Why Infographic Links Might Soon Be a Waste of Time for SEO

Jul 14, 2012   //   by AmandaD   //   SEO Blog  //  18 Comments

It is no surprise that Infographics are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for a website to display information. It can sometimes be tough to find readers patient enough to understand a very confusing topic, and it can be even more difficult to capture a reader’s attention—especially when the subject matter is dry or boring. This is where infographics come perfectly into play. According to researchers, about 87% of people who saw an infographic read the accompanying text while only 41% read the text of a traditional page of content.

In terms of SEO, infographic links have always been given the same weight as links found in an article. And why shouldn’t they be? After all, infographics also use information that needs to be cited, and they serve a very similar purpose as traditional articles. So what’s the problem with these links in relation to SEO? The problem is that Google isn’t sure if holding these links to the same standard as other backlinks is the best idea.

What Cutts Is Saying about Infographic Links

In an interview with Eric Enge and SMX Advanced, Cutts explained that Google is thinking about discounting links that come from infographics. This threw everyone for a loop because many companies are just now beginning to ramp up their infographic tactics. Cutts didn’t say that Google is doing this now, but he had a few reasons that suggest it’s something Google will likely consider for the future:

  • Fact checking is often poor when it comes to infographics.
  • People don’t always know what they are linking to when they republish an infographic. They might not mean to endorse that link; they might just like the way the infographic looks.
  • Links are often embedded into infographics in a way that people don’t even notice. In other words, even if someone were to look at the links before republishing, they might miss it completely.

Once the facts are laid out, many experts agree that it was only a matter of time before something like this was coming. People have slowing been beginning to create spammy infographics and distributing them all across the web. Something has to be done in relation to SEO.

Are Infographics Still Worth Your Time?

Now for the real question: Are infographics still worth it for webmasters? Most industry leaders agree that infographics are still worthwhile; however it’s probably not best to put your entire SEO strategy on infographics alone. Try to use a variety of SEO tactics and be careful about the links you use in your infographics.

Infographics are still eye catching and can still express information clearly, just make sure that your information is correct. You can learn more about how to create a successful infographic here as well as some of the elements that go into a successful infographic.

Do you think Matt Cutts and Google are on the right track as they consider discounting infographic links? Will this deter you from producing infographics? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo Credit: psfk.com

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AmandaD

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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  • Sanjib Saha
    Twitter:
    says:

    Dear Amanda,

    Sanjib here. I personally feel that Infographic links will not be gone so soon as they have been a lifeline for many owners of sites who have toiled to attract traffic. New features will definitely make a difference but that will not force the more known source to become redundant.

    I am thankful to you for posting this article.

    Regards,

    Sanjib

  • I think a single policy for all is wrong. Some do an admirable job and invest significantly in this approach. A broad stroke to discredit infographics is not the answer, hopefully it doesn’t come to that.

  • Ileane
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Amanda, to be honest I’m really glad to hear this. I am not a fan of Infographics and I often feel like the data that is referenced has no real basis.
    If this new will turn people away from creating Infographics I’m all for it. Thanks!

  • I also think a single policy is probably not the best idea, but I’m not sure Google would do that. I suppose only time will tell! I think they’re right-on when they say that infographics often share false information, so it’s good they’re at least thinking about it. We shall see.

  • Hesham
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow, I was thinking the whole week about how to get started with creating my own infographics to use it on the blog, well.. I was right.. It’s not that easy and it really need deep research!

    • Gerald Weber
      Twitter:
      says:

      I agree Hesham. I think there are some really great info-graphics that have a lot of value, and take a lot of time to create. When done well I think this is something that should be rewarded with links. But like most valid Internet marketing tactics there are those that will abuse a tactic that works well.

      To me to me it doesn’t make sense to penalize the entire tactic just because there are some that will abuse it or act in a spammy manner. But at the end of the day Google is going to do what Google is going to do.

  • Anton Koekemoer
    Twitter:
    says:

    Very Interesting post Amanda,

    I can see why Google might take this approach (looking at the statistics). Though if a post or info-graphic has and adds Educational or informative value to the user – Even if it comes from an edu or non-edu website I personally think that it should still count. Hopefully Google will revise this before they want to go live with an update or new algo roll out.

  • kevin says:

    It all depends, I don’t think that it is fair to discount them altogether, there should be a better strategy put in place to make sure they are used correctly that I’d be all for.

    • I don’t really think it’s fair to penalize everyone either, but I’m hoping Google won’t do that. I have to assume that they know that that isn’t the fairest approach, but I guess we’ll see. Thanks for reading!

  • Kimber Scott
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’m waiting for someone to put together an infographic explaining why Google thinks discounting links from infographics is a good idea.

  • Becca says:

    No wonder this issue came out. There is a replacement for infographic. Let’s wait and see
    if it is more interesting than infographic.

  • ellaine says:

    Well, I think It won’t gone. People will use them in the future and it’ll improve for the next generation

  • Mike Belasco
    Twitter:
    says:

    Even if the links embedded in infographic distribution code are devalued, as your article states, infographics are a great way to convey information and there for how about just creating them and using them on your site as link bait. Don’t worry so much about people embedding them. You can always let someone post an image you create on their site and link back without creating the footprint Google will be looking for in these cases.

  • Derek J. Maak
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I think it’s not worth the time to worry about what Google will or will not do in terms of links from infographics. Good infographics can definitely be eye-catching and they can definitely express a lot of great information. If they make sense for your website, then use them. If they don’t, then don’t. I don’t think anyone should base their decision on whether or not they will get credit for a link.

  • Adeline
    Twitter:
    says:

    Give links from infographics lesser value, perhaps, but not discounted. From the way how I see it, Google is probably looking ahead to the potential of spam usage of infographics by some blogs, but having an all-or-nothing approach towards this is going to be unfair to those that create well-researched and very useful infographics to supplement their articles. They should look into this further so that only those that are using infographics in a spammy manner will be penalized and the others are not.

  • Mohammad
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey,

    According to me Infrographic Links are not much useful for SEO.

    Thanks,
    Mohammad

  • Thinking of infographics only in terms of SEO is missing the bigger picture. Infographics are good for much more than just links. It is about, as this article does a great job of saying, conveying information in a way that helps the masses to understand a topic. If your infographic is meaty enough you don’t need embedded links. It will go viral and folks will link back to you. In the end you will have created buzz and awareness for your company, which ultimately is the goal, right? Draw people in and let them see what you are all about. Do you have the chops to keep them interested after they follow the bread crumbs?