How To Do Barnacle SEO – Tuesday Tip Video Clip

After Google’s recent Pigeon update, large national directory sites are ranking really well in local searches. Many times, at least half of the spots on page one of Google results are taken up by these big directories. Instead of crying about them taking up the higher spots and pushing your dealership to page two, you should use Barnacle SEO to take advantage of the directories. Our latest tip video explains how to do Barnacle SEO and what you need to do to be effective.


Hey there, welcome to another Tuesday Tip Video Clip. This week we’re talking about barnacles.

No, not the gross weird things that stick on the bottom of boats and piers. We’re talking about a tactic called Barnacle SEO that’s actually been around since about 2008. It’s an idea that sorta like a barnacle on a ship, you attach yourself to a big website that’s already ranking.

Google’s Pigeon update at the end of July changed how it calculates local search results, and one of the effects of the update is that big national directory sites are ranking higher in local searches.

Sites like TripAdvisor, Urban Spoon, Yelp, and AutoTrader are outranking local businesses, and there’s really not much a small business can do about it. The big sites have more “authority” because they’ve got tons of pages and thousands of relevant links.

So instead of crying about it – use barnacle SEO and take advantage of it. Go do a Google search for a few of your primary keywords. If you see a lot of the big directory sites showing up for your local area, then you need to make sure you’re on those sites!

There are 2 barnacle approaches that work. The first is to get a page for your business on that site to rank well in organic search results. You’ll see this all the time with Yelp, where a business’ individual listing page shows up as a search result in Google.

The other approach is to be at the top of the rankings “in” the site that ranks well. If you’re not seeing individual pages on the barnacle sites ranking well in your area, you’ll want to go this direction.

Whichever route you take, you want to optimize the heck out of your listing on the barnacle site. Pick the right categories, have a great description, fill out all the info, upload tons of photos – and then be “active” in that site by getting followers or fans and getting reviews.

Make sure you target the barnacle sites that are actually showing up in local searches for your keywords – typically, you’ll want to include Facebook, Yelp, and any directory sites that are niche-specific to your business.

Virtual high five – you just learned something new. As always, if you have questions or comments, leave them down below. Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you again next week.