Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is now a well-known phrase, with start-ups and multinational corporations alike, jostling each other for web space and high Google rankings. There are a whole host of techniques that can be used to improve rankings; some have just been a passing trend while others have stood the test of time.
One such trend. (The talk of the cyber town back in 2007 and sporadically in 2008) was the ‘Barnacle SEO’, which is now gaining popularity once more. This term was conceived by Will Scott, Founder and CEO of Search Influence, an American search engine marketing company that helps small business put themselves on the map through effective SEO practices.
A barnacle is a small marine crustacean, a clever little creature that attaches itself permanently to objects like boats and marine structures. It receives its nutrients from the water currents that pass by, with no effort from the barnacle. Barnacle SEO is very similar. Smaller sites can attach themselves to larger, more popular and widely searched sites for better viewership by taking advantage of the current that comes to these bigger sites.
Every business will have keywords which they would like users to search organically for. These keywords, however, could be beyond the reach of small businesses in terms of energy and money. In such cases, it makes more sense to have the business listed with bigger sites that rank the same words that the small businesses want to rank.
Say for example, you own a Thai restaurant in Seattle. You're going to have a really hard time trying to be top-ranked naturally for the search terms pertinent to you. If you Google 'Thai food', you are most likely to end up with links to directories that list Thai restaurants, rather than Thai restaurants themselves. There is no way you can compete with powerful sites like YellowPages or Yahoo, so it makes much more sense to just list your business with them. This is the basic process behind Barnacle SEO. You can also share content with other larger sites, when they need content regarding a particular topic. You could present a well-researched article that benefits both parties.
There are two very important things to keep in mind when resorting to Barnacle SEO - firstly, which are the sites that are ranking highly and for what? This is largely based on the research the businesses themselves do. Second, how you are going to go about the process of piggybacking on their traffic? You could try listings or content sharing. Sometimes a more direct approach, like buying ads on sites for a greater portion of cyber real estate might work. It all depends on how much visibility you are looking for and for how much money. This is where you can leverage from the expertise of an SEO company to formulate a plan and know which websites to piggyback on.
Knowing this method could potentially save your business from burning your budget just to gain the desired exposure.