How Building Links with Infographics Is Changing

One of the most recommended ways to build links with content lately has been with infographics and, as expected, SEO companies have exploited this method of link building to its extent. But now that Matt Cutts has revealed in an interview with Eric Enge that Google may start discounting infographics links. Does this mean that…

One of the most recommended ways to build links with content lately has been with infographics and, as expected, SEO companies have exploited this method of link building to its extent. But now that Matt Cutts has revealed in an interview with Eric Enge that Google may start discounting infographics links. Does this mean that all links built around infographics may lose their value? Not necessarily. According to Matt, the problem isn’t with all infographics, but those that fit the following characteristics.

  • Infographics that are not considered quality content due to the fact the information is poor or flat our wrong thanks to poor fact checking.
  • Infographics embed code that is misleading in what the webmaster must link to in order to share the infographic on their website.
  • Infographics that are not relevant to the business being linked to.

Essentially, the problem boils down to low quality content and the fact that webmasters are not linking to the infographic content itself but to other websites. So how can marketers ensure that their infographics links will count in the future and help them go viral?

Create Quality Infographics with Well-Researched Data

Creating quality infographics doesn’t simply mean find the best graphic designer you can get. The information provided in your infographic is just as important, if not more important than the fancy design surrounding it. Whenever you go in search of statistics to base your infographics upon, go to the official sources when possible. Don’t just trust XYZ blogger when they say Facebook has billions of members. Go to the Facebook Newsroom to see that they have 901 million monthly active users. Also, look for current data instead of using numbers that were researched a couple of years ago as it might be completely off base. Also realize that Wikipedia is not always the most reliable source, but you can sometimes use it to get to official sources of information.

Host Infographics on the Domain You Want People to Link To

Want people to link to your domain when they link to an infographic? Then be sure that the infographic is on your domain. One of the reasons infographics links are getting dinged is because marketers are hosting the infographics on one site, but adding links in the embed code for the infographics to another. If you want to build links to Site A, then place the infographic on a page or blog that is actually on Site A – not a subdomain, mind you, but actually on thatdomain.com.

Place Infographics on Pages You Want to Build Links To

While most websites would probably want to place infographics on their blog or resources pages, think about ways to incorporate infographics on product pages. Imagine a clothing retailer who wants to build links to the prom dress category page on their website. They could create an infographic about the history of prom dresses that takes you through fashion from different decades leading to dresses from their own line for today. Then they could get fashion bloggers to embed their infographic, linking right back to their category page. It’s great content and great links!

Link to the Actual Infographic in the Embed Code

It has been commonplace to include embed code for webmasters and bloggers to use which included links to the homepage of a website with keyword-specific anchor text like car insurance. The problem with this is that, in the world of natural and organic links, a webmaster or blogger interested in sharing an infographic would link to the page the infographic itself is on, not the homepage of the site the infographic is on (or another site altogether).

What’s important to remember is that if you have an infographic on the domain you want to link to, then building links to the page the infographic resides upon builds the main domain’s overall authority. So instead of trying to cheat the system, create embed code that links directly to the page the infographic is placed upon using A) the best option of the title of the infographic itself or B) the next best option of keywords relating to the infographic as anchor text.

Rotate the Anchor Text for Your Infographic

One of the things that is tipping off unnatural link profiles to Google is the overuse of keyword specific anchor text. If you decide to go with keyword anchor text instead of the title of the infographic itself, then be sure to change it up so that not everyone linking to your infographic is using the same anchor text in the embed code. Think of different variations of your anchor text such as Car Insurance Infographic, Infographic About Car Insurance, Best Car Insurance Infographic, How Much Is Car Insurance Infographic, and so forth.

Get Links to Both

Just because you shouldn’t encourage people to link to your website’s homepage in an infographic’s embed code doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get links to your website’s homepage at all. Look into infographic blogs and directories such as Infographics Showcase. For a fee, you can get an entire blog post on their site for your infographic including two lifetime links, one to your website’s homepage as the author and one directly to your infographic.

Don’t Count Out Flickr & Creative Commons


Another good way to spread your infographic is through sites like Flickr where people go to find images. Be sure to upload your infographic with a Creative Commons license, and in the image description, let people know they can freely use your infographic and give credit by linking back to the page it is placed upon on your website.

Pin It


Sure Pinterest source links are now nofollow, but the point isn’t to get a link from Pinterest, but to get traffic back to the infographic’s page on your website. Be sure to pin it from the page on your website so that people who want to grab the embed code can do so by going directly to the source link.

How will you change your infographics campaign in light of the latest revelation by Matt Cutts? Also, don’t miss our latest infographic on Quantifying Outreach.

responses to “How Building Links with Infographics Is Changing”

  1. Peter Brown says:

    Great blog Kristi, just thought I’d point out that whilst the source links on Pinterest within the individual view are nofollowed, the links on the source page are followed. EG:


    “Pins from Blog.hubspot” < that's followed

  2. Nicely written article, Kristi! I see Google’s move as being more about authenticating relevancy than about discounting infographics in any way. It is very much in keeping with their strategy to focus on solid SEO practices and discount tactics that don’t follow their preferred guidelines. It can only help those who do it correctly, and prevent spam from cluttering up search results. Love it…

    For anyone interested in learning more about how to optimize their infographics, this recent post on “How to Optimize Pinterest for SEO” might be valuable: http://rockthestatusquo.info/2012/07/02/how-to-rank-faster-seo-and-pinterest/ 

  3. Swamykant says:

    Hi Kristi 

    Great . But I think you missed out  Visual.ly

  4. […] How Building Links with Infographics Is Changing (iacquire.com) […]

  5. […] Am I guaranteed to get a link? Again, if the goal is a link, make sure you are getting one by looking at previous submissions to ensure they offer at least a link back to the infographic on your website. If it offers one back to your homepage, that might even be better. But also keep in mind that Google has mentioned that they may start discounting infographics links. […]

  6. […] more likely they will be picked up by blogs. And getting mentioned by blogs = getting links. Take infographics for example. Mashable just recently shared one on higher education uses social media and, within […]

  7. Spook SEO says:

    Awesome post Kristi. I always thought that inforgraphics are an awesome way to build links. When I add infographics on my guest posts, webmasters almost always approve the request.