What is Barnacle SEO in 2019

If you are a small local business, or just a new business trying to get a hand into SEO you might want to try out barnacle SEO.

What is barnacle SEO?

Well, let’s put it this way.

Go ahead and type in some kind of keyword from your niche to the Google Search Bar.

Look at the top 10 results. It’s all the big names in the industry right? Do you think you can fight them for the top 10 places? You can try, but it’s gonna be hard.

Admittedly the whole search ecosystem now is much much different compared to 10 years ago. But you can still see the list of big names, informational or directory sites seating on the organic, non-paid positions.

So instead of trying to fight them, why not try to take advantage of them instead?

That is barnacle SEO.

It’s basically a game of leverage. Where you’ll use an influential and highly visible website to promote your own business. So you’ll be ranking and getting the exposure that otherwise can’t be achieved.

Barnacle SEO is a term coined by Will Scott of Search Influence, back in the early 2000s. You can check out the original article here if you’re interested, Barnacle SEO – Local Search Engine Optimization for The Sam’s Club Crowd.

It’s an old article but the skills noted are still absolutely relevant to jump-start your local business’s search engine presence.

Sounds good? Hooked? But not quite sure how to start?

Let’s show you some ways to start on barnacle SEO.

1. Look for high ranking directory sites

Now obviously before you start anything, you need to know what are the big names or big sites that are currently sitting on that first page comfortably for your keyword, your niche, your industry.

I have a couple big names coming off my mind, for the SEO industry, it’s gotta be Moz, Search Engine Land, and Search Engine Journal to name a few.

For the hotel industry, there are tons of directory style websites that you can piggyback on like booking.com, Trivago, Agoda and much much more.

Now that you have a list of big names that have a high enough domain authority, and a big number of quality backlinks to have them constantly placed on the top of the SERP.

The next thing you need is to identify how you can get on their site.

If it’s a directory site, you can request to have your business listed on their site.

If it’s a website like Moz, where they run a blog or an active community, you can try reaching out for a guest posting.

How can you do that?

Well, that brings us to point number 2.

2. Guest posting

Guest posting is an essential step to get yourself a place in already high ranking non-directory websites.

But the main idea behind this is you’re looking for organic, inbound traffic.

Organic, inbound traffic starts with content.

If you can get a kick-ass content, that’s great.

If you can get a kick-ass content, and make it as a guest posting on an already high ranking website, even better.

Because you can know for sure that your content is gonna get the readers it deserves.

You may ask, ok so the other website is actually getting all the views from my content, how is that a good thing? Because that is actually what you have on your plate to bargain for a place on their website.

Well, you see, reputable websites will make it clear that firstly it is a guest post and secondly who wrote this awesome content and finally where you can reach this amazing writer directly.

And that’s why you need to find a reputable, high ranking website that will have all these rules that they adhere to that ends up helping you.

That’s the essence of barnacle SEO. In this industry, we help each other out right? (right.)

The first step to guest posting is outreach.

Basically, you’re reaching out to all these sites, showing your interest in guest posting on their website.

And it goes from there.

Like any sincere communication, an outreach will only be successful if you are actually offering them something of value, not simply asking to barge into their website to drop a link.

Keep in mind that, even by leveraging their website’s domain authority, a content won’t rank if it’s not of a good quality and provides the answers that the readers want.

3. Content sharing sites

Now that you have an awesome content that is getting some steady views and climbing up the SERP as we speak.

Why not use that same content and get more views? This time on a different website? There are a whole different set of big players in a slightly different niche.

If your content was in a blog post format, it also has the potential to be presented as a slideshow or even a video.

For a site like Slideshare. All you need to do really is to just spin your content into a presentation and share it.

Now, a better way is to do this the other way round.

You got a kick-ass content, you made them into this easy to share and easy to understand set of slides, embed it in your content itself and share it to the big name site that you’re guest posting on.

You can also make it into a video, for example, Moz’s whiteboard Friday showcases videos where experts talk about all sorts of SEO topics.

Upload it to YouTube, Vimeo or your Facebook. That way you can broaden your reach to a different crowd.

You can also opt for content syndication. There are often articles crossed posted on sites like medium and LinkedIn Groups, so that’s definitely doable.

By simply syndicating, you also spend less effort since you don’t have to reformat your content.

You’re also putting your content on multiple big websites and greatly increased your exposure.

So now the readers have more places to find your awesome content.

Which means more visitors and more exposure.

I call it awesome.

One thing to keep in mind is to check the canonical options you have while publishing your content on a site like medium.

Here’s a medium help page on SEO and duplicate content that goes into the details on how they handle this issue.

Not quite sure what canonical means? Check out this post here for a quick explanation, What Are Canonical Links And Why You Should Canonicalize Your URL

4. Comment on web 2.0

If you have a blog, you’ve most probably had some unwelcomed spam comment.

We’re kinda going that path. As in we’re gonna go around leaving comments about our own business too.

Now, like any other sane people on the planet would know. No one likes spammy comments. A comment saying “Thank you for this awesome article. www.ilovemilk.com” is not gonna cut it.

That’s downright offensive.

No one likes spam…

The main point of dropping comments on web 2.0 is not to force people to go visit your website, it’s even further away from dropping a link hoping to get that link juice.

It’s about building up your persona. Yes, yours.

You’re gonna share what you know about your own industry, and perhaps ask questions, engage with others.

The comment section of a piece of content is where the community is. You’re dropping a comment because you’re making yourself known as a part of the community.

And try to leave comments that are actually helpful and insightful, comments on sites like Quora or Reddit can end up ranking high for a specific keyword.

Treat your comment as if you’re writing a blog post. Give valid and actionable points. Then, when it’s backed up by the high domain authority of the website that you’re commenting on, you’ll have a bigger chance to rank.

Wait, here comes the main point.

If you come upon a situation where it’s totally ok to link your own content there, do it.

You have already established yourself as an active member of the community, not just a link dropper. People will actually take it seriously and pay it a visit, cause it’s actually gonna be relevant and reliable.

That way, you’ll have both link building and barnacle SEO by being active in one community, killing two birds with one stone.

5. Press Release

Press Release is an official announcement issued by a company or a business. Simple as that.

Digital press release service is often used as a great way to expand your brand exposure and pike interest from journalists.

A press release is not just one press release, there are usually plans selling press release service that syndicates it across hundreds of websites.

Do you see where this is going?

Sending out a digital press release is borderline white hat link building.

Syndicating a press release over hundreds of media sites would build up your link profile like mad.

And a bunch of businesses is using this exact technique to build their digital presence.

You should too.

So, are you on the board now?

Now, the first stop in this press release journey is, of course, looking for a reliable press release service provider.

Just a search on Fiverr and you’ll find a ton of sellers selling this service, are they the one you need? Well, that’s the million dollar question.

Fiverr sellers usually offer their service at a lower price. Downside? You can’t really expect how the quality will be.

Yes, you can kinda gauge by reading the reviews left by other buyers and you’ll only be losing a hundred dollar if they do a bad job.

You can also find bigger and more reputable press release service firms such as MarketersMEDIA. Do be prepared that the price listed will be double or maybe triple the price you see on Fiverr.

But hey you get what you paid.

When you’re paying for a press release service, you want the links to be varied, if they have a couple of big names on their distribution list, even better.

What difference with a press release with a content is that you don’t really need to pour days into creating an informational post.

A press release is simply an announcement, things are kept short to the point and professional.

Something as simple as announcing that your business now added SEO as a part of your marketing effort can be a good enough topic to write for a press release.

By sending out a press release you’re leveraging all the links you got from these websites to extend to your search engine visibility.

There are even services out there offering to syndicate your piece of content to top branded sites like Reuters, Google News, Yahoo News and more.

You can definitely make good use of them if you have the budget to jump-start your SEO effort.

Let’s conclude this post with an excellent guide on how to look for a suitable barnacle site. Since getting the correct site to jump on is the core of barnacle SEO.

Now start your journey!