Posted by Tom Foremski - September 10, 2013
Infographics have become a popular way for companies to produce quality content that is easily shared and in the process, it is assumed, it is a good thing for the company.
However, Google sees infographics in a much different way. To Google, it is duplicated content; it is a paid form of promotion that appears to boost the popularity of a website through means that are not "natural" and therefore it is a form of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to gain a higher rank in its search index than is deserved through normal means.
The risk from infographics is that Google might penalize the website being promoted through the infographic. Google says that all embed code for infographics must include a "nofollow" tag on the links.
Aaron Wall at SEOBook.com, writes: How to Nofollow Friends and Influence Rankings with Infographics
Google is getting a bit absurd with suggesting that any form of content creation that drives links should include rel=nofollow…
If you run smaller & lesser known websites, quite often Google will rank a larger site that syndicates the infographic above the original source. They do that even when the links are followed. Mix in nofollow on the links and it is virtually guaranteed that you will get outranked by someone syndicating your infographic.
Foremski's Take: Infographics make sense if you are committed to quality content and easing the path to sharing that content. It makes good marketing sense because you are optimizing your site for your visitors, and associating your brand with quality content.
Unfortunately, the online marketing world is run by a powerful algorithm and you need to satisfy its changing whims. Rather than focus on pleasing humans, businesses try to please the Googlebot otherwise they risk being penalized — which means their online presence will be bumped from prime spots in Google's index. If they can't be found easily online they effectively cease to exist.
Google's recent new rules on links in press releases and in infographics, show how trying to please Google's algorithm, runs counter to pleasing readers. Which one should you choose? Most business don't have a choice.
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Here is an infographic from SEOBook illustrating the problem with infographics:
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