SEO Community Jumps to Conclusions About Google and Press Releases

January 15, 2013

Are press releases the red-headed stepchild of Google, or just misunderstood from a lack of complete information? An SEO pro schools his colleagues in Search Engine Journal’s “Get Over Yourself—Matt Cutts did Not Just Kill Another SEO Kitten.” His is a voice of reason in a field that tends to defensively vilify Google’s attempts to serve up only quality content.

The latest dustup began in the Google forums, where one poster asked about press release companies that only push their stories to “legitimate” (quality content) sites. Google’s Matt Cutts (probably unintentionally) stirred things up with his simple statement: “Note: I wouldn’t expect links form press release web sites to benefit your rankings, however.” Hyperbole ensued.

Many in the SEO community took those words to mean that Google will now ignore all links in every press release it encounters, and were quite perturbed. Writer and SEO veteran Alan Bleiweiss takes the alarmists to task, and it is entertaining to read. I’m more interested, though, in his comments on press releases. After acknowledging the wealth of garbage that is now often distributed as “press releases,” he wrote:

“REAL press releases, that communicate TRULY time sensitive newsworthy information, have, and always will be a valuable means of spreading information that deserves to be spread. REAL press releases don’t get written purely for the links. REAL press releases are designed to communicate with legitimate news people. REAL press releases are designed to let others know valid updated information.

“And a well-crafted press release, targeting truly accurate niche recipients can lead to legitimate journalists, bloggers and social media influencers contacting a site’s owners, or doing their own write-up on the subject, and potentially even generating their own links.

“So from a sustainable SEO perspective, press releases are STILL an SEO best practice recommendation. As part of a comprehensive marketing solution that is vital to providing multiple layers of direct and indirect signals for SEO purposes. But ONLY when those releases are executed properly.”

It is good to see such reasonable sentiments from someone in the search engine optimization field. Will Bleiweiss succeed in talking sense into his colleagues?

Cynthia Murrell, January 15, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext


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