In the last few months there has been recent buzz again over the effectiveness of optimized press releases: Will PR links help your SEO rankings? And although this debate has raged for years, it has come back in focus because of a comment made by Google’s Matt Cutts on a Google Webmaster Help forum.
This was in response to a question about finding a reputable press release distributor who will only distribute to news and online news media.
The debate: What does Cutts really mean by that statement? And is it really true that links from a press release won’t help your ranking?
One SEO Round Table reader, Joshua Butler, responded to Cutts comment by clarifying what he really meant. He said that Cutts wasn’t implying that press releases wouldn’t help a site’s ranking, but that “press releases that are posted to press release sites without getting picked up by real news sites won’t help.”
That makes sense. It’s long been understood that a press release written well with newsworthy appeal and relevance will get the attention of news sites. Getting picked up by a news organization has more weight all around. However, it could easily be said that good content written for the target audience will attract readership as well.
To challenge Cutts’ statement, SEO Consult did an “experiment”. They put the word “streppleasers” in a press release and then linked it to Cutt’s blog. Would it rank? The findings proved true as they explain on a blog post, Links in Press Releases Don’t Help Your SEO? This Experiment Proved They Do.
So what should we take away from this debate?
Don’t just engage for links only
If Cutts is right, than we can be assured that using old SEO methods—those used before Google instituted Panda and Penguin updates—don’t work anymore. So why keep doing them?
We should take this advice from Search Engine Watch blogger Mark Jackson, when he wrote in “7 Habits of Highly Effective SEO“:
“While we must be aware, and understand, things like Google Panda/Penguin and other major changes in the algorithms, if we focus on doing “good marketing”, all other things should fall in line, and major algorithm changes shouldn’t be a concern.”
Good marketing strategies prove true every time, and old SEO techniques don’t equal a good marketing plan. However, by hiring a press release writing service like Express Writers, it can bring peace of mind and reassurance that your written release has highly effective SEO incorporated.
Think in terms of value
Maybe, instead, we should think in terms of value. Yes, a business wants good rankings on the SERP, but more than anything a business wants to be seen as credible, offering a service, brand, or product that is valuable. If this is your goal and purpose than a press release should be viewed in light of meeting that aim.
Think about audience first
It comes down to this: Are you trying to impress a search engine or are you building a relationship with your audience? Remember, good PR is about building a connection—a relationship—through transparency. And that happens over time.
Sending out high-quality press releases should be one part of a long-term marketing plan that will help your audience connect with your business and brand. Let Express Writers and PR Newswire be your choice for excellent, high-level press release writing and distribution solutions.