On Press Releases & Google

Something that has come up a lot in my world recently regarding SEO has been questions about whether or not Google likes company press releases. For example, the question & my answer below…

The Question:
I wanted to ask your opinion about using PR distribution for SEO purposes. I know that Google has cracked down companies using pr distribution channels that are used mainly for seo purposes. I currently work for a tech start up and have been using free pr sites, some come up on google news, but I’ve read that this can sometimes work against you.

Do you feel that press releases are effective for seo? If so, are there any companies that you would recommend?  Should companies invest in paid pr distribution companies or are free pr sites sufficient?  What are some thinks to look for when choosing a paid service to distribute a pr?

My Answer:

When you say “press releases for SEO” you have to be careful. Because press releases are typically about blasting 1 piece of content to as many diff. sites for posting as possible. Which Google hates. Free content posting sites were good for SEO 7 years ago, but not now. Paid PR sites are good because Google essentially ignores them – ignores the fact that they have duplicate content. Or, certain press release sites will actually slightly adjust your content before posting for these reasons (which is good, but the website still needs to be relevant to your content and industry for Google to like it).

But the primary answer regarding “what press release sites are good vs. bad for SEO” is to Google the site in conjunction with SEO research keywords. In other words, what are the recent reviews by SEOs themselves? Do they consider the site good or bad? If there is absolutely no commentary by SEOs regarding the site, than the site is probably either new or small. But either way you cut it, Google doesn’t like duplicate content.

There is something called “Google News” where you alert Google via website code, and Google tools, that you consider yourself a news resource posting your press releases on your site. In fact you may have seen “Google News” results sometimes on the search engine results page. That can be good for SEO. But posting duplicate content on multiple sites is always a tricky game when it comes to SEO.

Thanks for reading, Jake Aull, Zen Fires Digital Marketing