It's one of those things that people thought was an easier way to pass link juice that happened to get on the radar. I don't think there's any particular rules about infographics other than "don't appear to be purposely creating them to increase the ranking profile of your site". All IMO of course.
Msg#: 4664680 posted 2:59 am on May 12, 2014 (gmt 0)
The infographic has about 70% of the links with Brand name, the balance have anchor text links.
jaffstar - Sorry to say that this is a smoking gun that might cause you some problems, because there's no way it could be accidental. The pattern conforms to popular suppositions about percentages of keyword anchors (which is I assume what you meant by "anchor text links") that might remain under the radar. The brand name in your link anchor would be an anchor text link as well... just not as obviously manipulative.
Google has always been big on intent... and here the intent to manipulate is very clear. Why else would you be changing anchor text on an infographic?
Here's a thread on the topic in our Link Development Forum from July 2012, which refers to a Matt Cutts/Eric Enge interview that has a whole section on infographics...
In the thread, martinibuster comments on how Google is looking at these links, and he links to the interview at the end of the thread. Here's a Matt Cutts quote that applies to your situation...
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 donít realize, vs. a true endorsement of your site.
The question, I feel, is whether Google might have gone beyond "discounting", because of the obvious spammy intent, and that's why you have a manual action. I myself would nofollow as many of those links as I could get linking sites to change, and to disavow all the rest.