If you’re the type of person who realizes the importance of having diverse backlinks to your site and therefore often find yourself searching for spots to acquire these links then this post may be extremely relevant to your interests.
Let’s pretend that you’re a science fiction author looking for blogs and forums to post relevant comments on. You can Google science fiction related topics all day and come up with some good spots to post but this is an extremely time consuming process. Most of the sites you visit won’t have comment functionality and many others will have topics older than a set time frame closed for comments. What you need to dramatically improve your efficiency at finding spots to post in is the footprint.
A footprint is merely an indicator that a certain criteria exists on a website. For instance most WordPress blogs have “powered by WordPress” along the bottom footer. Therefore if you wanted to find WordPress blogs about your topic to comment on you could add a “powered by WordPress” along with your target topic in Google and your results would be almost exclusively WordPress blogs. This is an extremely basic footprint but it’s a good way to demonstrate the concept.
I’m getting ready to show you an example of an “advanced” Google search then dissect it piece by piece so you can modify it to fit your needs. The following line is what you would type into Google.
site:.com inurl:blog "post a comment" "2012" -"comments closed" science fiction books
The topic being Googled for is obviously science fiction books but now let’s take a closer look at all of the modifiers which I placed before my target term.
The first modifier is site:.com. This limits your searches to.com sites and eliminates all others. This isn’t something that you usually need but it can be handy to hunt for specific domain types (.edu or .gov) or to try to target specific countries (.uk).
The next modifier is inurl:blog. This limits your searches to sites which have the word blog somewhere in the url. Once again this is not a mandatory option but it will let you get creative.
The next modifier is “post a comment”. This means you will only see results where the phrase “post a comment” appears on the page. This is obviously a HUGE help when you’re looking for places to comment.
The next modifier is the simplest. “2012” just limits your search to a query to pages which contain the text “2012”. If all you’re after is a link then you may not care how fresh the page is but if you’re trying to find fresh posts to comment on and draw visitors, then you want to look for recent posts. I’ve also added the current month in my queries before to limit my search results even further.
The next modifier is –“comments closed”. Notice there is no space between the minus sign and the opening quotation mark. This will eliminate any page which contains the text “comments closed”. This is another big help when your goal is to leave comments.
The phrase science fiction books is the meat and potatoes of your query. This is where you would put the terms you’re actually looking for.
The example I’ve just shown is not some magical search query, just some features which will let you create some very specific searches. Make a few searches, find a couple that yield good results for your niche, save them as bookmarks and use them whenever you want to get an extra link or two.
I’ll think you’ll find using footprints to be a huge time saver and most importantly let you convert the chore of building a few links to your site into a task which can be completed in a few minutes. SEO is a time consuming processes and anything we can do to automate things like this are invaluable.