In Google’s never ending quest to increase the quality of their searches, they are starting to discuss discounting infographic links. Matt Cutts of Google’s Search Quality team recently announced this possibility because of the number of infographic links that are regularly found to be misleading:
This is similar to what people do with widgets as you and I have talked about in the past. I would not be surprised if at some point in the future we did not start to discount these infographic-type links to a degree. The link is often embedded in the infographic in a way that people don’t realize, vs. a true endorsement of your site.Cutts explains that the main issue with built-in embedded links is “people don’t always realize what they are linking to when they reprint these infographics. Often the link goes to a completely unrelated site, and one that they don’t mean to endorse.” Tactics that deceive users and attempt to trick the search engines is a textbook case of black-hat SEO.
However, when infographics are done right, they are an effective tool for sharing information and generating awareness.
As a best practice, white-hat SEO practitioners develop industry-focused infographics that are compelling, factually correct, and of value to the target audience. It’s the type of buzz generating content that people are eager to share. For instance, DBE never adds prefabricated links for our clients’ sites to infographic embed codes– the bloggers add the links on their own, as a credit back to the creator of the image.
What results is engaging content that establishes our clients as thought leaders and successfully generates organic SEO value.