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Have Infographics Passed Their Use By Date?

13 October 2011 BY

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I don’t know about you, but when I see a tweet highlighting that the link goes to an infographic I find myself less likely to click on the link.

12 months ago that was a different story, anything with the word ‘infographic’ in had sexy connotations of it being a data-filled masterpiece, heck I think I once tweeted an infographic about how tea is grown – and I’ve been an exclusive coffee drinker for as long as I can remember!

Due to the overuse and low-quality production of infographics, the success of infographics is starting to get undermined. They’re also one of the most blatant forms of link bait kicking around, which I believe gives it a counter-productive effect on attracting links and shares, as it’s too obvious that the sole purpose of the infographic is to get links and shares. Although, maybe that’s just because i’m ‘in the know’.

I wasn’t sure if it was just me or not who felt like this, so I asked on Twitter what people thought about the effectiveness of infographics.

So what do the trends say?

We all remember Digg in 2010 – you could visit the site at any time of the day and the home page would be at least half full of infographics. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case, yesterday the Digg home page featured just one infographic.
On the contrary, Google trends suggests that the popularity of infographics as a search term continues to grow and grow.

I also noticed that the Wikipedia page on infographics ranks high up in Google for the search term ‘infographic’, so I decided to look at the Wikipedia article traffic stats, which suggest that traffic has almost doubled over the past year to that page, although this is assuming that the rankings have remained consistent.

What do you think? Do infographics still work or are they fizzling out? Vote in the poll here: http://twtpoll.com/vpjopo

AUTHORED BY:
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Marcus Taylor is the founder of Venture Harbour, a company that specialises in digital marketing for the music, film, and game industries.
  • http://www.basvandenbeld.com Bas van den Beld

    Hey Marcus, good post again.

    I think there are two ways of looking at this. One is the approach you take: that of the ‘receiver’ of tweets. You see a tweet coming by with the word ‘infographic’ and decide not to click. I can totally understand that. Just do a search on Twitter and see how many infographics are being posted at the moment. Plenty. And I myself don’t click on most of them.

    There however is also the other approach, namely that of the webmaster. As you may have noticed we also publish quite a few infographics here on State of Search. Not everybody likes that indeed. But to be really honest: the stats say something different. Infographics are still very much clicked on. And even better: they are shared over Social Media. People like to share them. Which, as you know, also has its benefits for the webmasters :).

    I would say like in many cases here it is all about the balance. Yes, you still can post infographics, and yes, they still work. But it has to be done with consideration: not too much, pick the right timing (Friday and Monday somehow seem to work best, must be the weekend feeling) and don’t just post any infographic.

  • http://www.seoptimise.com Marcus Taylor

    Thanks for the comment Bas :)

    I think you’re spot on – it’s a debate of quality, as good infographics will naturally rise to the top and work well, whereas crappy ones will sink to the bottom and just annoy people. However, as an overall trend I don’t think they work as well as they used to but enough to justify still using them, although that’s a very generalised statement and I think it depends massively on the niche.

    Interesting point about time of week, too.

  • http://collentine.com @collentine

    I believe they are still a good way of visualizing data. We just need to start filtering out the bad ones better. Vizualize community is a good one. Also started collecting and reflecting on social media infographics each day at http://infographics.collentine.com

  • Pingback: “Words divide, pictures unite”: 4 reasons why infographics aren’t dead | Kurtosys Blog

  • Pingback: The Anatomy of Creating a Great Infographic | Venture Harbour

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