Press releases have been online for as long as the news has – and they bring in traffic. A press release posted to a newswire can not only catch a few extra readers, it can also pass on “link juice” – the valuable SEO bump of having another established website link to you.
Or at least it could, until Google’s latest revision of its webmaster policies. Google has long been engaged in a battle against bad SEO practices, cracking down on companies that try to promote themselves online in a way that doesn’t deliver value to real live web surfers. Lately, press releases have come under attack – especially press releases that use repetitive key phrases or pack lots of links into a small amount of content. Companies that issue such press releases, especially across multiple press release services, can actually lose page rank (and traffic).
So does that mean press releases are off limits for SEO and PR companies? Not at all.
The Purpose of a Press Release
Google has no intention of penalizing actual press releases, which are vital to the news industry. And press releases should contain everything a reporter needs to write a story, including relevant links. Links make it easier to contact companies, see related news and check facts. Journalists want them, as long as they’re helpful.
How can you make sure the links you include won’t penalize you? There are several ways:
- Less is more. The fewer links you have in the release, the greater the value it will hold.
- If you want to include a second link, point it to other collateral journalists can use (such as video).
- Change up your anchor text. Don’t always use vital keywords; link from your brand or company name instead.
- Provide attribution and link to third-party websites (such as a news source you cite in your press release).
If you follow these practices, your press releases will pass Google’s scrutiny. Of course, with few or no keyword-laden links passing influence to your site, will the press release still boost your SEO?
That’s because the purpose of a press release is a collaborative SEO and branding effort to get your story picked up by actual media. If your press release is so high-quality that a major news source chooses to make it into a story, they could link to you organically – from their own high-influence website – and point more traffic to your website.
EverSpark specializes in crafting authentic, valuable press releases for its clients. We have a high rate of success in getting press releases picked up as stories (such as this recent release that was picked up by Newsday).
If you want press releases that pass Google’s standards, try out EverSpark today.