Parasite SEO: A Complete Guide

TL;DR – Parasite SEO involves publishing content on high-authority third-party platforms to take advantage of their domain strength, with the aim of getting that content to rank higher in Google search results faster than if published on a less authoritative domain. It’s essentially “parasiting” off the SEO authority of established sites.

High search engine traffic is one of the top ways to bring in profit from a website whether you’re a beginner or a veteran marketer.

A lot of SEO techniques have surfaced over the years, each offering to boost page ranking if used correctly. Parasite SEO (Search engine optimization) is among the recent SEO strategies that webmasters are trying to figure out.

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about Parasite SEO, from what it is, how it works, how to use it, and how to detect it. Let’s get started!

Parasite SEO

What Does “Parasite SEO” Mean?

A parasite is an organism that takes advantage of another. In other words, benefiting from another organism, at another’s expense without giving something in return. Is it bad? No, if used correctly.

Similarly, parasite SEO is when a web page uses higher authority sites (also known as authoritative sites) to achieve higher ranks in search results and drive more traffic. It’s also known as Barnacle SEO, Parasite Hosting, or Parasitic Hosting.

This SEO technique can be a black hat strategy if it’s used for spamming content or links. However, it can also be a white hat strategy if the high authority sites let you post on their platform. Parasite SEO can be very rewarding for both beginners and experts looking to rank high in Google.

What Does Parasite SEO Involve?

Basically, parasite SEO involves creating a great piece of content and then you submit it to appear on a high-authority website. This way, you get the advantage of the host’s high traffic and improve the likelihood of your content getting leads and achieving conversions.

Is Parasite SEO a Form of Spam?

It can be if it’s misused for spamming content and links.

What are Some Negative Effects of Parasite SEO?

Parasite SEOs have unpredictable life spans, they may not be stable on the SERPs, and they can be time-consuming to manage.

Can Google Detect Parasite SEO?

Google is always working to improve its search engine ranking and traffic system, especially when it comes to detecting gray or black-hat SEO techniques.

Although parasitic hosting often ends up as a short-term SEO strategy, a lot of website owners think it’s rewarding enough to still be used nowadays.

Despite Google’s efforts to be hot on the trail of parasite SEO users, the delay between the appearance of the hacked site in the SERPs and figuring out the scheme remains pretty long.

That’s because some webpage owners who resort to parasite hosting take their sweet time implementing the strategy to make detection more difficult.

While Google eventually picks up on them via a wide range of crawling tests that are usually unidentified, these parasite pages can successfully stay in the top 10 search results for a considerable period.

So even though it’s literally a matter of time until Google pinpoints parasite SEO users, those who do it skillfully usually don’t need to worry about detection for quite a long duration.

How to Use Parasite SEO

Generally, there are two approaches to using parasite SEO. You can either build parasitic pages yourself or outsource the process.

1. Do It Yourself

If you’re an SEO newbie, then it’s better to develop parasite pages yourself. It’s a good chance to learn more about basic techniques for keyword spotting and on-page optimization.

Here are some simple steps to follow:

  • Start by searching for the topic you want to rank for.
  • Study the top-ranking pages thoroughly so you can get a sense of the type of information they provide and their writing style.
  • Pitch high authority sites that rank for related keywords and see if you can do a guest post or contribute to one of their articles.
  • To start writing, search for related keywords and formulate an outline for the article. Make sure to use highly competitive keywords.
  • For keyword research and content writing, you can use tools like Ahrefs and SurferSEO.
  • Then, create a great piece of content and keep track of the results to see where your web page stands.
  • If necessary, do link building.

2. Outsourcing

If you’re not an SEO beginner or you don’t have spare time or you can afford to hire a person for the job, then outsourcing can be a way to go. There are plenty of digital marketing agencies that offer SEO services.

SEO isn’t exactly fun to do, and with a tight schedule or other tasks piling up for you to complete, you may lack the motivation to pump out parasite pages.

The profile from implementing Parasite SEO, however, is potentially massive. This can be the push you need to work outsourcing into your budget.

When is Parasite SEO a Good Move?

Using parasite SEO can be a good idea for those who are already familiar with link building and have a compelling target list of high-authority sites that let you post links or articles on their platform.

On top of that, there should be a direct path to profit from parasite hosting on these websites and you should also avoid engaging in spam content on these sites.

When is Parasite SEO a Bad Move?

Parasite hosting isn’t always the best strategy for your site. For one, if the path to revenue isn’t direct like when ranking for the word “SERPs”. This is called a trophy keyword, which isn’t worth the hassle of parasite SEO.

Also, if your website is already more authoritative than other websites for the related keywords. Generally, if the time and effort (or money) you’ll invest into monopolizing search results isn’t greater than the profit, then parasite SEO isn’t a good strategy.

For example, a local bookstore won’t really benefit from parasite hosting. Local businesses would benefit more from local SEO services. On the other hand, a content creation company would.

What Are the Best Platforms for Parasite SEO?

The best platforms for implementing parasite SEO vary depending on your niche and target keywords.

Still, some high-authority websites work pretty well in most cases. These include Reddit, Medium, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Quora, Vimeo, and other social media platforms.

What to Consider Before Using Parasite SEO

Before getting into parasitic hosting, it’s good practice to keep the following points in mind when choosing sites for your campaign.

Website Authority

Finding websites with higher domain authority than your own is a must for successful parasite SEO. Posting content or adding a link on a platform with high authority gives you better odds of ranking in top search results.

Trust Flow/Citation

The power of a URL or website is directly defined by its trust flow or citation. According to Google’s algorithms, the more backlinks pointing to a certain website from high authority domains, the more reliable it is

Indexed Pages

Large web pages are almost always in Google’s good books. This means you need to check how many web pages of your target site are indexed by Google. The more indexed pages a domain contains, the stronger the host website. New websites have to work on indexing pages, which an SEO expert can handle.


Finally, check the number of backlinks pointing to your target site before posting content or submitting links. More backlinks correspond to better authority status.

How to Detect Parasite SEO

Now let’s say you’re the owner of a high-authority website that’s being used as a gateway for parasite hosting; how do you prevent that from happening? First, you should know that protecting your website from such hackers isn’t very easy, particularly if the culprits are good at manipulating data to hide their traces. Luckily, there are some measures you can take to make your website harder to take advantage of and keep potential hackers away.

Enable Alerts Via Google Webmaster Tools

Always look out for alerts in your ‘Security Issues’ section as they may point out parasite SEO changes. Additionally, take full advantage of the Google resources that deal with recovery from hacking attacks after receiving a notification in your Webmaster Tools for a security issue.

Set an Alert on []

By setting a Google alert on this phrase, you’ll receive a notification whenever a new page on your site is indexed by Google. This allows you to find parasite SEO activity even if the hacker is careful.

To ensure detection though, you need to be smart about using the tool. Try to anticipate the keywords that hackers may be focusing on and set the alert to search for them on your web pages.

Constantly Monitor Your Website

Keeping a constant eye on your site is a must if you want to protect it against parasitic hosting. This means consistently analyzing logs, looking out for changes on the webpage, and relying on a high-quality integrity control tool to quickly pick up on black hat SEO activity.

If you’re effectively on top of monitoring, you’ll immediately know if a hacker strikes thanks to modifications in the file system. You can also see alterations in your styles.php file or detect uploaded backdoors.

Always Update and Patch Your Software

Finally, if your website runs on free or open-source software, be sure to always keep it up to date. Also, regularly check it for bugs and patch it if necessary. If your current software version is unstable or if it has a bug, your website becomes more vulnerable to exploitation using parasite SEO. Hackers can easily work through such breaches of security.

Final Thoughts

Remember, we’re not here to judge. You’re free to agree or disagree with using parasite SEO techniques. We’re just here to provide information about parasite hosting and everything that comes with it. If you need to protect your site from parasite SEO work, then you have to reach out to experts. SEO North is here for you! Reach out to us now to learn more.


  • What is Parasite SEO?
  • What is the difference between guest posting and parasite SEO?

Published on: 2023-01-02
Updated on: 2023-10-31

Avatar for Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.