for the magazine and its readers.

At the same time, the interviewee and all the equipment they mention using, receive publicity and backlinks.

The readers also get expert advice, and you get to share it with your network and boost sales.

Social Articles

Writing SEO-friendly articles on social media can rank you high for your targeted keywords.

LinkedIn articles, for example, combine the platform’s authority in the business world and also proof of author expertise.

Hook up your thoughtful articles in your LinkedIn profile and drive some commentary from your peers.

Soon, you may see yourself ranking at the top.

When googling “Parasite SEO” for example, LinkedIn articles are within the top 10.

Parasite example #4: Write and share LinkedIn article with your expert views.

Not bad, eh?

In fact, LinkedIn ranks as the best network that drives organic results, according to 43.77% of marketers in a recent survey.

Paid or free, there are many creative ways to utilize the power of parasite SEO for fast and quality rankings.

And also take advantage of its positive impact on your overall SEO strategy.

Benefits Of Parasite SEO

To sum up, here are the benefits of parasite SEO:

  • Enhanced visibility in search engines
  • Higher rankings and more traffic
  • Quick rankings and quality link-building
  • Increased trust and reputation
  • Increased domain authority
  • High-quality backlinks
  • Increased content CTR
  • Rank for very competitive keywords

All the above come with leads and customers and open the way for your other pages to rank high in the long run.

Ready For Your Next SEO Step?

If you want to enjoy all the advantages SEO can offer your website and your business, contact Atropos Digital.

Our premium SEO team dives into your pages and brings up all their hidden potential.

Whether you want to outsource projects or create a virtual SEO department within your company, we tailor our services to your needs and deliver results that last. Book your SEO strategy call.

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