Press Releases and Google What PR Professionals need to know to promote without Penality


Recently Google updated their guidelines on links specifically calling out press releases. The update has caused some confusion among PR professionals. Jon Rognerud explain the changes.Jon Rognerud

Keywords, content, and links are paramount to success in search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines live (and die) by following links, then storing and indexing information into their vast server networks.

For website owners, links contribute to how pages are ranked. External links create a trust/authority indicator for Google, which may lead to higher rankings and traffic. Links are the voting mechanism that still is central to what Google built into their search engine dating back to 1998.

Why Pick on Press Releases?

A common way to create brand visibility is to leverage national press release services. The approach has been, and still is to use PR services to also get traffic and links back to the brand in question.  This is nothing new, as we all create content to be placed and syndicated on the Internet.

Over the last several years, however, many people began using press releases as a way to gain links and increase site popularity. This abuse has resulted in press releases and their links being viewed as nothing more than a paid link, which is a model highly discouraged by Google.

Over time, Google and other search engines have taken measures to combat any gaming of the system and recently announced that Press Releases that contain links back to the brand should include a no-follow link attribute. A no-follow link is a hyperlink that has a special code rel=nofollow attached to it. A no-follow attribute essentially tells search engine spiders how to treat that link.  Search engine spiders will not follow these links to the new site (or page) and the link is not included in your relevancy score for keywords, nor does it count towards your popularity in search engine rankings. In effect, you serve readers by providing the information but demonstrate to Google that you are not abusing links for SEO.

Recently, Google updated their webmaster guidelines igniting a wave of questions from PR professionals across the globe.

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a sites ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Googles Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site. (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en)

If you scroll down on the page, youll see that the concept of unnatural links violate guidelines, and is even called out with an example. Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.  is specifically mentioned.

To Link or Not to Link?

So what has really changed? The types of links that have drawn Googles ire are optimized links. Optimized links are keyword rich links designed to impact SEO. Lets look at an example. You write a press release announcing a clients new software product, ABC Software that is a press release distribution tool.

Click here to learn more about our new product, ABC Software, a press release distribution tool. In this version click here is linked to the product page.

Click here to learn more about our new product, ABC Software, a press release distribution tool. In this version press release distribution tool is linked to the product page.

The first example is a navigational link and remains a good practice. You are directing resources to where they can find out more information. In the second version you have optimized the link with keywords, and this is a practice Google calls into question. Going forward, it is best to steer clear of using optimized links, in your press releases or add the no-follow attribute to these types of links,

Remember, the search engines still want the best search results for their users. By focusing on generating quality content and relevant links, you will ensure that you and your clients remain in Googles good graces.

7 suggested rules when using a press release strategy going forward:

  1. Always think about the user first, search engines second.
  2. Dont use press releases as a primary SEO tool. One of the best ways to drive traffic to your clients websites is with good quality content relevant to their publics. Use releases to announce relevant news rather than as link juice.
  3. Use navigational links in your release. For example if you are announcing a strategic partnership it is it is fine to link to company names. Dont overdo using these links, stick to one or two per release.
  4. Create a targeted outreach list and follow up directly. Do your research and send releases to journalists that may not find your press release on their own and share it with them.
  5. Think long term and mix up your marketing tactics. Google will also continue to update their policies and algorithms often overnight. Over reliance on any one strategy is not good.
  6. Consider adding a modified, updated copy of the release on your own website. Link to the original release from within your own website. Build content on your own domains.
  7. Review and understand what Google thinks about quality content:http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.nz/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html. Also remember that quality content doesnt mean you automatically become #1 in the search engine results.

In summary:

Create a high-value, user focused and valuable approach to brand mentions and press release efforts. Press releases still work to get the word out, and the possible follow-up will create value for, and links from, relevant websites. Your PR/SEO will get leverage over time this way.

When you follow these rules and understand the background, youll have nothing to worry about. Legitimate PR pros, agencies, publicists and others should be fine with these changes. Press Releases are not an SEO spam tool, and you should never use them in that way.

Jon Rognerud is the author of the popular SEO book, The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization (Entrepreneur/Mcgraw-Hill). He runs his own search marketing firm at Chaosmap.com and writes about search engine marketing, online business strategies and the entrepreneurial mindset. He speaks, trains and consults with organizations in the US and abroad on how to build and run their Internet Marketing Strategies for increased profits using SEO, Social Media, Pay Per Click and more. For a Free strategy call, contact him at www.chaosmap.com/contact




More News

SNC-Lavalin awarded Wasit Gas Plant installation contract by Saudi Aramco
E-Showroom from SIO365
How Businesses Are Saving Big With Publish-Ready Content
The essential March highlights of Gastech Insights
The Arab Women in Leadership and Business Summit 2018, April 25-26, 2018
Look the other way: Is ignoring the competition really the key to success
Get your exclusive pre-sale tickets to see Ghost The Musical at Dubai Opera
SpiceJet: Adding more delight to your flight. Hurry, Book Now
Africa Islamic Finance Forum Opens Next Week - Last Chance to Book Your Place
Home Awnings and Commercial Awnings Suppliers
Handyman Dubai Services
Emerging as a Leading Digital Marketing Agency for the UAE
Its time to be inspired at ATM 2018
Invitation: Morning Briefing with Miral, February 28, 2018
Announcing the GCC WaterTech Summit Dubai
Invest in Latin America and Caribbean in AIM 2018
Upcoming AmCham Abu Dhabi Events, February - March 2018
Ghana President guest of honour at WAMPEX and WAMPOC 2018
The essential January highlights of Gastech Insights
The leading Oil & Gas Publication in the Middle East since 1996
Supported Event: Break The Ceiling Touch The Sky The Success and Leadership Summit for Women, April 11, 2018
Why BIM is important for project managers in the construction industry
The EGYPS Visitor Show Planner
AmCham Abu Dhabi Announces 2018 Excellence Awards Winners
WORLD CLASS INVESTMENT CONFERENCE AT AIM 2018
Are you running a pilot that will disrupt existing heavy oil technologies Present your findings at the worlds largest heavy oil conference
International cutting edge products on display at EGYPS 12-14 February 2018, register today
Are you looking for the latest construction products
Lebanon new market, commercial opportunity - 70 percent already taken
Meetups this week with: Abu Dhabi Self-Improvement Meetup Members, Abu Dhabi Indoor Basketball Christian Fellowship Meetup Members, Toastmasters, and others
The Reality about B2B Lead Generation
Purchase Your Tickets AmCham Abu Dhabi 8th Annual Excellence Awards and 18th Annual Charity Gala, Friday, January 26, 2018
Register now for the Middle Easts largest concrete and heavy construction show
SEO in 2018: What to Expect
EDEX 2018 Launched in Egypt
Navigating the Cloud as a Dubai Startup - Report Produced by Dtec, IBM and Thomson Reuters
Visit EGYPS 2018 to connect with the worlds leading oil and gas organisations
AIM Startup MENA Roadshow and Pitch Competitions 2017
Video Will Be More Important Than Ever
Annual Investment Meeting
Parsons Sponsors American Chamber of Commerce Abu Dhabi Women in Business Committee to Support Professional Development Platforms for Women
Join us in Celebrating AmCham Abu Dhabi 8th Annual Excellence Awards and 18th Annual Charity Gala, Friday, January 26, 2018
10 things you should know about VAT in the UAE
UAE VAT Implementation
The Qatari Ministry of Economy and Commerce unveils FIFA-related business opportunities
4 Steps to Boosting SEO with Long-Tail Keywords
Establish yourself in Growing e-Learning Education Market
Book now and save BIG for Georgia trip 4 days from AED1499
Dtec Learning Course: Raising Capital in a Competitive Environment
Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit
Dont miss out on the Marketing Kingdom in Bahrain
Make eye-catching online ads
The future of solar is here
Hello to Important, Goodbye to Background Noises
The Top 3 SEO Ranking Factors in 2017
Call for Papers open for the World Heavy Oil Congress 2018
Supported Event: GetGlobal Forum, Tuesday, November 28, 2017
ADIPEC Visitor Show Planner
Marketing Automation Tools that Boost Profits
The Excellence in Construction Summit brochure
Visit ADIPEC on Monday 13 November and connect with the worlds leading oil & gas organisations
Keynote announcement: John Lewis Partnership, CIO, Paul Coby
Discover and create opportunities for your business in the East Mediterranean at ADIPEC Offshore and Marine
Training Insight; November 2017
Its time to network with the experts in solar
Only 7 Days Left to Register! AmCham Abu Dhabi ADIPEC Kick-Off Breakfast, Monday, November 13, 2017
Top 5 reasons why you should visit The Big 5 in Dubai this year
2nd Annual GCC HVAC Summit
Want to learn about ISO 45001 changes
Last Chance to Register - Cultural 101 Workshop with Nasif Kayed October 25th
Supported Event: International Franchise Exhibition, October 25-26, 2017
Supported Event: International Franchise Exhibition, October 25-26, 2017
BIG AUTUMN SALE: 25percent off all in-house courses
Training Insight; October 2017
Raise the steaks at J&G Steakhouse, The St. Regis Dubai
AmCham Abu Dhabi and American Business Council in Dubai Conduct Successful 2017 Advocacy Trade Mission in Washington, D.C.
Join key decision-makers from NOCs and IOCs at the ADIPEC 2017 Golf Day
IPH and Brammer combine to create a European leader in industrial distribution
Direct leasing by landlord at Capital Plaza Complex (Sofitel Hotel Corniche)
Safeguard your premises from Flood and Water Damage
Discover America Month at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, October 4-21, 2017
$1.36bn project announced in Saudi Arabia
Personalised Bath Towels / Iceland Water Park: Adult (AED 119) or Child (AED 79) / Pool and Gym Access / AED 60 Toward Indian Food
Gulf Star Karate - Free Trial Classes at our Club Locations
The essential September highlights of Gastech Insights
2017 Fit-Out and Interiors Report
Product Updates, Offers and More l Al-Bahar Newsletter Issue 5
3 Ways Web Scaping Can Save Your Business
Why Savvy eCommerce Companies Need to Leverage Experiential Marketing
Register online and join 100,000+ trade professionals from 135 countries
Reminder Tonight! Welcome Back Strictly Social at Cho Gao Marina Walk, September 27, 2017
100s of franchise opportunities waiting for you Register your free visit today
AmCham Update: AmCham Abu Dhabi Appoints New Board Members
Conduct business, face-to-face
Is your business at risk of Legionella
Invitation to Participate @ City Vision Expo 2017
What Google Posts Are and How to Use Them - Sitepro News
The Leisure Show opens tomorrow at 10am!
Cityscape: MAG launches $1bn project in Dubai
Innovative Tools for Driving Increased Sales
UAE Exchange Wins Two Awards at Banker Middle East Industry Awards 2017
The Manghat Brothers Journey to the Top
Advanced Integrated Services on board as Platinum Sponsor for FM EXPO
Meet the Regions Top Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Experts in Dubai
Register for The Leisure Show today and receive free access to the leadership forum
Have you booked your Big 5 media campaign
Gala EVENT Specialists 2017
CUPETs major oil and gas conference goes ahead
The 5 Stages of Content Marketing: From Honeymoon to Happily Ever After
Limited seats available for Middle East BIM Summit 2017
The Big 5 Outdoor Design & Build Show
Save the Dates: Upcoming AmCham Abu Dhabi Events, September - December 2017
Expo 2020 Dubai legacy plan details emerge
Are you using the right hashtags
VISIT ADIPEC 2017, THE WORLDS MOST INFLUENTIAL MEETING POINT FOR OIL & GAS PROFESSIONALS
An Awesome Social Media Dashboard
Social Media Content Management Made Easy
Joint Event Invitation: Saudi Arabia and Vision 2030 - Practical Opportunities for Businesses in the GCC
5 Marketing Tips From 5 Major Brands
Gastech welcomes energy giant JERA to LNG conference
Harris Corporation Joins AmCham Abu Dhabi WOMEN ACHIEVE Initiative
Sharjah Chamber Acknowledges The Approval Of Implementing Its Strategy For The Next Five Years
Federation Of GCC Chambers Discusses Private Sector Challenges
ADIPEC: Investment in the oil and gas sector to rise in 2017
Record-breaking participation at The Big 5 2016
GCCs largest facilities management market earns a brace of dedicated exhibitions as FM EXPO Saudi and Saudi Clean Expo launch
The BIG 5 awards most innovative, green construction product in the Middle East
13,000 CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS GATHER AT THE BIG 5 2016 ON ITS OPENING DAY
Deco-Concrete Day at Middle East Concrete 2016 attracts thousands of construction professionals
Thousands of visitors arrive in Dubai for four days of networking and product sourcing at the much-anticipated Middle East Concrete and PMV Live 2016
H.H. SHEIKH HAMDAN BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM OPENS THE BIG 5 2016
The competition ramps up at the Action Zone at Middle East Concrete & PMV Live 2016
73,000 CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS FROM 140 COUNTRIES GATHER IN DUBAI FOR THE BIG 5 2016
Over 50 free-to-attend and compelling seminars, forums and workshops scheduled at Middle East Concrete and PMV Live 2016
BIG INDUSTRY NAMES TO SHOWCASE ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATIONS AT MIDDLE EAST CONCRETE AND PMV LIVE 2016
LOW EMISSIONS TARGETS AND NEW CLEANER TECHNOLOGY ARE PRIORITY FOR GCC INFRASTRUCTURE COMPANIES
Interview with DNV GL: The fastest growing markets for gas in Europe
ADIPEC Day 2 & 3 Highlights - 2016
THE BIG 5: BUDGET FOR THE EXPO 2020 DUBAI SITE TO EXCEED USD 8 BILLION
DUBAI METRO EXTENSION PLAN PROVIDES MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR
$80 BILLION WORTH OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS BOOST SAUDI ARABIAS HVACR MARKET
BUOYANT OUTLOOK AS REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS TARGET US$100 BILLION SPENDING SPREE ON INFRATRUCTURE PROJECTS
ADIPEC 2016 Day 1 Highlights
ExxonMobil launches Mobil Serv Lubricant Analysis in Middle East oil and gas sector
FOUR exciting experiences not to be missed at ADIPEC 2016 this week!
GULF MARINE SERVICES SHOWBOATS ITS LATEST BARGE AT ADIPEC
Standardised solutions a game changer in the Middle Easts energy sector
World Oil and Gas Leaders to Convene in UAE Capital for ADIPEC 2016
REASSURANCE IS KEY TO A SUSTAINABLE CONCRETE FUTURE
Top 5 Reasons Why Send Your Children to Nurseries
IN DUBAI 71,000 NEW HOTEL ROOMS IN THE PIPELINE
Oil & Gas Industry Must Take a Coordinated and Streamlined Approach to Security, urge Experts
LSI Keywords Improve Your SEO With Latent Semantic Indexing
The Best Homepage Content Is Which Coverts Searchers Into Visitors, And Visitors Into Customers
Indications that say your business is in the need of an ERP System
B2B: Analytical Assessment of its Advantageous Side
Where in Lead Generation helpful to Grow your Online Business
A wide variety of in-kind and cash prizes from sponsors. Sharjah Ramadan Festival
The chamber participates in the Cairo International industrial Fair to promote the domestic private sector
Brainstorming session to develop the Sharjah economic Excellence Award
Sharjah chamber organizes a workshop for its board on strategic planning
Own Gulfs No.1 Online Marketing Franchise
3 Essential Secrets to Retaining Your Best Employees
Private sector supports unified GCC expat hiring policy
What Your SEO Focus Should be in 2015
Collaboration between the Sharjah chamber and University of Khorfakkan branch
SCCI organizes Lets protect our hearts
4th India-Arab Partnership Conference
Penguin 3.0 Update and SLN Strategy
The 6 Most Common Online Marketing Mistakes Small Business Owners Make
Is It Still Worth It to Claim Google Authorship
Six traits of successful innovators and how you know if you have them
Dubai cruises to attract 1mn by 2020
What is Google Authorship and Author Rank
How to Make Money by Blogging on LinkedIn
Survey: Email Is 40 Times More Effective Than Facebook and Twitter
Joint Workshop on The Role of Arbitration in Disputes Settlement
Sharjah Chamber reviews areas of cooperation with Algerian Consulate
Bob Parsons 16 Rules for Success in Business and Life in General
Made in UAE 2013
SEO Basics: 8 Tips for Better Google Rankings (The Wizard Of Oz Version)
6 Easy Ways To Use Twitter For Your Business (And Get Some Love Too)
How I Hire: Focus On Personality by Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group
5 Unusual Ways To Change Your Negative Mindset (For Entrepreneurs)
Press Releases and Google What PR Professionals need to know to promote without Penality
Why Do Small Businesses Fail
Selling Online in 2013 The Number 1 Sales Strategy (Infographic)
Content is the answer to effective B2B marketing efforts.
5 Things That Really Smart People Do
Click and get Latest Enquiries
8 Things Remarkably Successful People Do
Join SIO365 Business Network
How Does Google Show My Profile Picture In Search Engine Results Pages
Portal launched in Dubai for NRI community
Google has finally released the long awaited Maps application for iOS
Utilizing Social Media Networks in Small Business to Increase Success (Infographic)
Common Google AdWords Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
The Secrets of Viral Videos
Made in Sharjah Conference, Gala Award Dinner & Exhibition- Exhibition Details
Email Marketing Workshop LIVE in Dubai
Are You Constantly Patching Your Local Online Marketing Bucket Holes