This post is an introduction to a series of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) posts that will focus on different aspects of link acquisition as it pertains to link footprints. Before I teach you specific link building footprints, one must first understand link footprints and how they are utilized by master link builders.

A link footprint is a query pattern that one enters into Search Engines to help find links or websites that fit a certain criteria. These link footprints range from simple query patterns to  inherently complex queries that can be used to find websites with security weaknesses. Today, I will cover the simplest link footprint and in each subsequent post, I will gradually delve into more complex link building footprints.

The most common (and easiest) footprint to grasp is the “site:” operator. The “site:” operator tells Google that you want to return any website that has a particular domain extension.

Why is the “site:” operator important?

It’s important because it allows a master link builder to filter websites by domain extensions so he/she can find websites that fit a certain criteria or leaves a certain footprint.

The “site:” operator can be expanded to allow a link builder to filter based on any domain extension. These domain extensions include but are not limited to: .mil, .gov, .edu, .com, .info, or .mobi.

For example, if I want to find .gov websites, then I would enter the following command into Google’s Search Bar:

site:gov (and Google will then return a list of websites that have nothing but the .gov extension).

Try it for yourself.

Type “site:” without the double quotes into and after the colon, type in the domain extension that you would like to see like (site:com or site:mil or site:edu). You should be getting a list of domains that have the extension that you specified in your query.

Congratulations. This is the first step towards becoming a link builder. You know the definition of a link footprint and you’ve managed to learn a simple link footprint for your needs.

Link building is a lot like fishing or any type of craft. When most people start out, they have no idea what to do or how to do it but over time as one gains practice and expertise; their skill grows to the point that they are able to adapt and find answers for any type of situation.