Barnacle SEO

Grab Hold of Higher Search Engine Ranking

Barnacle SEO graphicYou have your website and a vision. You have been intentional in the creation of your site so that you know which keywords you want to rank for in search engines. Unfortunately, whenever you Google those keywords, directories are at the top of the heap. Don’t despair that these sites are blocking you from success. Instead, use Barnacle SEO to leverage Google’s high-ranking directories to your advantage.

Just as a barnacle benefits from adhering to a large object or sea creature, you can benefit from an analogous relationship to sites bigger and more influential than your own. Will Scott of Search Influence coined the phrase, and characterizes Barnacle SEO as “attaching oneself to a large fixed object and waiting for customers to float by in the current.” Here are some pointers for how you can develop your Barnacle SEO approach.

Do your research. Which are the most important directories that come up for your chosen keywords? Take the time to notice the sites that rank the highest for each one. Often, you will find that niche directories will precede individual businesses in search results. As it is Google’s aim to give people the results most useful to them, directories with consolidated information are often the answer. Local directories and review sites are favored as well. Make a list of niche directories that matter most in your field, whether AutoServiceLink, askART, Tarot Directory, or FindLaw. Add in your local and regional directories, plus the major review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. Claim or create your profile for each of these sites.

Fill out your profiles accurately and completely. It may sound like overkill, but don’t skip out on this step. Provide your full address, hours of business, a description, and photos. Include links to your website and to your social media. Fill our whatever you are given the opportunity to fill out on each site. Google’s algorithms prefer businesses with consistent contact information, so decide how you will write your business name, address, and phone number down to the comma, and make sure you enter it the same way for each directory. Check it twice! Because Google leads the search industry, if you get those specs right, other search engines will tend to look upon you favorably as well.

Keep on linking. Your site will benefit from the appearance of your link among important directory listings. The connection is made stronger if their link appears on your site as well. Include the logo of your chamber of commerce on your Contact page and provide the link to their directory page where your business appears. Write a blog post and mention the good reviews you’ve received on glassdoor.com. Make comments on discussions and articles on relevant sites and include your link. Maintain a presence on the major social platforms where your customers are most likely to dwell. Wherever you have the opportunity to post your social media links, make sure you do. The more cross-referencing, the greater your association with these important sites that are more well known than your own.

As you work on your primary SEO efforts by creating great content and fine-tuning your metatags and on page optimization, don’t forget to take the opportunity to create positive associations with big sites from which you can only benefit. When your own site isn’t making it to the top five for a given search term, your Facebook page or your Foursquare listing may outrank it. A rising tide lifts all boats, so float along to the top with Barnacle SEO.

To learn more and to request an SEO assessment for your website, contact Loebig Ink, LLC.


Holt, N. (April 26, 2017). “Barnacle SEO: Rank for Competitive & Local Keywords.” Overdrive Interactive. Retrieved from https://www.ovrdrv.com/barnacle-seo/

Mihm, D. (March 26, 2014). “Why ‘Barnacle SEO’ is Making a Big Comeback in Local.” Search Engine Land. Retrieved from (https://searchengineland.com/barnacle-seo-making-big-comeback-local-187253

Robbie, R. (July 30, 2018). “12 ‘No-BS’ Ways to Rapidly Increase Organic Traffic in 2018 (with Case Studies & Examples).” RobbieRichards.com. Retrieved from: https://www.robbierichards.com/seo/increase-organic-traffic/#barnacle

Scott, W. (January 30, 2011). “Barnacle SEO – Local Search Engine Optimization for The Sam’s Club Crowd.” Search Influence. Retrieved from: https://www.searchinfluence.com/2011/01/barnacle-seo-original/


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