Due to a recent surge in demand (well OK maybe “surge” is an exaggeration, but someone did mention to me in the pub the other day; “you haven’t taken the piss out of one of those shit infographics for a while”), MRE Media are proud to announce the revival of “Worst Infographic“. And not only  a revival but a reinvention.

Infographics, it would seem, have had their day as every SEOs go-to tactic for some quick and dirty links. And let’s all be thankful for that.

But all those crafty digital marketers out there haven’t given up the good fight just yet, they have just got cleverer. And more creative. And “interactive”. And have bigger budgets. But not necessarily all of those things.

You can hardly browse the web or social media nowadays without falling over some brands latest piece of wannabe-viral, interactive something-or-other link bait. All manner of design, visual and technical wizardry goes into these pieces and some genuinely brilliant work is the outcome of this. But here lies the problem, relevance.

The lengths that brands and agencies are willing to go to to stretch the link between their products, services and target audience, and the need to “just make something cool and interactive, it’ll get a load of links”, would seem to know no bounds.

Relevancy, after all, is a key part of SEO, especially the creative content side of SEO, which really is SEO in 2016. Google tell us this, constantly. So what happened to relevant content? Does it even matter? Or is a link just a link.

So with this in mind, we’d like to announce our new an improved blog series: “Tenuously Linked Link Bait of the Week” (now that’s some relevant content strategy right there people).

Week 1 – Amplifon – Strava Cycle Tracks

I’d like to kick off the series with both thanks and apologies to some ex-colleagues of mine for creating this piece of interactive brilliance: www.amplifon.co.uk/strava-cycle-tracks/. It’s a wonderful demonstration of interactive design and development. And look, it worked,  I just linked to it.

But whilst your zooming along on that interactive, immersive cycle track, listening to some slightly bizarre music and generally being amazed by a great piece of interactive design, take a minute to glance up to the top left of the screen. Thats right, it’s Amplifon. The people who sell hearing aids.

Now I’m no expert in the hearing aid market, but I think it is safe to say there is something of a disconnect between this piece of work and the target demographic Amplifon are trying to sell their products to.

Does this piece of interactive content convey a message or reach an audience that is in anyway relevant to Amplifon or their products? I would suggest not. Unless Amplifon are spending exorbitant amounts of marketing budget trying to reach an extremely specific audience of hearing impaired bike loving app users?

Will people who find themselves on this page go on to buy a product from Amplifon? Will they even realise they are on the website of a company that sells hearing aids? Again, probably not.

So what’s it for? The biggest clue is probably that it has been made by an SEO agency, but the existence of the extremely detailed press kit also hints at this pieces true reason for existing – it’s extravagant link bait – tenuously linked extravagant link bait at that.

Does it matter? Is a link a link regardless of relevance and context of the content that generates it? Google tell us not – but then relevance must be an incredibly hard thing for a machine to understand, even one as clever as Google. Is this good old fashioned brand building?

What do you think? Does it matter? Is a great piece of content and the links it creates worthy of the benefit that goes with those links, regardless of relevance to a brand or it’s products? We’d love to know your thoughts.

Know of some Tenuously Linked Link Bait? Let us know about it.