State of Infographics and SEO?
Infographics are an excellent part of a well-diversified content marketing arsenal, and although it should not be the sole reason for their creation, offer a great many SEO benefits to your website. In a 2012 interview with Eric Enge, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, went on foray about infographics:
“There are ways that infographics can be created and that represent an OK form of promotion [...] 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.”
Needless to say, the interview made people second guess the SEO value of infographics. Matt Cutts’ statement however, isn’t all that bad and shouldn’t be perceived as an omen that spells the imminent demise of clever data visualization. It can also be interpreted as an affirmation that a correctly managed (non-spammy) infographic campaign will continue to be effective in the future, even if only with a slightly discounted link value.
Anchor Text in Embed Codes as a Problem
Alt attributes too…
It is a common practice to publish an infographic with an embed code alongside it encouraging visitors to share the infographic on their website. The problem with this is that we end up a whole bunch of webpages with the same infographic, the same alt attribute, and the same anchor text all pointing to the same place (your website). Due to the static nature of these embed codes, the links created from them don’t look natural. Google likes naturally occurring links and dislikes spammy, unnatural links. Let’s give the search engines what they want and make the embed codes a little more dynamic!
- The script allows the user who wishes to embed the infographic to easily change both the anchor text and alt attribute when they go to copy it. Upon clicking in the textarea, the user is prompted with the question of “What would you like to name this infographic when you embed it on your site”? The user designates the anchor text (this is duplicated in the alt attribute) for the infographic and it is updates accordingly in textbox and then auto-selected so he can copy & paste the html into a webpage. This anchor text will be very natural because it is written by real, unique individuals who will all write differently.
- Since people may not take the time write something unique when prompted by the embed code, you can set multiple default values which will be displayed if the user chooses to leave the prompt empty or clicks cancel. Any quantity of these default values can be set within the script (the more the better). Upon page load or refresh, the script will randomly rotate between the default values (with different anchor text and different alt attribute value) that are displayed to user in the embed code (set in the script). This will create variation in the anchor text for your infographic (looks more natural) even if the people opt for the default values provided in your embed code.
Demo of code (refresh to randomize, click in textarea to set your own values):