Friday Infographics: A look at their SEO Value!
Okay, first my conclusion – that as of today, Google et al still value infographics and yes, that value can result in tons of IBLs (incoming back links) that can help build a set of serps that will rise in the rankings. There. Said it. That’s how I feel. That’s what I think. And yes, my clients have the serps to prove it…
But is that what others think too? And do they have any evidence to mount that infographics do NOT help SEO? Well, let’s see….
Jennifer Slegg is a well known writer/SEO practitioner from the US who often blogs about both blogging and SEO and online marketing too. I like her. We’ve never met but I do read her posts on a weekly basis and she is fairly well respected in the SEO world as a honest and hardworking SEO person. Here’s what she had to say back about a month ago or so in a post on “Infographics and their Huge Google Spam Footprint” -
“While infographics got their start on news sites, even well before the internet was around (remember back in the pre-internet days when they used to pop up occasionally in newspapers), infographics really took off this past year as a great way to get a significant amount of traffic, and of course, links. But as all SEOs know, any worthy “lots of links fast” strategy tends to be used and abused. And wow, they are definitely getting abused.
But for all those SEOs out there pumping out infographics at an alarming rate for all their own – and their client’s – websites, you can bet many of them haven’t stopped to think about the long term consequences, only the short term link gain. Short term is traffic (yea!) but long term could end up being a bit more sketchy.
True, many SEOs argue that links via infographics are quality links. And while some of those links might be quality, just as many of not more are pretty poor quality. It would take nothing for Google to flip a switch and discount a majority of those links obtained via infographics…“
As you can see, Jennifer argues that many many Infographics are a momentary “blip” in the SEO continuim, that Google via their algo, can certainly locate them and identify them and could also penalize them. Too many of them on the same page/site can, she argues, perhaps even trigger a spam threshold, so that the offending site could be penalized – even she notes via the new Google “over-optimization” penalty. The bolded text is from me as I thought it important to show what she thought might come to pass re:poor Infographics. Things to consider for sure…but do I agree?
Yes…and no. I still think that Infographics are well worth the effort of brainstorming, finding the current on-point data, creating and then displaying same. My own point of view is shared (at least that’s how I see it) by others too…here’s a selection that I especially like to read and learn from….
Nick Stamoulis, the Boston based SEO head honcho at Brick Marketing, is someone I follow pretty regularily. I read his posts, follow him on Twitter and LinkedIN and generally agree whole-heartedly with his take on all things SEO. His firm is pretty well known and if you know anything at all about the startup world, you’d know that Boston is a hub that continues to grow and expand it’s new businesses and Nick plays a role there too. Here’s his comments on a recent blog post here that talks about the value to an SEO campaign that an Infographic can offer –
“If we decide that creating an infographic is a good step for your SEO, we can work with your in-house or 3rd party graphic designer to create an industry infographic designed to capture the attention of your target audience.
One of the reasons infographics are valuable for our full-service SEO clients is because they are a great way to break up a text-heavy content marketing campaign, as well as generate valuable inbound links. Infographics are often times the most common form of link bait, as they are easy to share and promote. Infographics can also present of a variety of information in a simple and easy to understand way, making it easier for your target audience to read and digest…”
As you can see, Nick’s opinion varies from Jennifers….and I tend to agree more with his views too. Infographics – good ones mind you, ones that show a very interesting “take” on a topic of technology or online interest, IMHO, count when it comes to SEO as they do attract IBLs and that’s a good thing. Especially if the information that you want to present can be easily designed.
There are some kinds of information that may not be as effective if you cut out a lot of words. Sometimes, this type of data may also not move well into visual elements such as charts, graphs, atlas-looks etc. If this is the case, then a real live article will probably do a better job. However, if you can cut, chop, and streamline the data into a visually appealing – yet information rich – infographic, then you are going to be in for a win!
Least in my clients world it is and that whole “link bait” rationale is one that is shared by others too…and here’s a great extra bit of info…from the folks over at Distilled (the ones who bought SEOmoz’s SEO client biz a few years back which vets their authority in the SEO world, eh!). Taken from a recent blog piece entitled “SEO Guide to Creating Viral Linkbait and Infographics” it presents a great “how-to” to learn what to do and how to do the development of link bait – Infographics especially – to gain some SEO serp ranking values….
And remember one tip on that page – it’s not the artwork or the data….it’s the question you ask that is most important!
Great piece. Download the Distilled workbook too….will help you the first couple of times thru this process!