Matt Cutts may have recently said graphic links aren’t top for SEO, but it seems a lot of B2B marketers think this content format is a top way to influence audiences that convert. According to IDG’s recently released results from its B2B Content Marketing Trends survey, infographics are the fastest growing content type on the web, with adoption rising 1.5-fold over last year.

The survey found that infographics are used for marketing by about 20 percent of B2B companies. The year-over-year growth of this content format suggests graphics will continue their ascent this year. Moreover, the broad majority of respondents who use infographic marketing say the content is effective for marketing (more than 40 percent, compared to less than 15 percent who say the content format is „ineffective“).

Those entering the realm of infographic marketing should be aware that this content has raised some eyebrows over at Google. As Brafton reported, Distinguished Search Engineer Matt Cutts told Stone Temple Consulting that Google might discredit infographic links when it comes to SEO, as people sharing the graphics often don’t realize what they’re endorsing.

He went on to complain about general quality issues with this content type.

„[A lot of infographics] get far off topic, or the fact checking is really poor. The infographic may be neat, but, if the information it’s based on is simply wrong, then it’s misleading people,“ he said. 

While Cutts‘ comments about the need for fact-checking has audience-facing implications marketers must consider, it seems not many will be worried if their infographics don’t generate inbound links that boost SEO. When asked about metrics used to measure the success of all content types, inbound links came out in the bottom three least important metrics (cited by slightly more than 20 percent of respondents). Search ranking is also lower priority (used as a measure of success by just one-third of respondents). On the other hand, website traffic, views and leads are each named as success metrics by more than half of respondents.

Any infographics you create will do better if they’re closely related to your business.

– Matt Cutts

Marketers hoping to win leads from infographics should also take Cutts‘ comment about keeping graphics related to their businesses to heart. By sharing accurate information that drives business demand, companies stand to win leads from graphics.

Of course, creating highly visual, well-researched, brand-appropriate content is easier said than done. IDG found almost one-quarter of respondents using graphics said they outsource their infographic marketing efforts to professionals.