Yesterday, I wrote about how we write content has changed. Turns out the infographic stuff I also poked fun at matters, too, and also should be addressed. If you’ve been living under a rock, Matt Cutts said the following in the Enge interview about infographics two days ago -
Any infographics you create will do better if they’re closely related to your business, and it needs to be fully disclosed what you are doing. The big key is that the person publishing the infographic has to know, and agree with, including an endorsement to your site as attribution with the infographic. Even then, there is reason to believe that the link is more about the barter to get the infographic than a real endorsement of your site.
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.
Naturally, when people heard about infographics getting devalued, they started to freak out. Turns out infographics can’t really get devalued at all, if you take the necessary steps to change your strategy from a manipulative, anchor text building process to a authority building, traffic generating mechanism of doom.
If we think about bad infographics, they have the following format after the image:
- Via: Printable Gift Cards
If we think about good infographics/any image on the web that is properly cited, they have the following format after the image:
- Via: GiftRocket.com
What’s the difference? One links to the homepage with a spammy anchor text, and the second has a direct link to the source of the image with the name of the domain name as the anchor. This is the natural way people cite images on the web, and you will see it everywhere when you do an “Image Via” blog search online.
Google won’t devalue this. It’s an organic citation, and it makes sense. Image shows up on one page, link below, link points to other site where image also occurs, link is the name of the domain. Users want to know where to find the image that got copied, and if the person that cites your infographic won’t paste the original location of where they found that image, they are simply bad people, and Google should devalue them, and not us.
Keep making infographics. Don’t shift your strategy that much. Just don’t be a spammy jerk who makes the web a worse place. You’ll probably end up getting penalized by Penguin if you stay that way, anyways – and I’d personally prefer to stay out of the zoo.