Parasite SEO: Everything You Need to Know

  John /   14 Nov 2023
Parasite SEO: Everything You Need to Know

Parasite SEO has recently been a trending and controversial topic within the SEO community.

If you just encountered the term "parasite seo" and are wondering what it means, then you are at the right place. In this article, I will explain what parasite SEO is and what you need to know about it.

What is Parasite SEO?

Parasite SEO, also known as parasitic SEO, is a technique used to rank content higher in search engine results for specific queries by leveraging the reputation and high domain authority of third-party websites.

It typically involves publishing content on established, high-authority websites with a link back to your website.

If you have ever searched something on the internet and found an article on a platform such as LinkedIn, Medium, or Quora, you probably have witnessed parasite SEO.

Website Authority and its Impact on Search Engine Ranking

Search engines, like Google, strive to provide users with the most relevant and reliable information available. To achieve this, they employ complex algorithms to rank web pages in search results based on various factors, including website authority, to assess the credibility and trustworthiness of a website.

Website authority, often referred to as domain authority, is a measure of a website's overall trustworthiness and credibility in the eyes of search engines.

Key components that contribute to a website's authority include:

  • Backlinks: These are links from other websites to your site. Search engines interpret these links as votes of confidence in your content. The number and quality of these backlinks play a significant role in determining your website's authority. When reputable websites link to a website, it signals to search engines that the website is valuable and trustworthy.
  • Domain Age: The age of a domain also plays a role in determining its authority. Older domains are generally considered more established and credible, as they have had more time to build a reputation and attract backlinks.
  • Content Quality: The quality and relevance of a website's content are crucial factors that establish your website as a valuable resource and an authority. Search engines favor sites that provide consistently high-quality, informative, and well-written content that is relevant to their target audience.
  • Social Signals: Social media activity, such as shares, likes, and comments, can indirectly impact website authority. While social signals are not a direct ranking factor, content that resonates on social platforms often attracts more attention and engagement, potentially leading to increased backlinks and improved authority.
  • User Engagement: User engagement metrics, such as time spent on the page, bounce rate, and click-through rate, also contribute to website authority. These metrics indicate how engaged users are with a website's content, suggesting that it is valuable and informative.
  • Technical SEO: Technical SEO factors, such as website speed, mobile-friendliness, and site structure, also influence authority. Search engines prefer websites that are easy to navigate, load quickly, and are optimized for mobile devices.

Website authority has a significant impact on the ranking of content in search engine results. A website with high authority is considered more credible and reliable, and therefore, more likely to rank higher in search results for relevant keywords.

Building a website's authority is both a complex and time-consuming process that requires consistent effort in creating high-quality content, building backlinks, and establishing a strong online presence.

How long it takes to see results will vary depending on the competitiveness of the industry and the website's niche. However, it typically takes months to start seeing substantial improvements in website authority, and several years to achieve a high level of authority.

Why and How Parasite SEO It Came to Be

As covered above, search engines prioritize established websites with high domain authority. This makes it difficult for low-authority websites to compete and rank content in the top positions of search engine results.

If your website has a low authority, chances are that despite taking time to craft and publish the best, high quality, and informative content on your website it may end up not ranking high especially if you target competitive keywords.

While it's possible for new and low-authority websites to grow their authoritativeness, it requires much more work and time.

Parasite SEO was born in the efforts of SEOs trying to rank for competitive keywords without having to wait for their sites to gain high domain authority or invest too much in acquiring high-authority links.

It was initially practiced by black-hat SEO practitioners. However, with the rise of web 2.0 properties and user-generated content platforms, it has since become more mainstream as more and more businesses have realized its potential benefits.

How To Do Parasite SEO

Outside of SEO, a parasite is defined as an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (referred to as a host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other's expense.

The same concept applies to the SEO world. The page published on a third-party website ideally acts as a parasite and the third-party site as its host. This page (can also be a subdomain or a directory) lives on the host site and leverages (feeds) on its trust and authority for a higher ranking in search result pages (SERPs).

Parasite SEO typically involves the following key steps:

  1. Platform Selection: Identify high-authority websites or platforms that allow users to publish or edit content. The best websites will vary from one niche to another, and depending on the keywords you’re targeting. Examples of best platforms that work with multiple niches include Medium, Quora, Reddit, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Vimeo.
  2. Content Creation: Create high-quality, relevant content on these platforms, optimizing it for specific keywords or phrases you want to target.
  3. Promotion: Promote your content on these platforms by building quality backlinks to it to increase its visibility and engagement. You can do this through social media, email marketing, and other outreach methods.

Treat the parasite as a real website, like you would to your own blog. Create unique, helpful, and informative content with high-quality backlinks and good on-page SEO.

You benefit from parasite SEO by including links back to your website within the parasite content. These backlinks should be strategically placed to maximize their SEO value.

In some cases, publishers do not add links back to the content on their sites but instead promote affiliate products, or sell their own products, or services directly on the parasite.

It's important to note that some of these user-generated content platforms can remove your content if they realize you are adding lots of links to your pages. So you should be careful to add links very sparingly and strategically. Among the known highly regulated platforms include BuzzFeed and Reddit.

You can also leverage an existing forum topic that is already ranking in search results. You achieve this by contributing a detailed and informative reply to the thread, incorporating one or more links to the content you aim to boost in rankings.

Besides the web 2.0 sites that allow user-generated content, there exist many other websites that usually charge some fees to rent out space on their websites, which in most cases is their revenue model.

Parasite SEO might cost you a bit because you need to post your content on a third-party website, or you may have to part with some cash for renting out space on high-authority websites. However, it is still easier than generating backlinks manually or purchasing them.

When done right, you can get your content on the first page of Google much more quickly for some competitive keywords. It is one of the most cost-effective off-page SEO tactics.

You’ll have to regularly update the parasite content to ensure it continues to rank well in the long term.

Benefits of Parasite SEO

There are a number of potential benefits to using parasite SEO, including:

  • It is much easier and quicker to rank content high on SERPs within a short time (even without links) compared to building the authority of a brand-new website.
  • You can build a lot of high-quality backlinks to your website in a relatively short amount of time.
  • High domain authority websites have high brand equity which can help you achieve high CTRs for your content in the SERPs.
  • You are likely to get some referral traffic to your website from the parasite pages.
  • It's more cost-effective as it doesn't require the investment and time associated with building a brand from scratch.

Does Parasite SEO Still Work?

Yes, parasite SEO still works in 2023. If you conduct a Google search for various keywords, you will notice that there are still many parasite pages ranking top in the SERPs for competitive keywords.

If you are targeting competitive keywords and you are struggling to rank your website organically, then parasite SEO may be a good option for you.

However, it is important to note that Google is increasingly cracking down on black hat SEO techniques, including parasite SEO. As a result, it is important to use parasite SEO carefully and to avoid using spammy tactics.

It's advisable to not rely solely on parasite SEO but instead incorporate it as part of a broader SEO strategy if you have to.

Parasite SEO Tips

If you decide to use parasite SEO, here are a few tips to help you do it safely and effectively:

  • Choose platforms and websites with high domain authority.
  • Create high-quality, informative, and engaging content.
  • Ensure your content is relevant to your niche and target audience.
  • Adhere to the policies and rules of the platforms you're using.
  • Avoid using spammy tactics, such as keyword stuffing and excessive linking.
  • Use a variety of platforms to spread your content and reduce risk.
  • Combine parasite SEO with sustainable SEO practices for lasting success.
  • Keep a close eye on your rankings and adapt your strategy accordingly.


Parasite SEO is a technique that leverages the authority of established websites to improve the ranking of your own website.

While it remains a viable strategy, it is important to use it carefully and ethically. The use of spammy tactics can get you penalized by Google and make your ranking suffer.

By following the tips given in this article, you can use parasite SEO to improve your website's ranking and drive traffic without harming your reputation or getting penalized.