Driving Forward > Digital Marketing Blog

Barnacle SEO: Rank for Competitive & Local Keywords



Page one is the “Online Billboard” for a brand since a large percentage of search traffic is from branded searches. Although you don’t have total control on which domains are on page one, you can influence your brand’s page one results with Barnacle SEO.

What is Barnacle SEO?

Barnacle SEO is using another website’s authority to get rankings for highly competitive and branded page one searches on Google. It is also used as online reputation management to prevent negative listings from appearing at the top of Google searches for your brand.

Benefits for Barnacle SEO

– Local SEO: Increase your presence for local searches (i.e., “Snack Pack” Map Listings)

– Startups/Crowdsourcing Campaigns: Looking to rank quick for branded searches fast to attract investors and buzz.

– Brand Marketing/IP/Positive PR: Own your brands voice on all platforms while pushing undesirable search results to page 2 of branded searches.

– Unused Website Assets: Give new life to unused media assets and upload them to your website and social platforms.

– Personal Branding: Google your full name. Is your personal website or social profile(s) on page 1 of this Google? If a prospective employer Googled your name, what links would they see on page 1?

– Rank for Competitive Keywords: If you can’t compete with established websites and you notice a Medium or Quora is on page 1 for desirable keyword, write a better article than existing one on page 1.

– Social + SEO (Social Signals): Although social signals are not an “official” ranking factor in Google’s algorithm, they can still provide new engagement metrics (ranking signal) to your website and are considered “votes” when someone shares your page or article. Additionally, you never know when Google decides to add more importance to them!

– Customer Service: The new consumer holds brands more accountable and they make it a part of their life (e.g., event/experience marketing trend). The sales cycles are getting longer –don’t make it hard for users to engage with your brand online.

How Do I Start Barnacle SEO?

At this point, you should have a few social properties claimed to protect your intellectual property and to avoid the awkwardness/inconvenience of paying money for a twitter handle. Next, you will need to determine what traffic sources visitors are coming to your website.

Check Your Analytics!
Find out which social platforms your target customers are using by visiting your analytics suite and checking your referral traffic for these social platforms.

Are you a B2B website and your referral traffic from LinkedIn is underperforming?
– Post more often and engage in LinkedIn Groups
– Create “Showcase Pages” that will segment out your product/services so your posts reach a more targeted audience that subscribes to these pages.
– Invest budget on LinkedIn Ads to increase the reach of one of your existing, high-engagement LinkedIn post to attract new followers and site visits.

Domains on Google Page 1 ( Business Type)

The intent of a Google search is determined by what types of domains appear on page 1; however, for most BRANDED searches you will see these types of domains.

Startup: Crunchbase/Glassdoor/Bloomberg/Fortune/LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter/Wikipedia/Instagram

Hospital: Twitter/Wikipedia/Facebook/Bloomberg/US News/Glassdoor/ YouTube

B2B Organization: Twitter/Wikipedia/LinkedIn/Facebook/ YouTub/Slideshare/Crunchbase/Glassdoor/Yahoo Finance

Local Business: Yelp/Wikipedia/TripAdvisor/Facebook/GrubHub/Groupon/Open Table

Most websites below include a search engine in their navigation. If your target customer cannot find your business while searching in their desired social platform, then you need to reevaluate your marketing strategy.

Domain Authority = “A score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). Domain Authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. –Moz


Domain Authority: 71
A trusted source for existing and prospective employees. Although you cannot control what user-generated information is on the site, you can complete all the fields to make sure it is fully optimized and resourceful for searchers.


Domain Authority: 71

Trusted by Google because it’s completely user-generated and moderated by hundreds; almost always on page one for informational and branded searches.

Tactic: Freelance writers exist that will write a credible Wikipedia page and are already “trusted writers” on Wikipedia, so they are more likely to get your business on Wikipedia. Don’t make it promotional or else your account will be flagged as spam by the moderators.


Domain Authority: 63

Recently presented at a conference, webinar or have sales slides sitting in your desktop folder?

Tactic: Give new life to that PowerPoint and upload it to SlideShare? Email your attendees after the presentation with the SlideShare URL to boost the view count.


Domain Authority: 99

Not all businesses are meant for Facebook but…it’s the leading social network worldwide. For an organic perspective, it is usually on page one of Google, features a call-to-action button in the top banner image, and is occasionally featured as star ratings in a businesses’ Knowledge Graph. From an advertising prospective, it’s targeting capabilities are unmatched.


Domain Authority: 95
YouTube is the second largest search engine. It appears on branded searches and are search. A person can discover your videos and YouTube channel on Youtube.com, Google Video search, branded searches, and as video snippets–thumbnail, description and link–on page 1 of Google searches for a variety of searches.

If you want to attract organic traffic from your videos, post it on YouTube; otherwise, keep high-resolution and product videos on third-party video platforms (e.g., Wistia and Vimeo).

– Insert target keyword in your video titles, descriptions and video keywords.
– Create videos that include “video keywords” (e.g., how to, tips, tutorial, review) that usually trigger video snippets.

Domain Authority: 98
Be super active on Twitter and increase your chances of earning a swipeable twitter carousel on desktop and mobile that highlights your most recent posts.

Tactic: Start engaging more on twitter with people in your industry/buyer group, and less self-promotion.

Domain Authority: 93
LinkedIn is the business social networking platform. Since almost every business professional is on it, its social advertising features are a goldmine for B2B marketers/advertisers.

Tactic: Build your followers by posting more often; Boost posts with advertising budget; Create Showcase Pages to better segment posts to your target audience.

Domain Authority: 83
-Yelp is on page one of almost every branded local search.


  1. Ensure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone #) is consistent with your website and other online listings.
  2. Add professional photos of your product/service/establishment.
  3. Selected categories that are relevant for your business.
  4. Shows signs of your engagement by responding to positive and negative customer reviews.

Domain Authority: 79
Get visibility to your blog post FAST by uploading it to Medium.com. You may find that one of your target keywords has a Medium article already on page 1 of Google. Downside: You cannot receive organic traffic engagement or backlinks to your domain.

Tactic: See if your competitors have posts on Medium. If not, see if it is an right platform to post on.

Domain Authority: 38-70
– Important if your organization is getting seed/angel funding. If your founders, investors or board members are well-known, theses pages can rank for ‘Name’ Google searches.

Tactic: Complete a profile on these social platforms.

Domain Authority: 97
– Although it’s not a Google-owned site, Amazon tends to dominate most product-related search results.

Tactic: If you decide to list your product on Amazon, you can perform SEO on Amazon by inserting keywords in each product’s title tag and description. You could rank keyword ahead of your competitors with this method if they have strong rankings for product searches on page 1!

Note: Amazon is a super competitive SEO market due to price wars and availability of products listed on Amazon

Domain Authority: 97
Since it’s an official Google product, it is still important to have a presence on this platform until they decide to close it down. It is easy to set up and is automatically set up if you create a YouTube channel.

Tactic: Create a Google+ page if you don’t have one, complete all the fields and add custom images.

If you are a service provider, local business or have multiple locations, it is critical to verify all your locations on GoogleMyBusiness (formerly Google Places).

Tactic: If you are a healthcare provider or university, create local pages for all your departments. Read Google’s Guidelines for Departments within other business, universities, or institutions 

clemson-search result

Google Knowledge Graph

Google introduced the Knowledge Graph to provide a “Brand Billboard” for searches. It’s prominent on the right rail in desktop SERPs and above-the-fold on mobile SERPs.

Tactic: Don’t have a knowledge graph?
– Read about and start implementing structured data
– Specify your social profiles to Google with Schema markup
– Create a GoogleMyBusiness Page

– Create a Wikipedia page


Domain Checklist

Does your Business have a profile on these platforms? Download Overdrive’s 2017 Social Media Map to see a visualization of social media platforms.

Website Domain Rating
Facebook 99






YouTube 95
LinkedIn 93
Instagram 93
Flickr 87
GitHub 85
Yelp 83
Medium 79
Bloomberg 78
Fortune 75
Wikipedia 71
Glassdoor 71
Crunchbase 70
Groupon 70
SlideShare 63
VentureFizz 58
AngelList 38


SEO Note: Most of these platforms add a NOFOLLOW tag on links pointing to your website, thereby passing NO “link juice” to your website.


If you found this article helpful, share it with your friends, family, colleagues and upcoming graduates!



14 Ways to Measure Brand Awareness


We all know that brand marketing is a big influencer on why a person buys your product over a competitor’s. Although it is not an OFFICIAL ranking signal (see MOZ’s Whiteboard Friday, “Is Branding a Ranking Factor?” and the article, “The Brand Halo Effect: Does Brand Awareness Impact Organic Search Rankings?“), having a strong brand can…

Read the full article


Simple Twitter Tips for B2B CMOs


Helpful techniques and practices to increase the impact a B2B CMO has on Twitter. A B2B CMO with an effective Twitter account will not only increase their personal social media presence, but significantly boost traffic and consumer interaction with their brand. Learn what you can do as the CMO of a B2B company to improve…

Read the full article

Contact Us

Schedule a presentation, tell us about your marketing goals, find our offices or just to say hello. We would love to hear from you!

Contact Us   


Social Searching: Personalizing the Web

Leverage social search to drive impressions and ROI.

Get Access!   


Google World Infographic

Visualize the world of Google's companies, technologies, and services.

Get Access!   


Tracking Social ROI with SocialEye

Over 25 real life social media metrics and dashboards.

Get Access!   


  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • September 2006
  • May 2006
  • September 2005