Just a few weeks ago Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting interviewed Google’s Matt Cutts about what makes a quality website. The interview primarily centered on SEO and delved into link building, brand building, link profiles, content differentiation, Panda, Penguin and others. However, what really caught our attention over here in the Kuno labs was Matt’s comment about infographics.
“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.”
Infographics as Link Bait
Infographics have long been developed as link bait and often include embed code to easily add them to a website. The embed code itself usually contains a follow link in it and can lead to the creation of dozens, hundreds or thousands of inbound links to a website. This is one reason the development of infographics for SEO has exploded.
Matt doesn’t dislike infographics. In fact, he says, “In principle, there’s nothing wrong with the concept of an infographic.” It’s the lack of attribution transparency that concerns him and Google. He also warns about publishing other’s infographics on a site that links to an unrelated site.
The Matt Cutts Infographic
This post wouldn’t be complete without an infographic that contains clean, normal link attribution. So we present to you this hilarious and awesome Matt Cutts Infographic by Click2Rank. This type of infographic link attribution is the good kind.
Link building for the sake of SEO is a dying art. Producing lots of great content that people want to consume, share and evangelize will have the secondary effect of creating inbound links. That is the best, most natural way to do SEO today.
Ultimately, if you produce a crummy infographic with embed code for links, you may not see any SEO benefit at some point in the future. However, if you create a stunningly beautiful infographic with hard-hitting data that naturally gets shared and evangelized, normal link attribution will most likely be the result. It sounds like Matt Cutts and Google won’t be going after those links.