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How to Reclaim Infographic Links

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So… you did it. You researched, designed, and outreached an infographic and it was awesome. It got featured on a couple big sites, and syndicated on a couple others. Nice! But wait – it’s not quite time to shelf that project, just yet. You can still get a lot more links out of that infographic, if you do your job right.

Every time you get an infographic on a big site like Mashable or even a site that is big within a niche, such as TreeHugger in the environmental niche or 12 Keys in the rehab niche, that infographic will usually find its way onto a number of smaller blogs. But because those bloggers don’t know any better (yet!) they will often link to the bigger source as credit, not to your site or your client’s site. Or they’ll link to nothing. This is a great opportunity!

One of the hardest parts of this process is finding the sites that posted your infographic, which can be difficult if they used few words for you to search by. Still, there are a variety of tricks you can use to pick them out of the crowd. You’ll probably find a few more people who posted your infographic, and if you’re lucky you might find some that you didn’t know about who are already linking to you. Easy win!

Go Back Through Your Initial Contacts

If you originally reached out to a list of people with your initial outreach, chances are that most of them didn’t write back – that’s to be expected. But sometimes bloggers liked the content, but are just too busy to reach back out to you after posting it. Revisit everyone’s site and do a quick perusal for your infographic. If it’s a site that posts frequently throughout the day, you might have better luck plugging some search queries into Google such as [site:TheirURL.com “Name of Your Infographic”] or [site:TheirURL.com “Keyword Related to Infographic”]. If they did post it, be sure to write back and thank them for posting it. If they posted but didn’t link to you or your client, try sending them a polite message asking for the link – if you’re respectful, they’ll most likely be happy to go back and add the link.

Reverse Image Search

Reverse image search is the holy grail of reclaiming infographic links. Go to Google Image Search and click the camera at the right end of the search bar to begin a reverse image search.

Then either paste the URL of the image from your blog post about it or from the biggest site on which it was featured, or upload the image from your computer. Since infographics are big files, I recommend just pasting the URL of the image.

Poof! If your infographic was popular, you’ll have page upon page of results, and even if it was only moderately successful you’ll probably have one or two. Google will also suggest similar images, but this is usually useless as they’re not the same infographic at all. If your graphic was popular on Pinterest, you might have to sort through a lot of Pinterest results; for the moment you don’t seem to be able to take them out of an image search by adding [-site:pinterest.com] to the searchbar, but perhaps Google will add this in the future.

Although you’ll probably have the greatest success with Reverse Image Search, you might still find more postings by using a few more text-based searches.

Search by Title

One of the first things I try when I am looking for people who posted my infographic is searching by title. In theory, especially if the infographic has the title within the image, if a blogger puts any text at all with the graphic it will be the title. I typically start with a simple search for [“Title of Infographic”] but if it’s a title that’s been used elsewhere (or a pun or common spin on an idea) I’ll add the word “infographic” to my search: [infographic “Title of Infographic”]. Try a few variations of the title if you think it would help locate more postings.

Search for the Accompanying Blog Post

I’m not a fan of duplicate content, and neither are legitimate bloggers, but you will sometimes find a blog that posts the infographic and just “borrows” the accompanying post. Search for a random sentence or two from your original blog post accompanying the graphic. Also try a sentence or two from the biggest blogs that posted the graphic.

Search for Syndications

Sometimes big blogs get syndicated by smaller blogs (and occasionally big blogs get syndicated to even bigger sites, which is even cooler). Search for syndications by searching for the title the big blog used for your graphic, or for a few key phrases, such as [infographic “Name of Big Blog” “Keyword Related to Infographic”]. If you happen to just know offhand where they get syndicated, or you find a list of places it syndicates, look through those sites, too.

Search Your Embed Code Text

When all else fails, I try to search the snippet of text containing the link in my embed code. This is less to find places that didn’t link (although occasionally they will remove the link from the embed code and leave the text) and more just to find additional postings. This will work less and less as you or your client create and outreach more infographics, but sometimes if you’ve outreached it recently you can use the Google search tools to set it to instances of that search in the past month.

Reverse “Video” Search?

If you create motion graphics in addition to infographics, you may be wondering if a tool exists to find where people have posted these. Unfortunately, at the moment that is not the case, but there is one thing you can do to see at least a few of the places your video has been embedded and played, if it’s on YouTube.

In your YouTube Analytics, choose “Playback locations” from the left-side menu and click “Embedded player on other websites.” Enter the title of your motion graphic into the search bar at the top to see results for just that video. At the end, you’ll see a list of all of the domains where that video has been posted and played at least once. You should be able to find your embedded video on most, if not all, of those domains using searches like [site:TheirURL.com “Title of Infographic”].

Sending Your Link Requests

Your link requests should be written individually for each big site you’re asking for a link from, and at least personalized templates for all the other sites. Don’t let link request etiquette completely fly out the window just because you’re eager to get a link.

If someone hasn’t included a link to any site at all with the graphic, politely remind them that just because content is on the internet doesn’t mean it’s free to use without attribution. Most infographics are licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs (or CC BY-ND), which means that anyone, commercial or not, is allowed to share the image, as long as they give credit to the creator and do not make derivative works. You can explain this to the blogger and even link to the CC license in your email, and ask that they add a link to your site.

If a site has syndicated the graphic from another site, it may be difficult to get them to change the link, but you can try. And some blogs, especially those who have been heavily hit by Google updates, may be critical of linking to other sites or only give a no-follow link. You can try to convince them otherwise, but be prepared for rejection.

That should just about cover it. Good luck getting those links! Do you have some brilliant search query you use to find rogue infographics? Share it in the comments!

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