June 10, 2023

What is Parasite Hosting?

Many of my colleagues in the SEO field give me dumb looks when I start talking about parasite hosting. (OK I can’t see their faces through the IM window, but if I could I’m sure they’d be giving me dumb looks.)

It seems that a lot of people haven’t heard of parasite hosting, and that’s a shame because it’s currently overtaking the Google SERPs like a swarm of locusts.

Parasite hosting is the process of creating spammy keyword filled pages on an older trusted domain. Once they get this page to rank, they can direct traffic elsewhere. Many of these pages just contain 1 link for the user to click over to the desired page.

If you don’t believe me, just do a Google search for buy cialis and look at all the .edu domains that show up. Clicking the first result you’ll see some text on a page, and then a giant image link to a place where you can actually buy cialis. (/me cringes at the thought of all the spam I’m going to get after pinging weblogs.com with a post that contains “buy cialis”)

The same is true for some other spammy searches. As seomoz pointed out, even Forbes is getting in on the benefits of parasite hosting.

Basically, what this tells us is that it’s important to have a trusted domain. Let’s say for example you have a website that sells widgets and you want to branch off into selling sprockets. Should you make a separate website, or keep them together?

According to the success of the parasite hosted sites, you’d be best to just add some sprockets pages into your widgets site. It kind of makes me wonder what I could get away with on a 7 year old PR5 website (not that I would!)

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com


  1. Parasite hosting is pretty effective from what I’ve seen. My dad is a real estate agent and runs a vast number of domain names the same you mentioned with all redirects running towards a few predominant sites, but doesn’t do it with random spammy key word names. Well, he does it with blogs and makes sure to put real estate relevant key words in the headers and first few lines of each post of the blog and spreads this same post around to tons of other blogs… it’s quite successful. He currently has on average 7-8 of the top 10 related real estate search results on yahoo and google. Good for business… I don’t blame other corporations for taking advantage of this.