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How This SEO Tactic Can Help Local Businesses

Look up the term “barnacle” in the dictionary and you will likely first see a description of a marine crustacean that attaches itself to various items such as ship bottoms, logs, rocks and more. A secondary definition, however, expands the meaning to “a person or thing that clings tenaciously.”

When applied to the world of online search, barnacle SEO is the means by which one site attempts to improve search results via a connection with another site. For example, a Yelp profile that is linked to a company’s website can be considered a barnacle. The power of the Yelp listing could ultimately help the main site or business.

Is Barnacle SEO Link Building in Disguise?

If the description of barnacle SEO sounds suspiciously like link building, you are right. But, before you stop reading here, remember this—not all link building is bad. Only bad link building is bad. By that I mean links that are of low quality, including those with little relevance to your business, are the ones that will get you into trouble.

Google actually looks favorably upon links that make sense for your business—and for your customers. So, if you are a dry cleaner, a strong Yelp profile makes a lot of sense and, hence, would be a good type of link for you to have.

Who Can Benefit?

Local businesses in categories that frequently return search results from sites like Yelp, Superpages, Angie’s List and other directory listings are the ideal candidates for barnacle SEO. For these companies, there can be great benefit from this approach.

How Can I “Do” Barnacle SEO?

The first place to start is by determining what sites offer you the most power. Do that by conducting a few searches with your top keywords, phrases or categories. Look at which sites and directories you see in the top spots most commonly. That will tell you where to focus your energies.

Make your list of the top directories and there you will have your marching orders. Each one of these sites should include a complete and accurate profile of your business. Review what information about your company currently resides there and update as necessary. Note also that the more complete your information, the more benefit you will receive from the listing. This includes everything from NAP to great photos.

If a particular site allows you to make guest posts or comments, take this opportunity. Be careful, however, to make your post meaningful. It should always add some value to the end customer—and, yes, be relevant to your business. This is NOT the same as a national seo campaign.

Never a Substitute

Barnacle SEO can help small, local businesses boost their SEO results, that part is true. However, this tactic should never be considered the be all and end all. You must first have a strong website in and of itself for this approach to offer any true benefit. This argument is actually true of any SEO tactic that you may employ. More and more, Google is focusing on the quality of your site—the intended destination for any SEO effort—when factoring its algorithms. When you combine a good site with the right activities, such as barnacle SEO, that is when you will see the results you want.