There are many reasons that you would want to know about a website’s “footprint”. Wait, what’s a footprint? Good question – it’s basically what your website has that makes it unique, or not. When you look at the source code for a website it is much different than what you get in the normal view when you click a link and end up at a site. There are good reasons to know and use footprints – you can find out what others are up to as well as protect yourself from problems.
Some of the more mundane things you can use footprints for is to look at what a website was built with (WordPress, Joomla, etc). Also, you can uncover plugins and extensions that are used, look at formatting and code, and much more.
However, you can also use it to research what others are doing and uncover networks. This is handy for backward engineering what competition in an industry is doing (blog networks anyone?) as well as protecting yourself from having an easily identifiable footprint, should you choose to invest in a network.
Want to see how to easily go about this with a handy online (and free) tool? Check out the quick video I did for Semantic Mastery below:
If the video does not render correctly, you can view the whole thing here: http://youtu.be/9BRLZsePlvk?list=UU0z45rknEPLVwUN7BpEWRyQ
The website I’m using in the video can be found here: https://search.nerdydata.com/code