Using Kickstarter for SEO: a case study

Kickstarter is an internet phenomenon, launching countless projects and products over the past few years. 

The site occupies a lot of Google real estate, with more than 845,000 keywords appearing in the top 100 Google organic search results. 

To put that in perspective, it would take close to $2m per month in paid traffic to get the same visibility. 

Here’s SEMrush’s main report for the Kickstarter domain…

semrush-report-kickstarter

With a domain authority of 94/100, Kickstarter.com also makes for great parasite hosting. 

Parasite hosting in this case, refers to the self publishing of content on a powerful third party website. The aim is to take advantage of the established website’s trust and authority in order to boost one’s own organic search resultss. 

Case in point

I’m sure that many people are using this tactic, but one group that has come to my attention are the various sellers of electric bikes. It seems that electric bikes are pretty hot right now and several Kickstarter campaigns associated with electric bikes have been funded. 

From a marketing perspective, the SEO benefit may, in some cases, exceed the value of the funding. 

At the time of writing, Kickstarter itself ranks eighth for ‘electric bike kit’ and tenth for ‘electric bike conversion kit’.  

Having one’s Kickstarter page ranking is great, but having your own page ranking as well is even better. The team at Leed Bicycle Solutions, LLC, would appear to agree…

Some history

On March 28, 2013, Two domains being used by Leed were registered: ebikemybike.com and e-bikerig.com. The e-bikerig.com domain originally pointed to the sub-domain e-bikerig.mybigcommerce.com.

With a domain authority of 55, mybigcommerce.com could also be a candidate for parasite hosting.  

By September of 2013, the website was migrated off the MBC sub domain to the root domain e-bikerig.com.

The second domain, ebikemybike.com first appears in the Wayback Machine as a 302 redirect to e-bikerig.com in Dec 2014. This domain was still redirecting to e-bikerig.com as late as August 1 2015.

On to Kickstarter

Leed kicked off their latest kickstarter campaign this month (October 2015).

the-leed-500-series-kickstarter

This isn’t the first time Leed has used kickstarter for marketing & SEO. Remember that eighth place search ranking that kickstarter holds for ‘electric bike kit’? It just so happens that points you to a previous Leed Kickstarter campaign page.

In the latest campaign, Leed has developed an impressive sales pitch and video. It has also dropped a couple of big juicy links in the very first paragraph of their ad copy using the trophy KW phrases ‘Electric Bike Kit’ pointing to the now fully developed ebikemybike.com domain. 

links-on-a-kickstarter-page

The third link, ’electric bike conversion kit’, links to the original e-bikerig website.

It’s therefore not a big leap to assume that Leed is hoping that ebikemybike.com will appear on page one for the phrase ‘electric bike kit’.

If successful, that would give Leed three positions on page one of Google’s search results from three different websites: e-bikerig, ebikemybike and Kickstarter. 

In conclusion

On one hand, I have to give these guys credit for taking advantage of the opportunities provided to them by Kickstarter and Google. 

On the other hand, I would caution everyone about trying to rank two websites for the same KW phrases, I’ve seen that model go down in flames time and time again, as Google algorithms have become better at discovering this.

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