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Parasite hosting is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique that involves posting a free blog, wiki or forum on a highly respected domain with a high page rank. These free posts are used to create backlinks to a given site, which may boost that site’s search engine page rank, thanks to the host’s high rank.
Parasite hosting may also refer to hosting a Web page on someone else’s server without the latter's permission and then reaping the benefits of the latter's high search engine rank. This trick is often conducted on sites with a “.edu” top-level domain, which search engines such as Google rate as having high authority.
Parasite hosting may also be known as parasitic hosting.
As its name implies, parasite hosting is often considered to be a black hat SEO technique because it is often used for spamming links. However, the term may also apply to less insidious practices such as a website administrator's maintaining a profile on a social media website such as Facebook or Twitter.
Suppose that you conduct a search to purchase Viagra. This will bring up a number of hits, but the top results are those from highly authoritative sites with “.edu” addresses. When the searcher clicks on these links, he or she may be redirected to the Viagra seller’s Web page. This is an example of parasite hosting done for spamdexing purposes.
Although search engines work to continually optimize their search results to filter out spammers who use black hat techniques, those who use black hat SEO are often quick to find loopholes in new search engine algorithms.