are search commands widely used in SEO strategies to limit the results you want to obtain in Google to the maximum. These are simple expressions or symbols that are typed in the search field to obtain an effective and specific response to factors such as the number of pages of a website indexed or the articles published by a specific author.
Use of footprints in SEO
Footprints are used by SEO experts to analyze the competition, do superficial keyword studies or find the pages on which comments can be left. Although it is not highly recommended to force backlinks from other pages to ours, this strategy is still used a lot. In many cases, footprints are used combined with each other to obtain much more specific results.
There is an official list of Google with its recognized footprints, but it is advisable to know the ‘unofficial’ and check if they remain active because the internet giant renews them periodically.
Best known footprints
- Site. It serves to crawl all the pages of a domain that have been indexed by Google. To use it, it is enough to write site:arimetrics.com, for example, being careful not to include a space behind the colon and without https://.
- Quotation marks for exact words. Although this command is not new and has always been used for exact searches, it can be very useful for finding keywords (“keyword”).
- Hyphen for negative words. In combination with the previous one, it allows us to exclude words or expressions to prevent our search from being oriented towards some unwanted field (“keyword -negative”).
- Asterisk for autocomplete. It is a valuable element when you want to get recommendations. For example, restaurant in *.
- Formula to find everything that has been published about a specific keyword within a website. The keyword is typed and then the site structure is used again. For example, featured snippets site:arimetrics.com.
- Related to find similar web pages by theme. It is used in a similar way to the first one and is a good tool to meet the competition. Just type related:arimetrics.com.
Other useful footprints for SEO
- Search within social networks. If we want to find a specific profile or information and the functionalities of the search engine of the social network are not enough, you can use the at followed by the social network and the keyword separated by a space. For example, @Twitter Pope Francis.
- By author. It filters all articles written by a certain person (author) indexed by Google. Simply type Author:author’s name, with no spaces after the colon.
- Search for shopping products by price range. You must indicate the name of the product, space and €quantity. €quantity. For example, waveboard €150..€250.
- Inurl and Allurl. They are more specialized commands for SEO. The first allows you to crawl all URLs that contain a specific keyword with the formula inurl:keyword. If it is an expression, it will also display the results of each word separately. Allurl, however, focuses solely on the exact keyword (even if it is multiple).
- Intext and Allintext. Displays pages that include searched keywords in the text. If there are two or more, Google also searches for them separately. Type intext:keywords. As in the previous case, you can use allintext to find the full expression.