The Truth About Infographics: The Infographics Backlash
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This is quite possibly, one of the best infographics to rip apart infographics out there on the web. Brought to you by BuzzFeed.com, this infographic shows how some webmasters are using infographics to spam the web and get hundreds, if not thousands, of backlinks. When it comes down to it, infographics are a great form a link bait, which is why they have become so popular online. That said, there are many sites out there that do not abuse this privilege of gaining a link back, because they create infographics specific to their niche. For instance, Visual Economics creates a large amount of infographics, but all center around the niche of economics and are filled with important information, making these infographics highly useful to those who view them and those who republish them.
This BuzzFeed infographic points out the sites that are using infographics for the purpose of spam rather than spreading useful information. Without saying the name of the site, this infographic is clearly calling out onlineschools.org, a website notorious for creating infographics that have absolutely nothing to do with attending an online school. The majority of the infographics produced for “spam” (what BuzzFeed is calling spam), have unusual and usually useless information like “A Brief Guide to Boogers.”
Luckily, Google does take into account where a link comes from to determine its impact on a site’s relevancy in search engines. While “A Brief Guide to Boogers” might get some reposts, it’s highly likely that those reposting it have nothing to do with online schools. That said, the infographic does show how links from Digg seem to be the main goal of anyone trying to produce infographics for the purpose of gaining links only.
Ultimately, the decision is left to the blog owner, with regards to whether they will post a link to the infographic creator or not. The BuzzFeed infographic suggests that you append the “nofollow” tag to any infographic that seems to have been created only for the purpose of gaining links to a site, especially when that site has a completely different topic or focus than the infographic. This seems to be a sound practice, though I wonder if infographics like this can actually be considered spam. Spam is usually unwanted, yet for these infographics to get re-posted, it’s likely there is some sort of audience for them. Ultimately, I believe that a site should be linked back to, if the infographic is related to the site that created it. If the infographic is, instead, created only for the purpose of links, then it is definitely walking a fine line which may lead to the death of infographics before this trend ever fully matures.
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