What Is Barnacle SEO?

December 14, 2020

Using the right keywords is important for your business. However, it can be difficult for small and new businesses to rank on their own with so much competition. Barnacle SEO is an effective technique in these situations to help such businesses rank for competitive keywords. Here is why this technique is effective and why our team at Doctor Genius prefers to use it.

An Overview of Barnacle SEO

In 2008, Search Influence’s Will Scott coined the term “barnacle SEO” to describe the process of smaller businesses attaching their names to larger, more established domains to benefit from their authority. Using established websites that rank for the most popular and competitive keywords can help a small or new business rank higher without doing the same work necessary for traditional SEO.

Barnacle SEO mimics the relationship that takes place in the natural world between barnacles and whales. Barnacles, tiny arthropods no bigger than an inch in diameter, attach themselves to a moving object, like a whale, to gather nutrients from the current. Similar to this relationship, a business can benefit from attaching its name to a search engine whale. The business can go wherever the search engine whale goes, even to the top of the SERPs. The barnacle and whale relationship is a commensal one. The barnacle does not hurt the whale, nor does it help it. However, in order to make the most of the barnacle SEO technique, it is important to act more like a partner to the big websites and less like a parasite.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is one of the most popular barnacle SEO activities. This particular strategy involves reaching out to websites and pitching a guest blog post. Doing this can seem intimidating for small and new businesses. However, blogs with authority may be willing to work with smaller ones, especially if helping out means adding another article to be ranked on their website. 

Before reaching out to a website, it is beneficial to research topics that are trending in a particular niche. It is also helpful to consider topics that have not had much coverage but may benefit readers. Identify top blogs and craft an attractive pitch for a guest blog post. If the website is big enough, a guest blog can receive many visitors and shares.

Types of Websites to Target

Using barnacle SEO does not always involve asking for a guest blog appearance. Another activity involves targeting websites that people use daily. These websites are online directories and publishing platforms. Some commonly used websites for barnacle SEO are Google My Business, Angie’s List, Facebook, and TripAdvisor. It is also beneficial to identify websites that specifically cater to one’s niche. Once the target sites are identified, one can create a profile to list their business and begin using barnacle SEO.

Leverage Review Sites

There are several benefits to leveraging review sites. One significant advantage is that it can help with SEO. Review sites like TripAdvisor, Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, and Foursquare have a lot of search engine authority. Make sure to keep all information up-to-date on each review site. It is also essential to complete a profile and include all the information that potential customers will need, like the business location, hours, and services. 

A strong profile with positive customer reviews can help to rank higher for local searches. In addition to boosting online reputation, it is also a great way to get more direct and organic traffic. When creating a profile, it is also necessary to consider the types of terms that typically rank well for review sites. Some examples are:

  • (Product or service) review

  • (Product or service) alternatives

  • Tools like (product or service)

Writing for Publishing Platforms

Listing a business on online directories is a popular barnacle SEO strategy, but other options can also yield good results. Writing for any of the many publishing platforms can help expand reach. One of the most popular and effective publishing platforms is Medium. Medium consistently ranks on the first page for competitive key terms in various industries, from business to health. Another benefit of Medium is that its results often include featured snippets.

Publishing on Medium is fairly straightforward. It is acceptable to target an industry’s most competitive key terms when using barnacle SEO. Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Conduct keyword research

  2. Select the search intent

  3. Optimize content so it aligns with the target keyword

  4. Use subheadings and incorporate keywords where possible

  5. Embed or add creatives, such as images, infographics, and video

Above all, make sure the writing is of high quality. Medium has domain authority, so write like an authority figure. The content should be easy to read and understand but also informative and factual. For additional guidance, please refer to our blog on writing quality content

Leverage Barnacle SEO Today

Our team at Doctor Genius uses innovative digital marketing and search engine optimization strategies like barnacle SEO to help move your business forward. We have digital marketing solutions to help get your practice on the right path to success. Call us to discuss how to boost your online presence. 

Doctor Genius, located at 16800 Aston Street, Suite 270, Irvine, CA 92606, provides a range of services for practice success. We seek to meet our clients’ needs by providing a variety of marketing, SEO, practice optimization tools, and coaching to transform the healthcare experience. Though we work to provide the most accurate information, the content found on this website is solely intended for entertainment purposes. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is entirely correct. You may not use the information on this site to cure, prevent, or diagnose a perceived medical issue. If you have healthcare-related needs, please speak directly to a healthcare professional. Never self-perform medical treatments discussed on this website. All images displayed are also for entertainment purposes only, and personal experiences may differ. Please note that the business tactics mentioned on this site might not be applicable to your industry or practice.