Google is not just a search engine, it is a business empire that can affect your your whole online marketing strategy and with Google penalties, they do just that. The truth is that Google sees press releases as “unnatural” and if not optimised properly, it will affect your business exposure.
If you are using a paid wire service such as PR Newswire to distribute your press releases, you need to make sure you nofollow the links that are not optimised through anchor text. By this I mean that in terms of value, links and content in the context of a press release have been of not much value. Since the new Google guidelines have changed, old press releases are not picking up any traffic because of the lack of anchor text. There is so much content on the internet in regards to press releases and there is no control over how they are archived. Even if a press release distribution company do something to address their archives like noindexing old pages, there is the larger problem of cutting ties to links to those sites who have republished press releases.
I have come across organisations who are stuck and don’t know what to do with their press releases. If someone has real, newsworthy information they want to share, you will need to be very careful with links. Companies should still include one or two links in order to get the reader over to a website or blog which will cause a shift to how normal PR works, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
The first press release was written in 1906 by Ivy Lee. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that online PR services began releasing news directly to customers via the internet and ever since, journalists have relied on press releases to help track company news. The digital press today goes beyond what a journalist is capable of as the internet and especially social media hold such a huge influence on sharing information.
The reason why the history of press releases is important, is because of how Google now react to them. Google may have killed the power of links in a press release but most media experts would still agree that press releases are still alive and kicking.
Press releases are still a great way to build a companies brand awareness and share a message, regardless of Google’s link penalties. The main reason why Google are discouraging links is because some companies purely deliver only press releases as a way to generate inbound links which is why Google sees this as “untrue” marketing.
Digital press releases not only improve brand awareness, they also increase social and search visibility for a business, educate and build relationships. The important thing to remember is to be cautious and remember that doing press releases for the sake of purely boosting your SEO will not help your online exposure, it will hinder it.