There was a time when experts at public relations (PR) often heard search engine optimization (SEO) professionals say that press releases help their digital marketing efforts, and that they require a lot of them. The SEO press release also gave the PR people a newfound significance, as they were responsible for issuing all of these press releases.
When these digital marketers discovered the correct procedure, the Internet was filling up with press releases that were not newsworthy. Everyone was suddenly posting press releases here and there, in as much as thousands per day. While cyberspace had no problem holding all of this content (considering that it can and will hold limitless amounts of data), this outpouring of press releases actually defeats the real objective of a press release.
The press release is written to let the public know about something newsworthy – simple and straight to the point. The sad thing was these straightforward articles were not utilized well during this era that was controlled by SEO. They were flooding the online landscape because companies only wanted them to drive and market traffic to their corporate sites instead of offering information.
The entire landscape of online PR environment and SEO was once again shaken by Google updating its link scheme definitions. Officially known by the name of Google Panda, this update is designed to bring down the rank of “thin sites” or websites with low quality content according to a list of queries that most individuals subconsciously utilize to analyze websites. This basically means that using an SEO tactic of composing many short articles on numerous web pages may cause your ranking on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) to go down.
The question now is: can press releases work for you? The lazy answer to this would be to stop making use of press releases. The problem is that this response is usually incorrect. There are certain times when businesses must disseminate information using this manner.
For instance, public firms are bound by law (at least in America) to let the public know about their activities. In this case, mass dispersal of press releases is needed. Aside from this, private companies that intend to work on IPOs (Initial public offerings) must not artificially blow up their future values during the “quiet period”. Therefore, if two press releases per month have been posted worldwide, issuing three or more of these will break the rules.
When they are applied in the right way, press releases can still be invaluable. Those truly newsworthy articles will always be an important component in the marketing and communications program that has to have social media and blog posts. Publicly traded businesses must still provide news releases due to regulatory prerequisites. Press releases can also efficiently secure placements in regional media. Finally, these pieces act as documents about newsworthy and official announcements that can be archived and show up in organizational sites.
The truth is that most website owners do not operate sites which have pages filled with poor quality content. This does not mean that they should take Google Panda for granted. Of all the updates released by the search engine giant, Panda is an honest effort to gauge quality.
It will not ask the webmaster how his or her site reached its present rank in the SERP (this is a typical genetic fallacy issue). It basically asks if the whole site and the current page deserve to be in that position according to human quality measures (even if this is not perfect). Most importantly, the webmaster must make it a goal to build a website that complies with Google Panda’s metrics (even if the search engine giant did not exist). A website that scores well with the questions in Panda is more than merely being safe from the scrutiny of an algorithm update; it means that users will experience a website that performs well.
Keep this in mind when you are working on your digital marketing strategies: You do not “do” SEO. This optimization method is not “magical” or made out of a “bag of tricks”. You do not “SEO” anything and just expect it to work. If your press releases are only being used to get links and not offer valuable information, you are attempting to cheat Google. If your articles are simply stuffed with keywords and are spun, you are attempting to cheat Google. Please stop doing this, because you are not performing SEO but spam.
As a whole, the Google Panda 4.0 update is basically working hard to remove useless junk on the Internet. Everyone from internet marketers to webmasters and users noticed these trends. And while Panda has hit many sites since its implementation, it has good intentions overall.
Now that you have read this, ask yourself this question: can press releases work for you?