In the past year, an effective but under-utilized search engine technique to bait other websites to link to you is to create infographics (short for information graphics). According to Wikipedia, "infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge". "These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly." An example of infographic is history of the food blender and combating global warming.
In exchange for the use of the infographic on a website, the creator requests a link back to their website. This can create an enormous boost in social medial signals generating tool and also Google PR. The only problem is infographics are very difficult to produce. It requires a great idea, strong research and fact gathering, great visualization and a decent graphic artist to create it.
There is a great DIY Infographic Process that's a great read for anyone wanting to create one. The graphic explains the process in detail but can be summarized in the following 6 steps:
1. Ideation - select an idea that will generate interest and research
2. Idea Selection - find and flesh out your idea
3. Research - fact gathering to support your idea
4. Conceptual Visualization - graphic direction
5. First Full Draft - self explanatory
6. Revisions - polish and revise as needed
See how much easier it is to look at a graphic representation:
Another cool website to bookmark and review is the industry website, Cool Infograhics. It features daily new infographics created by companies worldwide. It's a great resource to generate new ideas and for thoese interested in understanding and correcting mistakes used in past infographics.
Then there's the Infographic of Ingraphics which assists with the topic of data visualization. It provides pointers on chart, font and color recommendations and how many words to use in the title. It's a great reference when you're creating your own.
Once you've completed your infographic, what do you do with it and how do you promote it? Well, there's a large number of infographic databases where you can submit for promotion.
Here's a quick list of a few of them (more can be found by Googling "infographics directories"):
Infographics are an effective link building option to add as one of the options in your link building toolbox in 2012.
But Matt Cutts of Google spoke on this topic, warning that many infographics are misused. He specifically pointed out that infographics are often on topics that are not relevant to the site they link from (example, infographics about babies but linked from a gambling site). He also warned that any information included within the infographic had better be accurate. There are so much infographics popping up as link bait and publishing poorly researched information. He went as far as to say that in the future, Google will start to discount these infographic-type links if they are abused.
He was quoted saying the following:
"Any infographics you create will do better if they're closely related to your business, and it needs to be fully disclosed what you are doing. The big key is that the person publishing the infographic has to know, and agree with, including an endorsement to your site as attribution with the infographic. Even then, there is reason to believe that the link is more about the barter to get the infographic than a real endorsement of your site."
Here's his recent interview on the use of infographics.
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