The infographic has been a popular piece of content on the internet as of late, with mammoth tech sites like Mashable often featuring them for audiences to share amongst each other on social networks. Internet marketers quickly caught on to the fact that users would rather have gotten their information through images and graphics-rich material instead of having to read paragraph upon paragraph.
Consider the success of Pinterest in case you need a reminder of that claim. Such content seems to have exploded within a short period of time, and the popularity to users does not seem to be declining anytime soon.
That sort of sharing power from aesthetics is essential for SEO, so marketers quickly jumped on the infographic train. Almost everyday, any user would come across dozens of infographics that covered basically anything. Though the power of them have reigned recently, marketers who depend on them may want to start reconsidering just how much they should be used.
Google's Matt Cutts, the known guru of SEO, says that the power of infographics will probably start to dwindle in the future since some issues are starting to get caught on to. For one, Cutts finds infographics that get published contain incorrect information for users, and that the users also may not know that they are sharing embedded links within the infographic to others.
With this level of incorrect information, Cutts said that this could lead to the infographic to be considered as spam. This quick production and hidden content of such graphics seems to reveal their intent of not spread valuable information, but just links.
He makes it clear that there while there will still be value for visible links that go to the infographic, embedded links will start to lose juice for marketers who depend on them. The embedded links will not cause any penalization or harm the rank of the SEO's website, but simply won't make any difference at all, as long as the information is correct. Even this is left to question though.
According to Brafton.com, Cutts and Google are in the process of creating a plan that will more accurately define and assign the power that infographics will carry. The report also says that the infographics need to be more user-focused in terms of correct and relevant information. While aesthetics play a big role in a person’s decision to look at and share, bad information can be a dangerous trend, and will probably lead to a ranking demise.
On an article from Search Engine Watch, one of the leading internet publications for SEO, they provided an ideal example of exactly what could hurt your rankings. While there was of course information on it, there were little to no references into what it was about. No time reference, geographical indications or any sort of trends. It was more or less just raw information that clearly carried no retention or value to the user.
Cutts also said, according to Search Engine Watch, that the infographics being made should be related to your business, and “to be fully disclosed to what you are doing.” This certainly pertains to what Cutts had mentioned about embedded links going to websites that have little or nothing to do at all with the infographic itself. Users might get confused or mislead when the information tells them one thing, and then they get led to another set of subjects and information.
So what does all of this say about you and your internet marketing business? Well, as Cutts has made it clear, it is pertinent to be sure that you create your infographics for the sake of your users and not just SEO purposes. They can be an invaluable tool for sharing, but with how smart Google is getting, it seems that they know when something is off topic or misleading.
Considering the behavior of internet users, if it is found that the information that was provided can be proven and accepted by knowledgable sources, then you might find that to be towards your advantages, both in terms of sharing and the newest rules of Google. Good graphics and information that can be easily accessed by users will likely carry more weight in terms of sharing rather than just an article.
If you know how important this is, then you will know to invest extra time into what you are doing with the infographic. It's really that simple.
As could be applied to any sort of SEO, use tools like infographics wisely, but it is not wise to use them in an abusive manner. Relevancy, accuracy and focus are all keys if you want your infographics to lead to success in the future. Other than the mentioning by Cutts, little is known about when the new rules will be enacted.
Mike Lamardo is a contributor to blogs that cover tech, SEO, entertainment and more. On the side, he contributes and works for sites like ZME, Uverse and more.