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Search Engine Optimization, more commonly referred to as SEO, requires an understanding of how to identify your audience, industry and user intent, how to implement link building and how to conduct keyword research, analytics and reporting, mobile SEO and technical SEO. Businesses will want to hire an SEO company with experience in all aspects of SEO. One thing that many small business owners may not have heard of is footprints in SEO. In reality there are good footprints and bad footprints in SEO and we’re going to dive into what they are in this post.

What are footprints in SEO?

An SEO footprint is the “imprint” that SEO companies leave on the internet. These imprints or footprints can be used by search engines to track your activity through a range of websites. It can also be used to find any accounts and sites that you own. Essentially, Google uses “footprints” to tie multiple web pages or web sites together by analyzing the backlinks* placed on them by SEO technicians.

SEO experts want to avoid being caught manipulating search engines through “footprinting” because they will be penalized by Google. A footprint is often created by lazy, uncreative backlink practices.

*A backlink is when another site or webpage links back to your website or webpage but Google wants these links to be natural, rather than “built” by SEO experts.

What are bad footprints in SEO?

Negative or bad footprints in SEO are when Google recognizes that link building has been built rather than earned because not enough users have been searching for a word in an article or web page about that specific topic. In the end, it may come down to the fact that Google has not been given enough information to identify the connection but the damage may have already been donw. SEO experts get around this label by camouflaging link building efforts to appear natural. Search engines will look for obvious problems like links between sites that are hosted from the same IP address. In this example, the IP address is the bad footprint.

What are good footprints in SEO?

Good footprints are those that use common strings of text that the search engine can recognize and pull from a web page to locate similar web pages. This allows SEO experts to help web users find their clients’ websites when they wouldn’t normally be able to find them through common search phrases for that topic. SEO companies will look for an easily identifiable footprint that they can add to their client’s webpage in order to link it to other more trafficked sites.

Seek the help of an experienced SEO company

SEO is extremely important to a business’ success and with so many factors affecting it, it’s vital to hire the right SEO company that can help get your site to the top of the SERPs. In particular, they must understand the difference between white hat and black hat SEO and how to avoid bad footprints.

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Topics: user experience, SEO

Oralie Chapman

Written by Oralie Chapman