After writing my initial piece breaking down the process and my thoughts on Parasite SEO, I thought I’d look into it further to see what would be needed to set up a Parasite SEO campaign.
I’ve analysed more than a few of these parasite SEO campaigns and devised a simple approach that anyone with a little cash, the ability to write an article, and some time can copy.
However, before we get into it, I want to highlight something.
A quick Parasite SEO caveat
I do not believe that Parasite SEO should form the core foundation of any business’s growth.
If you read my other piece on Parasite SEO, you’ll know that I don’t think it’ll be around for a long time.
I’m pretty sure that Google will nerf this thing to a point where it’s no longer viable because it’s not great for Google’s UX.
Also, I’m not a fan of giving the highest profit keywords to your competitor.
I do, however, think that there is a way to use parasite SEO as a way to better grow your business.
You just have to amend what’s being published.
Rather than publishing an article full of affiliate links on an external site publish a piece that explains your best offers or features your highest-selling products.
You’re then getting a good referral from a high DA site direct to your best-selling products.
It’s the same principle as PR, however, due to the approach of parasite SEO you can be way more promotional in the approach.
Let’s get into the basic system so you actually know what I mean by this.
The basic approach to Parasite SEO
The basic approach for Parasite SEO is simple.
- Find a high DA site that accepts “paid articles” (a lot fo small town news sites accept these)
- Secure a sponsored post spot on their site
- Write the article that promotes whatever you want
- Have them publish it
News sites are seen as authoritative by Google and, generally, have very high DA.
So by publishing on their site, you’re far more likely to get your article to the top of Google in a few days with little to no link building.
A lot of folk tend to pepper the articles with affiliate links to get a quick and easy revenue stream.
It looks a little like this.
Let’s look at a real example.
A real-world Parasite SEO example
A lot of the Parasite SEO examples tend to use affiliate programs with…
- High payouts
- Pretty scammy marketing tactics
So when I was looking for an example, I was searching for the kind of Clickbank offers you see that secretly enrol the user into a monthly recurring charge.
Low and behold, 60 seconds into searching I found the below.
The #1 article on Google with the featured snippet for “best weight loss pills that actually work”.
It’s published on a small news site based out of Albany New York.
Something is obviously amiss here as what does a small news publication know about weight loss? They’re not exactly experts in the field.
When you click through to the article, there are 2 interesting elements that stand out.
The first is the huge “Paid Advertising” disclaimer at the top of the page.
The second is that the author is not an individual expert like a doctor, nutritionist, or anything similar. It’s a brand that specialises in marketing.
These two things alone should be a signal to Google that this fails the basics of EEAT, but it’s still up, published, and ranking at the top of Google.
The piece itself is well-optimised for SEO.
- Good length
- Good H2s
- Good hierarchy
- Enough info on the options
- Images of the product
When you go down into the actual article as well, you’ll notice that throughout there are multiple links to buy the products.
The links are, without fail, affiliate links.
You can see the URL in the bottom left of the above.
The website it links to – Chrono Therapeutics – is “under construction”.
However, that /go/ element in the URL is usually added in by affiliate program management tools to make “pretty links”.
As you’ll see here, it’s the default recommendation for Thirsty Affiliates.
My guess is these guys are buying a domain that sounds like a reasonable source of information for the links they’re placing.
And by using the link cloaking in something like Thirsty Affiliates, they’re able to get past the editorial guidelines of “no affiliate links” set by the news pub.
The domain of Chrono Therapeutics was never going to be used and is simply there to cloak the affiliate links.
When you click on one of the links, you never see the Chrono Therapeutics site. You’re immediately redirected to the sales page.
And, from there, you’ll note that the domain name has an affiliate tracking ID included.
It’s a smart way of adding in affiliate links without getting caught by the publication.
If you can target this right, you could be getting hundreds of clicks on these links per day, bringing in thousands in revenue.
How could you replicate this Parasite SEO campaign?
Again, I’m gonna start this section with the advice that I don’t think you should be doing this for low-value affiliate programs with scammy buy-ins and up sells.
I don’t however, see a problem with doing this to promote your own products.
It’s literally just PR but in a way that benefits your brand more than a simple press release would.
You’re paying to get to the top of Google.
Here’s how I think the people in the above example actually do this.
FYI, step 1 or 2 could be changed around here.
As you’re not too worried about competition, you could start with the product or the keyword.
There’s benefits to both approaches IMO.
1. Find a decent affiliate program
From the look of a lot of Parasite SEO pages, they seem to be using affiliate programs for the – how do I say this – less reputable campaigns.
For example, diet pills, loans, casinos etc. Things that could be bad if the end user doesn’t know what they’re doing, but that often have higher payouts.
One of the ways you can find a lot of these kind of offers that often come with highly optimised sales pages is to use something like ClickBank.
I would go there, organise by top-selling offers, and filter by the category I wanted to promote.
As a quick look, the top-selling offers are often health-related.
This has a good affiliate payout, is the #1 top recommended offer, and has a recurring payment.
Should be a good earner.
I’d draw up a list of a handful of these so we can put several links within the same article.
2. Find the right keywords to optimise around
Now you just need to find a decent search term for the piece.
While you’re publishing on a news site with high DA – meaning that competition isn’t such an issue – you’ve still got to play the game.
Head terms like “diet pills” might not be too easy to get even on high DA sites.
So, I would look for longer tail variants that still have decent search volume and lower competition.
A quick search with Keywords Everywhere shows me that you’ll have to get inventive here. Especially if you’re going with something as popular as diet pills.
Great search volume across the board for these longer tails, but also maximum competition.
You might be able to place your article on a site that can rank for such high competition terms. But why leave that to chance.
Slightly longer tail with still good volume and lower competition will be easier.
3. Find a site to publish on
Once you have an idea of the article you’ll create and the products that fit the search term, you need to find a place to publish.
Search around for high DA sites that allow you to publish advertorials on their site.
I’d use search terms like…
- “Advertise with us” news [INDUSTRY]
- “Advertorial” [INDUSTRY]
- “Paid advertising” [INDUSTRY]
- “Sponsored post” [INDUSTRY]
These kinds of searches will bring up sites that publish advertorials and/or allow you to pay to get a piece of content published on their site.
You can also drill down by industry if you want a closer level of relationship to the offers. However, I don’t think this is 100% necessary as a lot of the Parasite SEO articles I’ve seen are on generic news sites.
I’d then prioritise by the sites with the highest DA as they have the best chance of ranking.
Click through, check the site, and reach out to the admins and editorial staff with your article idea.
4. Set up your link redirects
As mentioned in the above example, you’re likely going to have to put in some link redirects.
A lot of publications will not be happy for you to add in a raw affiliate link. Using something like Thirsty Affiliate on your own site and redirecting people through that link should be a good way to get round it.
5. Write and publish the article
Now for the easy part.
You just need to write the piece.
Once someone has agreed to publish, create the article and optimise it for SEO.
Whilst you are publishing on a site that has high DA, you want to maximise the chance of this ranking. That means…
- Well written content
- Cover the topic in detail
- Offer insight and useful analysis
- Include relevant images
- Good hierarchy and H2s
I’d recommend using a simple listicle-type article for this. Especially if you’re just pushing a bunch of affiliate products.
If you’re not sure how to write a listicle post that has the best chance of ranking highly on Google, check out my template pack.
In there there’s a listicle article template I’ve used to get more than a dozen listicle pieces to the top of Google.
Make sure that when you’re following the listicle template you also take into consideration the publication and editorial guidelines outlined by the target publication.
Once you’ve got the finished piece done, submit to the publishing article.
They may ask for edits or small changes.
Do them to get the piece published.
Once it’s published you…
6. Rinse and repeat
If this works for you, rinse and repeat.
Simple as that.
And once again I would recommend you don’t just push any old crap with this.
I think this could be a good strategy for promoting your own products and offers through high-DA sites.
I do not think this will be around for long, especially if people keep pushing things like diet pills.