6 minute read.

Piggy backing off authority sites to maximise traffic

Paul Anthony / May 7, 2009

Posted in: Archive

If you’ve been writing content online for any length of time, you’ll recognise that the SERP’s tend to be more competitive in certain areas than others. In order to gain traction, you’ll have to come up with something that brings visitors in through the backdoor. This is where the technique of piggy-backing comes in.

Piggybacking is the practise of using an existing websites authority to drive traffic to your own, if used wisely it can also spread your content butter further than it normally would go.


Here’s how it works.

Instead of thinking in traditional terms, and solely promoting content on your website, the key here is to write your content on your site first, then use these secondary websites to do the promotion for you in the SERPS. Due to the fact that they have existing authority, they rank much higher by default, on some competitive phrases. The visitor finds the secondary website first, then bounces along to your website pretty much instantaneously, giving you the welcome boost in traffic.

There are a number of different types of websites that let you do this, all with varying levels of control on the information published to them.  Normally these secondary sites have quite good on page SEO already – especially if they are a big player online, and whilst you don’t get to tinker with the source code as such, the page can sometimes aid in your pursuit of major keyword domination.

Before I start its worth pointing out that if you are planning on copying and pasting information around the web – go ahead. See what happens. It wont be pretty, and you will crash and burn. Instead concentrate on distributing complementary content on the sites listed below to reinforce your brand, your website and ultimately your traffic.

Content Hubs

stockxpertcom_id116936_jpg_96783c97bfb17feec6acc78cd05b76d2There are shed loads of websites out there with pretty good page rank and authority that allow you to submit actual content to them.  I tend to keep a list of them bookmarked for future reference when doing site promotion. You can think of these as sales / landing pages that should convince a visitor to click through to your website.  Do however make your content unique on these to avoid a duplicate content penalty.

Agglom, Squidoo, Hubpages, Google Sites, Google Knols, Wikipedia, AboutUs.Org–  and more recently Google profiles. All of these sites allow you to create content, and indeed link to another site from them. The majority of these websites are user generated, and screaming out for new content – if you provide this for them (and ultimately the search engines) – you win.

Social bookmarking sites

These sites can provide additional presence in the SERPs, and many of them pass pagerank into the bargain. Here’s a really good list of social bookmarking sites that do pass pagerank. However this isn’t a vital part of this process. The key here is to work out which sites are consistently trusted, and are likely to appear high in the SERP’s. Digg would be another to add to the list as it is frequently crawled by Googlebot, and often appears in the index higher than your own site.

You should work on alternative titles for distribution, as this will have you effectively ranking (indirectly) on multiple phrases. You should be examining pagerank, size and authority when selecting these sorts of sites – and keep a list of them available for the next time you write. Monitor their effectiveness through Google Analytics to prevent you from tying up resources the next time around.

Video Sites

tv socialThe addition of YouTube Video in the SERPs was an important development on Google’s part. Video has already received an artificial inflation – especially if it is on the Youtube platform. After all it makes sense as it is EXTREMELY engaging for the end user, and another one of Google’s online properties. The more traffic it receives, the more Adsense exposure Google gets etc etc.

Anyway – if you market a video, and it has both your website branding embedded within it, and a link to your website from the description – you will get traffic off the back of it. As far as I’ve seen other video sites don’t count as much as Youtube, e.g. MetaCafe or Vimeo – but it’s only a matter of time before one of the major players buys them as well, and integrates their content in the results.  Take your time when working out what description and title to use. You may want to engage in some keyword research prior to promoting – also as I’ve stated before it pays to tag your content properly, as it will get better internal search results exposure.

Ownership Sites

These sites allow ownership of keyword phrases both within the domain name (known as a Vanity URL), and somewhere onpage. Examples would be Twitter, WordPress (hosted), or any of these sites over here. This is an increasingly popular implementation with web applications as vanity URL’s help site traffic for that particular application, but many fail to take advantage of it.

Powerpoint Clone Websites

There are a couple of online powerpoint presentation sites that rank well for phrases. Slideshare comes to mind, as does Slideboom. There are probably loads of others out there, but if you’ve done a presentation at a conference or otherwise, you should be using that content to maximum effect, by distributing around the various web 2.0 powerpointish websites, and piggybacking off their traffic.

Article Marketing Sites

Article marketing sites were traditionally a key part of an SEO strategy. It seemed like the ideal way to gain new backlinks quickly. Give away articles for free, embed links inside them, and voila! inbound links.

Well, you can pretty much throw that out the window now, Google is no longer stupid – and their algorithm can recognise duplicate content, and where an article originated from originally. However article marketing sites can still be used as content hubs – in much the same way as I’ve stated previously. Particularly the larger ones such as EZine Articles and Article Depot


Essentially, there are a plethora of websites out there that can be used to maximise your search profile, and ultimately (indirectly) increase your traffic. The key is to source the authorities, and filter out the crap. If you’ve got a particularly challenging search phrase that you are trying to rank for- it may be more worthwhile to concentrate on secondary satellite sites that you can place both links and content, than try to gain links to your own site.

If you took one article on your site, and reworked it to submit to the sites above, along with ammended titles – what difference would it potentially make to your traffic?

  • authority
  • keywords
  • piggybacking
  • SEO
  • serps
  • traffic
  • website promotion