Have you ever seen those LinkedIn Pulse pages ranking in the second or third spot on Google for various keyword searches? Why do so many authors write for LinkedIn Pulse? The answer is barnacle SEO.


SEOs and marketers know that it is easier to rank their articles for competitive keywords by publishing them on LinkedIn Pulse than on their own site.

barnacle seo


LinkedIn Pulse is just one example. Many high-authority sites, such as Tripadvisor, Yelp, Clutch, and others, are available based on your niche to improve your brand's visibility in organic search results.


Let’s learn about leveraging the power of other sites for higher rankings using barnacle SEO.


What is Barnacle SEO?


Barnacle SEO is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique where smaller websites leverage the established authority of high-ranking websites to improve their search engine results page (SERP) visibility. It's similar to how barnacles, marine organisms, attach themselves to larger creatures for survival and wider travel.


Will Scott introduced the "barnacle SEO" concept in November 2011 in his article "Barnacle SEO: Local Search Engine Optimisation for The Sam’s Club Crowd."


In barnacle SEO, smaller businesses with low domain authority and organic presence find and list their business information on pages of well-known and high-traffic websites.


Example of Barnacle SEO in Action


Marriott International is an excellent example of a business that successfully uses barnacle SEO.


Marriott Hotels and Resorts has partnered with online travel agencies like Booking.com, Expedia, and Hotels.com to boost its online visibility.


Marriott ensures its hotels are listed and set up well on websites like Booking.com and Expedia. This helps Marriott use its big online presence and power in the travel world, and it helps Marriott gets noticed by more travelers who look for places to stay on these websites.

marriott hotels on booking.com

These barnacle listings help Marriott get more hotel bookings. Instead of depending solely on its website for bookings, Marriott uses the big audience and traffic on these OTAs to its advantage.


Is Barnacle SEO Effective?


Here are some of the top advantages of barnacle SEO:

Leveraging Authority

When you link your brand to popular websites, you can get a boost from their strong reputation and visibility on search engines. This can make more people notice your brand and visit your website.


Barnacle SEO targets existing platforms, like social media or review sites. This can be cheaper than other SEO methods, which require a lot of money to create content or get links.


Barnacle SEO on the other hand is in most cases free, but requires some time investment to get right.

Targeted Exposure

With barnacle SEO, you can aim for certain keywords or topics by linking your brand to related content on trusted websites. This can bring in a specific group of people interested in what you offer on your website.

Enhanced Reputation

When your brand is linked to respected websites or platforms, it can make it seem more trustworthy and reliable to people and search engines.

Local SEO Benefits

For businesses trying to reach local customers, platforms like Google Business and local directories can boost local SEO and make them more visible to nearby people.


For instance, if you own a dentist practice in your local town, then getting listed in relevant dentist directories can give your practice more online exposure in your local community.

dentist citation


How to Use Barnacle SEO to Improve Rankings


Here's how you can use barnacle SEO with different methods:        

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a useful barnacle SEO tactic that promotes your business by leveraging the authority of well-known sites in your niche.


In guest posting, you find and approach high-traffic websites in your niche, looking for industry experts to contribute articles. As a qualified expert, you can pitch your content idea and get your content published on these popular websites.


In addition to that, you acquire a backlink to your website, leading to more qualified referral traffic to your main money website.


Hence, the chances of more people finding your content online increase, and as a result, your business branding and site authority both improve.


For example, here are some guest posts written for Search Engine Watch, one of the popular blogs related to search engine optimization. I wrote more than a couple of articles for them which ranked higher in the search engines and helped me gain a lot of referral traffic to my own website.

joydeep search engine watch profile

Review Sites

Small businesses can create a page on review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Trustpilot, where happy customers can leave five-star reviews about your company.


Review pages rank higher on Google for branded search queries. Hence, to manage your brand's online reputation, you should create pages on well-known review platforms.


Also, ensure that your business profiles on these review sites have correct business details, accurate and lengthy descriptions, and professional-quality pictures to increase the number of prospects noticing your brand in search engine results.


Using review sites as a part of your barnacle SEO plan can make your online presence bigger, improve your reputation, and bring more people to your business.


For instance, Intelligence Bank, a digital asset management software, does a great job in listing its business on the top review sites. When users search on Google with their product name + reviews or just their product name, they can find listings on a number of review sites, further boosting their authority in the organic search results.

intelligence bank reviews


Here are some of the top review sites that you can use for barnacle SEO depending on your business niche:


  • Zomato
  • G2
  • OpenTable
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Trustpilot
  • Glassdoor
  • Foursquare
  • Consumer Reports
  • Booking.com
  • Hotels.com
  • Airbnb
  • HomeAway
  • VRBO
  • Capterra
  • TrustRadius

Wikipedia Page

Making a Wikipedia page about your business or related topics can help your brand show up more in search results. Search engines consider Wikipedia pages trustworthy, which can attract more people to your website and make your brand more well-known.

wikipedia page


High-authority Wikipedia pages have enduring relevance and can contribute to consistent referral traffic to your website. Additionally, as Wikipedia articles accrue more citations and inbound links, their authority and ranking potential may increase.

Resource Pages

Resource pages focus on specific topics relevant to an industry or niche. By sharing helpful content related to your business's keywords on these pages, you can make your business or products more visible.


Moreover, resource pages have longevity, remaining active and relevant over an extended period. Once included on resource pages, your link can continue to provide SEO value over time.

coding resource pages


Additionally, as resource pages attract new visitors seeking information on specific topics, they can continue to drive referral traffic to your website, further enhancing its online visibility and authority.


For instance, if you are selling email marketing software, you can find resource pages by using the query:


email marketing intitle:resources

email marketing resource page query


You can then approach these sites and request them to include your website in their page. This barnacle SEO tactic not only increases your website visibility, but also helps to raise your domain reputation in the eyes of search engines.

Content Syndication

Content syndication is an excellent barnacle SEO strategy to increase your brand's organic visibility.


You can share your well-written and unique articles on platforms like Quuu Promote, Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, or industry forums to get those pages ranked on Google.

quuu promote


Instead of preparing new content for each platform, you can reuse what you already have to reach more people. This will save you time and money while meeting your marketing aims.

Google Business Listing

Google Business is the most popular platform for improving your local ranking


When you claim and verify your Google Business Listing, you can help your business rank highly in local search results.

google my business example


Google Business Listings work closely with Google Maps, making it easy for searchers to find and reach your business's location. This can lead to more visits, especially if your business is in a well-known in the area.

Local Business Directories

Many people trust websites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Angie's List, which often appear near the top of search results. If you make sure your business is listed on these sites and you keep your information up-to-date, more people searching for local businesses like yours will be able to find you online.


In addition to general local business directories, focus on niche-specific web directories and local business listing sites. These directories target particular groups of people and can be helpful for businesses in specialized markets.


Here are some of the top local business directories that you should include in your barnacle SEO strategy:


  • Yelp 
  • Yellow Pages 
  • TripAdvisor 
  • Angie's List 
  • Foursquare 
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) 
  • Citysearch 
  • Superpages 
  • DexKnows 
  • MerchantCircle 
  • Local.com
  • Hotfrog 
  • Manta 
  • Chamber of Commerce 
  • Insider Pages 
  • EZlocal 
  • LocalStack 
  • Yellowbook 
  • Brownbook


For example, Yelp offers a number of categories to list your business:

yelp business categories

By identifying and listing your business on relevant niche directories, you can target highly qualified leads and improve your chances of attracting customers specifically interested in your products or services.

Top Lists Posts

Top lists posts are a highly effective barnacle SEO tactic that involves creating and contributing to list-based articles or blog posts on authoritative websites within your industry or niche.


These posts compile lists of top products, services, tools, or resources relevant to a specific topic, and they can provide significant benefits for your SEO efforts.


For example, if you sell resume building software, you can do a quick search on Google with the query “best resume building software” and you will find a list of relevant pages.

best resume builder software


You can now approach each one of them one by one to get your software listed on each of these listicles. This will give you an excellent chance of increasing your product visibility in Google SERP for your primary target keywords.




Barnacle SEO is like a secret weapon for small businesses. It helps them use well-established websites to get noticed online.


When businesses use barnacle SEO, they can compete with larger competitors and reach their marketing goals faster and easier.