Google Is Considering Discounting Infographic Links

    July 14, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Matt Cutts spoke with Eric Enge at SMX Advanced, and Enge has now published the entire interview. In that interview, Cutts reveals that Google may start looking at discounting infographic links.

That doesn’t mean Google is doing this right now, or that they definitely will, but…come on.

“In principle, there’s nothing wrong with the concept of an infographic,” Cutts says in the interview. “What concerns me is the types of things that people are doing with them. They get far off topic, or the fact checking is really poor. The infographic may be neat, but if the information it’s based on is simply wrong, then it’s misleading people.”

“The other thing that happens is that people don’t always realize what they are linking to when they reprint these infographics,” he adds. “Often the link goes to a completely unrelated site, and one that they don’t mean to endorse. Conceptually, what happens is they really buy into publishing the infographic, and agree to include the link, but they don’t actually care about what it links to. From our perspective this is not what a link is meant to be.”

I don’t think it’s much of a surprise to a lot of people that Google would consider not counting these kinds of links. In fact, last month, we ran an article from David Leonhardt, who talked about this very thing.

There are certainly legitimate infographics, just as there are legitimate directories, but there is always that room for abuse, and it could represent something like what Google considers to be a linking scheme (which is against its quality guidelines).

“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,” Cutts told Enge. “The link is often embedded in the infographic in a way that people don’t realize, vs. a true endorsement of your site.”

I think that says it all. If you have a major infograhpic strategy that’s built for SEO purposes, I wouldn’t put too much stock into it moving forward. That doesn’t mean, however, that infographics can’t still provide value, and certainly spark some quality social traffic.

That’s only a small part of Enge’s interview with Cutts. Read the whole thing here.

Hat tip: Barry Schwartz

  • http://www.googlesucks.com Tominguez

    I don’t see my post, maybe I forgot to hit send, anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words, is not worth a thousand adword clicks, this is why google is not interested about infographics, they don’t see a profit on it since is not possible to blend in adwords stuff, altering a picture has copyright issues. Just look at google search images, no ads, why? because google knows people will not even look at them, it will be a waste for them, just like infographics, that is the real stuff they really mean. Now, if you want to search for infographic links, use Bing, or Ask or Blekko.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    I have seen some really great infographics and some really terrible ones, just like any other piece of content online. I don’t know if it’s fair to discount an entire genre of links because people are taking advantage of it. Plenty of people abuse blogs but those are still valuable forms of content. I think infographics are still an important part of the mix.

    • Jessica Tirta

      I would have to agree.

  • http://skylightbrisbane.com.au/ scott

    I am halfway through making an infographic now but I guess the thing here is to keep it relevant and keep it factual as I know there are alot of junk infographics out there.

    It will be a little hard for Google to tell which infographics are based on fact though…

  • http://www.hd100.in Darshan

    I think it is not always good to discount all inforgraphics.

  • Robin Green

    when webmaster start considering discounting google as search engine?

  • http://www.bradbixby.com Brad

    So now they are telling the owners of sites who aggregate infographics that they are too stupid to interpret the real facts and can’t possibly be endorsing the site who created the infographic? So they are going to determine which inforgraphics are of value and which aren’t, they are acting like Washington. This is just one more way to keep big publishers and their bankroll at the top. Google’s: Pick and Pull… Just Like a Junkyard.

    It will be fun watching them turn into the yellow pages, oh wait they already have in any search that makes money.

    Every single move Google makes is designed to lighten their overhead with less sites in their index and more pick and choose power at the top. They are headed toward AOL and this generation’s zombies will follow them into oblivion. But the younger and smarter will be and already are moving on. See Ya…

    You know moving on like Google “phrase searching” has moved on… PIGS!

    I’m so sick of Google, they suck! They stole everyone’s content to provide a much needed service, fine! But going wall street and freezing out all the small businesses that got them here in the first place, just to provide listing services for the fortunate few 1000.

    Steal everyone’s content to get to the top then drop all the little guys? Really? Microsoft survived class action… Google may not, and shouldn’t!