How To Take Advantage Of SEO Footprints For Link Building

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We all know that more links = higher rankings and more traffic. But the truth is finding good link building opportunities isn’t getting any easier.

So what can you do to build quality links easily?

Simple – take advantage of the SEO footprints below!

SEO footprints are a “hidden gem” in link building. When paired with the right process – SEO footprints can help you build tons of quality links at scale.

And you can download the full .txt list of footprints at the end of this post!

What Are SEO Footprints?

SEO footprints are “digital imprints” left across the web.

Think of SEO footprints like a common mark left online by people or organizations.

SEO footprints can even be the same group of words regularly used by people online for something.

Examples of footprints can include:

  • “Built by” left in the footer by a web design company
  • Author bio when you write a piece of content
  • Comments left by the same person online

These are all footprints that are indexed by search engines and can be searched for in the Google SERPs.

One of the most well-known footprints is “powered by WordPress”.

Every new WordPress website has this at the bottom of the site by default. If the new site owner doesn’t change this footprint, it stays and is indexed by Google.

Do a quick search using the following – “proudly powered by WordPress” – intitle:football

seo footprints wordpress example

You can see that there are about 39,000 sites that are related to football and they were built on WordPress. This is just one example.

There are millions of SEO footprints online and if you are clever…

You can leverage them to build high-quality links.

Why Are SEO Footprints Good For Link Building?

Link building pros that know how to use SEO footprints to build quality links don’t want everyone to know how they do it.

The truth is that SEO footprints can be very powerful as a link-building method.

Once you understand the benefits of it, you’ll understand why you should use SEO footprints as part of your normal link building strategies.

1. Footprints Can Help You Find Great Link Building Opportunities

How do footprints help find link building opportunities?

Put simply – You can leverage Google and search operators to find very specific backlink opportunities from niche sites.

For example, let’s say you wanted to build more gov backlinks.

There are certain SEO footprints that will be on every .gov site.

gov backlink example

That means you can leverage those footprints in the Google search results to find link building opportunities.

As you do this over time, you will notice patterns in footprints that help identify quality sites faster. This is when SEO footprints really become a powerful and scalable link building method.


SEO footprints help you find link building opportunities and then you need to sort through the results and outreach to secure each link.

2. Tracking Footprints Is “Cheaper” Than Using Link Building Tools

Quality link building tools are expensive.

link building tools are expensive

Taking advantage of SEO footprints means you can build more links for free. All you need is a process (which I’ll show you next) and Google.

That’s it.

SEO footprints for link building don’t need to involve any fancy SEO tools.

No seo tools neded

The key to success with this link building strategy is:

  • Patience
  • Focus

Most link builders fail because they don’t take the time to build quality links.

SEO footprints as a link building strategy isn’t a “get more links quick” scheme.

It’s a powerful link building method that can yield significant long-term results. Just stick to the methods and remember to be patient.

Example Of Footprints You Can Use To Find Link Building Opportunities

Ready to build more links from SEO footprints?

The possibilities of using footprints to find link building opportunities are literally endless. As you learn more about them, you will develop your own SEO footprint search tactics to get the best results.

But to get you started, these are some of my favourite SEO footprint methods.

Guest Blogging Footprints

There are tons of sites that want quality guest posts in exchange for a backlink.

You can use SEO footprints to find these sites quickly.

Go to Google and search for the following:

  • Your keyword + “guest blogger”
  • Your keyword + “guest post
  • Your keyword + “guest article”
  • Your keyword + “Submit Guest Post”
  • Your keyword + “Submit a Guest Article”
  • Your keyword + “become a contributor”
  • Your keyword + “contribute to this site”
  • Your keyword + “write for us”
  • Your keyword + “write for me”
  • Your keyword + “inurl:guest”

guest post seo footprints

You should see a ton of sites here where you can contribute guest posts. Play around with different keywords related to your niche to find more opportunities.

Just make sure that you vet them for quality control!

Blog Commenting Footprints

Blog commenting is still a viable SEO link building strategy today.

While it’s certainly not what it used to be, it can be used to help Google take more notice of your site and also build your brand awareness through referral traffic.

Here’s how to find good blog commenting opportunities:

  • Your keyword + “Enter YourName@YourKeywords”
  • Your keyword + “comments”
  • Your keyword + “leave a comment”
  • Your keyword + “Notify me of follow-up comments?”
  • Your keyword + “Submit the word you see below”

leave a comment footprint example

All of these search results go straight to blog posts where you can leave a comment. You’ll get to add your website to the comment which will create a link back to your site.

leave a comment form

It’s as easy as that!

You can also develop your own blog comment SEO footprint searches.

Just check out a bunch of sites that allow blog comments and look for similarities in the text they use (footprints) in the comments section.

Now just combine that text with your target keyword and start searching!

Forums & Message Boards Footprints

Want to build more links from forums or message boards?

You can use SEO footprints to help you find very specific topics on niche forums. This is a great way to build relevant links to your content and drive more traffic for free.

Here’s what you need to search:

  • Your keyword + “Powered by PHPbb”
  • Your keyword + “Powered by vBulletin”
  • Your keyword + “Powered by SMF”
  • Your keyword + “powered by Simple Machines”
  • Your keyword + “powered by PunBB”
  • Your keyword + “powered by ExpressionEngine”
  • Your keyword +” Powered by BlogEngine.NET”
  • Your keyword + inurl:blog “post a comment”
  • Your keyword + “comments closed”
  • Your keyword + “forum”

camping forums

You will often find listicle blog posts that list out all of the forums in your niche with this kind of SEO footprint.

list of camping forums

That makes your job so much easier!

Sponsors & Donations Footprints

Sponsorships and donations are a great way to acquire more backlinks for very little work.

Donating or sponsoring an event can often lead to a nice high-authority backlink and make your brand look good at the same time.

Who doesn’t want that, right?

But the hardest thing is actually finding the right opportunities you can take advantage of.

That’s exactly where SEO footprints can help:

  • Your keyword + inurl:sponsors + inurl:link
  • Your keyword + “sponsorship”
  • Your keyword + “benefactors”
  • Your keyword + “sponsor charity”
  • Your keyword + “donations”

sponsorship footprint searches

Using these SEO footprint searches, you will find pages that list sponsors and have links back to each sponsor’s website.

That’s the kind of sponsor opportunites you are looking for!

sponsorship backlink examples

You can even try local keywords such as locations and cities to find powerful niche links that will boost your local SEO if you are a local business.

Just a single local link from a high-authority site can skyrocket your rankings.

It will take a while to sift through the search results. But the hard work is certainly worth it for the quality of links you can score.

You can even apply the same method to crowdfunding link building.

Edu Footprints

Edu backlinks are some of the most lucrative links you can build.

That’s what makes them so valuable and why Google trusts them so much. But a well-searched SEO footprint can make finding edu link building opportunities that much easier.

Here’s how I do it:

  • Your keyword + “forums register”
  • Your keyword + “register i am over 13 years of age forum”
  • Your keyword + “discussion board register”
  • Your keyword + “discussion board”
  • Your keyword + “bulletin board register”
  • Your keyword + “message board register”
  • Your keyword + “Phpbb register forum”
  • Your keyword + “punbb register forum”
  • Your keyword + “forum signup”
  • Your keyword + “forum”

edu footprints

Edu footprints are another one that you will get better at after spending time finding external link opportunities. Be creative and look for similar footprints across different edu sites.

With edu links you also find that some niches work better than others. But if you search hard enough you should be able to find some nice links.

This will help you find more quality edu opportunities faster.

Wiki Footprints

Wikipedia is the original “wiki” site.

But any site that allows for collaborative editing from users online can now be called a wiki.

These days it’s hard to do a search on Google that doesn’t bring up a wiki page of some sort. That’s what makes Wikipedia backlinks so powerful – Google trusts Wikipedia, so backlinks are really valuable.

But the best part is that you can make relevant link placements yourself. Most times you don’t even need to do any outreach. This is how to use footprints to find wiki link opportunities:

  • Your keyword + “This page was last modified on wiki”
  • Your keyword + “This page was last modified on”
  • Your keyword + “Log in / create account”
  • Your keyword + “wiki”
  • Your keyword + “Login required to edit”
  • allinurl: “.com/mediawiki/index.php”
  • allinurl: “.net/mediawiki/index.php”
  • allinurl: “.org/mediawiki/index.php”
  • allinurl: “.info/mediawiki/index.php”
  • allinurl: “.com/wiki/index.php”
  • allinurl: “.net/wiki/index.php”
  • allinurl: “.org/wiki/index.php”
  • allinurl: “.info/wiki/index.php”
  • allinurl: “.edu/wiki/index.php”
  • allinurl: “http://wiki.”
  • allinurl: “http://mediawiki.”
  • allinurl: “http://wikka.”
  • Your keyword + Inurl:wiki
  • Your keyword + Inurl:MediaWiki_talk

wiki footprints

As you can see, there are a ton of options for wiki footprints. Test each wiki footprint to see which one yields the best results for your site.

Bonus tip: Lots of edu sites use a wiki style for their forums and online databases.

You can often score great edu backlinks this way.

For example:

  • Your keyword + “wiki”
  • Your keyword + “wiki”
  • Your keyword + allinurl: “.edu/mediawiki/index.php”

Don’t forget to use this Wikipedia link building tutorial if you want to build more links from Wikipedia for free.

How To Use SEO Footprints To Build Your Links

By now you have a ton of methods to find lots of different link building opportunities.

I recommend just choosing two and focusing on these. This will help you narrow down your strategies and build links faster. Now it’s time to start building those links.

Start by using your favourite SEO footprint method to find link building opportunities.

seo footprint link building

Now sift through the search results to find good quality placements. This will take some time and that’s ok.

Have the patience to find quality link placements that will improve your SEO and rankings.

Found some good opportunities?

Now it’s time to get the links placed. If you are using a blog commenting strategy, you really just need to contribute something intelligent and interesting.

If you’re not…

It’s time to do some outreach.

link outreach

The key here is to pitch your content in a favourable way. For guest post pitching I use a template like this:

Hi [NAME],

I was checking out [SITE] today and found the guest post you published from [GUEST POSTER’S NAME].

I loved that article, I just shared it with my audience.

I’d love to be your next guest author. Here are some topics that I think would do really well with [SITE] readers:

  • Topic #1
  • Topic #2
  • Topic #3

Do any of these ideas look good? Let me know your thoughts.



Remember to customise the template to suit your personality and the site you are pitching to. This helps you get higher conversion rates on your pitches.

Once you get a reply, negotiate the placement and create the content. That’s it!

Keep in mind that link building of any kind is a numbers game.

You can’t send a couple of emails out and expect to get results. You must be dedicated and consistently reach out to site owners to get more placements.

Download The SEO Footprints

To help save you time, we have rounded up all of the SEO footprints into one simple .txt file for you:


We’ve also included a few extra bonus footprints in the file that you won’t find in the post including footprints for gov links and event links!

Wrapping It Up

The key to using SEO footprints for link building is understanding the common words people use online.

Each footprint is indexed by Google and can be searched.

The truth is that SEO footprints can be combined with any of these popular link building strategies. So make sure you check them out to get even more backlink opportunities.


When it comes to link building, quality control is key. I recommend you check every site you are considering building links from through the Backlink Blacklist.

This will help ensure that you are only building high-quality links that actually move your site forward an don’t forget to download the txt list of footprints here.

What Are Your Thoughts?

3 Responses

  1. “Great insights into leveraging SEO footprints for effective link building! Your post breaks down a complex topic into actionable steps, providing a clear roadmap for optimizing link-building strategies. The emphasis on diversity and relevance in footprints is particularly valuable. It’s evident that a thoughtful approach to SEO footprints can yield substantial benefits. Thanks for shedding light on this advanced technique, making it accessible for those looking to enhance their link-building game!”

  2. Hi Matthew,
    Valuable insights on using SEO footprints for efficient link building! Leveraging specific keywords helps identify niche sites and secure link placements. The examples provided offer practical strategies for effective link building. Understanding and utilizing SEO footprints can significantly boost SEO and rankings. Thanks for sharing!

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