It's not 2007 anymore and ranking a brand new website for profitable keywords is rarely easy but there may be a way with parasite websites.
This is especially true if you’re trying to rank in typical Clickbank niches.
How many 'get your ex back' or 'forex trading' websites do you think affiliates launch every year? And how many of them end up ranking for something worthwhile and actually turn a profit?
That's why many Clickbank affiliates (and others!) are turning to other methods, like finding and using parasite websites.
What Are Parasite Websites?
Parasite websites are not a new concept. In fact, it's been around for many years and people still use it today.
A parasite website is basically a website that can rank easily without a lot of SEO.
An example would be social media networks, they don't need a lot of content but yet they can easily help your website rank faster on Google.
It's a really misunderstood method but the more you use parasite websites (along with other SEO methods such as this checklist), the more likely you'll rank higher on Google.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 220 profitable buyer keywords click here or the image below)
"What's parasite hosting" you ask?
So let's dig more into what this "parasite" method is..
And really simple.
Some large, established websites enjoy a preferential treatment from Google, and you can exploit this for your own purposes, attaching yourself to them like a parasite.
Let's say, that for a given query Google has the choice between ranking CNN.com or AnotherSpammyAffiliateSite.com.
Who do you think has the advantage?
If they're both of similar relevance there's no question that Google is going to rank CNN higher, because it's an establish website that it trusts.
CNN's pages are usually of high quality so it's a safer bet than a random affiliate site.
So what if you could talk someone you know at CNN into creating a page of your choice, on their domain? Say, a page about 'payday loans', or perhaps 'diet pills'?
Chances are that page would rank very well and you would make a lot of money.
That's probably not going to happen though so you'll have to go out and find other websites you can use. Websites with established authority that are favored by Google.
Even many blog hosts can qualify, for example it's often easier to rank a Blogspot blog than a brand new self-hosted blog. Same goes for WordPress.com.
You probably already know a few websites like that, where you could put up a page of your own, with your own content. However, the trick is finding those rare sites where your posts stay up and also start ranking easily with minimal effort.
We'll get to finding some of those in a moment...
When is it a good idea to use parasite websites?
Using parasite website to rank is definitely a "churn & burn" technique. This is not the time to go slow and steady. Build one, as good as you care to make it, then move on to the next.
A lot of people (me included) use them to test viability of keywords. Rather than build out a website for an untested keyword, just throw up a page on a parasite website and see what happens.
It's perfect if you're on a budget since building them doesn't cost anything.
It's also a great "insurance policy". A new update from Google may wipe out many of your own sites, or your parasite websites' pages, but likely not both.
Diversifying your rankings is the best way to ensure you don't lose everything when Matt Cutts is on a rampage.
Some of the advantages
- Built-in trust/authority - Google likes them
- Ranks faster and easier than new websites
- No need for supplementary content, just focus on one single page
- Often works even with poorly written, even autogenerated content
- Quick to build, perfect for testing viability of keywords
- There are many of them out there so you can rank more than one for the same keyword
Couple of disadvantages
- You will be breaching the ToS of the host most likely, so your account/page can (and will, sooner or later) be suspended
- Usually little or no control over design so they usually convert slightly worse than a self-hosted page
Finding awesome parasite websites that are easy to rank
As I said earlier, this is the tricky part. Well, actually it’s not that tricky if you know how to do it…
There are basically two different methods:
- Assemble a huge list of candidates and test them all yourself
- Look at what other affiliates are already ranking with
Option #1 is hardly feasible unless you have a ton of free time on your hands and some way to build a list of websites that let you put up your own page on them, so let's go with #2.
Now this method is actually very straightforward:
1. Make a list of products
First off we need to gather a list of Clickbank product names.
Go to CBEngine.com and pull up the “Best Gains” page (link in the sidebar).
These are products that are trending right now, meaning they’re probably popular targets for other affiliates. Look for those with a gravity > 1 and write down the names of them.
You may have to visit the sales pages to find the actual product names as some product creators don’t include it in their title.
2. Start Googling the product names
Now all you have to do is head over to Google and look up the products on by one, searching for potential parasite websites targets.
Here’s how it can typically look when you Google one of these products:
This is exactly what we’re looking for. I spotted these parasites right off the bat:
Moving on to page 2 of the results I see:
A few more good ones here:
I usually also try a few variations of the keyword, like “Full throttle fat loss reviews”.
3. Determine which of the results that are parasite hosts
After many years of doing this I’ve developed something of sixth sense to find parasite hosts, but when you’re new it can be difficult to spot them. Don’t worry, it’s easy enough to check.
Just click on each of the results and look for signs that the content is user generated.
Could be that it’s a blog, a forum post or a website maker.
Once you’ve confirmed that it’s user generated, try registering to see if you can post something similar. If you can, you’ve just found a winner!
Ok, so here we have quite a few parasite websites that are obviously easy enough to rank for a profitable Clickbank keyword.
How do we use this to our advantage?
Making money with the parasite websites you’ve found
From here on out it’s all about testing.
The idea is that if someone can make a page on Facebook.com and rank it for a profitable keyword without much effort, then why can’t you do the same?
If you check out these pages we’ve found, you’ll notice that more often than not the content on them is very poor. It’s usually scraped, autogenerated, copy-pasted or just of very low quality.
And still they’re ranking…
What you do next is up to you of course, but my suggestion is you take these hosts and try to rank for other Clickbank products with them.
There’s no reason to try to outrank the ones you’ve found when there are so many other products you can easily rank for.
Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to Clickbank products either.
You can use this strategy to rank for keywords in any niche, but I’ve found that it works best when competition is weak (ideally mostly competing against other affiliates).
A great strategy is looking at other products that have many parasites ranking in the top 10, and then build your own on a parasite website that’s currently not represented among them.
If you don’t see a Facebook.com in the top 10, but many other parasite websites, then try a Facebook page.
If you don’t see a Weebly-page, try that.
And so on.
Once you’ve settled on a host, just write a short article that talks about the product and its benefits, and include a big affiliate link for people to click. That’s usually all the content you need.
Here’s an example for the Full Throttle Weight Loss product:
On this page they’ve put the link above the big image so it’s not that visible, I would personally put it below but that’s a matter of taste. Other than that it’s a decent example of how parasite websites and ranking works.
People land on this page, read the article, click on the link, and you make money.
Setting up the page is only half the battle though, you also need to make sure it ranks…
How to get the pages to rank
So let’s say you’ve built a page on Facebook.
Now it’s “just” a matter of building links to it to make it rank.
Actually, in some cases you don’t even have to do that as Google picks up many of these pages by itself, and sometimes just sitting on a trusted domain is enough to break the top 10 instantly.
Most of the time you’re going to have to do some link building though.
Personally, I don’t like to buy links for properties such as these, as they sometimes disappear quickly and then your investment was for nothing.
What’s great about using parasite websites is that they have a much higher tolerance for poor quality links compared to self-hosted websites.
Quite often a copy of GSA Search Engine Ranker and a good list for it is all you need (yes, these types of link do in fact still work).
Exactly how to use GSA SER to build links is beyond the scope of this article, but there are plenty of tutorials available online. I will repeat again though that it’s all about having a good list of targets, and if you don’t know how to scrape one yourself you should consider buying one from a reputable vendor.
Usually what happens after building links with GSA SER is one of two things. Either you rank, or you’re nowhere to be found.
I actually don’t recommend that you keep trying if you’re not ranking at this point.
If it hasn’t happened it’s not likely to without some major effort, so just build more parasites for other keywords and try again.
This technique is all about moving quickly and not wasting too much time on any given page.
Google is so unpredictable these days that I’ve found this approach to work best, rather than try to guess why a certain page isn’t ranking.
Some final words about parasite websites
I will finish by saying that I have parasite websites to thank for most of my big paydays in this business.
I know this is nothing new for those who’ve been around for years, but the fact is that it still works and will continue to work as long as Google gives preferential treatment to some websites over others.
In many ways, it’s a safer bet than spending months on a website only to have it penalized in some random update.
I’ll also say that this method does require some patience and it’s all about testing until something sticks. Then you scale it up and knock it out of the park!