There is no doubt that infographics are a powerful way to drive substantial traffic as noted in our infographic case study, but Google warns that low value, misleading, off topic, or infographics that have incorrect data could be devalued as well as the links they acquired.
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. – Matt Cutts, Google
What is really troubling to me is that there are many services that have sprung up over the last year that are trying to capitalize on the buzz of infogrphics. But are they really providing value or just adding to the problem of low value content on the web?
Create Your Own Infographic Websites
These sites are much like the sites that allow you “create your own website for $99.99″, which IMO do nothing but create a bunch of garbage websites that hold little-to-no value for users or the businesses that create them.
If you want to create a long lasting strategy for your business based around infographics it’s going to take more than $99 and a little free time to create enough value for users and search engines.
One thing that businesses need to understand is that ever piece of content you put on your site , has your logo on it, or references your site has an impact on how Google views your site from a trust and authoritative standpoint, and more importantly how the users view your site in that same way.
Give Your Infographic Away To Publishers
There are even sites that you can utilize to take your infographics and give them away or as they put it, “Publish unique infographics and find publishers for your graphic content”.
This is actually quite ironic that you would need to use a site to give your infographic away. If your infographic was really well done and added value why would you need to use a site like this?
Questions In My Mind
Question: So are the only people using the sites mentioned above the people who are creating low value infographics, thus creating a ton of low quality content on the web?
My Thoughts and Insights: I would say that most of the people who are using these type of sites are just looking to dip their toe in the infographic arena, but end up using it to create a bunch of low value assets that do not speak to their brand values.
Question: Who is using these sites? Is it really the high value websites we all strive to be and get our content on, or is it just a bunch of low value content farm sites that will be devalued?
My Thoughts and Insights: I would say, based on my experience, that while these sites are trying to be a place where the best of the best can come and exchange and market their content or where businesses can come to find “free” high value content, the real people on those sites are primarily people looking to build mini content farms.
Question: Will these types of sites spawn Google to release a Panda update specifically targeted at low quality infographics?
My Thoughts and Insights: Based on Matt’s statement in his interview with Eric I would say that this is a very real possibility and I would not be surprised to see an update in the next 3-6 months by Google to devalue the low quality infographics.
Tips For Creating High Value Infographics
As we pointed out in our tips to make your infographic go viral there are 3D’s to infographic design that everyone should follow. Below you will find a quick list of some of the things you should be thinking about if you want to embark on an infographic strategy.
- Do the Research
- Understand Your Target Audience
- Proofread It
- Hire a Infographic Designer
- Make It Valuable
- Be Creative
- Keep It Relevant
- Be Inclusive
There are plenty of places to find inspiration or data for your infographics here are a few
Understanding your target audience of your website and what they value is key to creating a high-value infogrpahic that has a better chance of being spread around your target consumers social channels and websites.
Make sure you have read through it and made it as high quality as possible.
Having a good graphic designer create your infographic will help heighten the value and quality of your infographic and give it that much more of an opportunity to do well.
Make sure it has value to your primary persona target and is helpful to them.
This speaks to both the design layout and the data set. Don’t just do the same thing as someone else has done with the data, look at it from an different angle and be creative with how you showcase it.
If you are a trendy clothing store, don’t create and infographic about horses. Not only is it off topic from your brand, but the sites that you will most likely get links from will be themed around horses and have a very low relevancy to your own site.
Make sure your infographic is inclusive of many different types of data. We recommend at least 4 different sets of data or content areas within your infographic to help increase the value it brings.
In short, like with other content assets, you will get out of it what you put into it. If you decide that taking a short term approach to marketing your business by paying $99.99 to create your own infographic, or that your infographic is such low value that you need to use a site to give it away, then don’t be surprised when Google releases an update to devalue your low value infographics.