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Matt Cutts Recommends NoFollowing Links in Infographics & Widgets

Should I add rel=-nofollow- to links that are included with my widget- - YouTube

With almost every link building method, the inevitable is the limited time period in which it works effectively until Google cracks down on the overly used strategy. Guest posting is a completely legitimate form of link building, however the over zealous usage of this method has moved Google to react, while older methods such as article submissions and directories have already been punished.

Creative infographics still have their place in the SEO world, but we’ve all been aware of Matt Cutts distaste for the links that are hidden in the embeddable code. Back in July 2012, Matt Cutts was interviewed by Eric Enge and Matt admitted that the future of infographics may not be all sunshine’s and rainbows, with the following statement:

“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. The link is often embedded in the infographic in a way that people don’t realize, vs. a true endorsement of your site.”

Matt Cutts latest video on his webmaster tools help centre on YouTube has now shed further light on the topic, by answering the question ‘What should we do with embeddable codes in things like widgets and infographics? Should we include the rel=”nofollow” by default? Avert the user that the code includes a link and give him the option of not including it?’

Matt came back with the following response:

‘My answer to this is coloured by the fact that we have seen a tonne of people trying to abuse widgets and infographics. I would not rely on widgets and infographics as your primary way to gather links and I would recommend putting in a nofollow, especially on widgets as most people when they just copy and paste a segment of code, they don’t realise what is going with that. Depending on the scale of the stuff you are doing with infographics, you might consider putting in a rel=”nofollow” as well.’

You can see the full video below:

So what does this mean for you? If you are currently producing any widgets with a link embedded in the code, I would recommend making the link nofollow, to future-proof your widget and your site. I follow the rule that if a link also helps bring direct traffic to your site and you are not simply building a link for SEO purposes, then you should feel comfortable and confident in your content. I would also be aware that any anchor text used in the link shouldn’t be overly keyword rich, as this will make a clear signal. Therefore, the safe bet would be to use Branded anchor text.

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1 Comment
  • Cole Wiebe on September 17, 2013

    Helpful post Tom. I never even thought of making the links in embedded infographics nofollow. I shall be going back through my posts and fixing those.

    – Cole

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