Machine View of Your Digital Footprint

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Machine View of You & Your Digital Footprint

Ever wondered what your brand — or you as a person — looks like to machines that run the Internet? Earlier, we visualized how a how a machine scans your digital footprint. Below is a stylized visualization of how a machine assembles vast amounts of such data from multiple sources to create that footprint.

Machines use multiple data points to build a digital footprint

Machines assemble data from your site, profile and elsewhere into a digital “footprint”

Machines Scan Data Points

Of course, a machine can’t “know” that your site is, e.g. mobile friendly — it can’t scroll on a mobile phone; but it does record some 20 – 50 data points that indicate whether your digital content can be served to and rendered by a mobile device, and how efficiently it does it. (Responsiveness is only one of many criteria that determine mobile friendliness.) It does this using entirely programmatic methods.

To a Search Engine, You are a set of Data Points

Because machines scan every digital data point (which humans don’t), they record occurrences, omissions, frequencies and patterns which are invisible to the human eye. Rather like an MRI scan can see things a doctor can’t.

Search engines use more complex versions of the above to visualize every data point and its relationship to every other data point, from vast content categories like “travel and entertainment” and “medicine” through niche topics such as “indie films”, “sustainable fashion” or “best bars in New York”, down to precise, often branded or localized things like “replacement parts for Toyota Landcruiser”, “pet care in Southampton” — and individuals like you and me.


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