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Press Releases – The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Over the course of the past couple of months our users have been asking us many questions about Google’s latest search updates and how they treat press releases, so I thought it would be a good time to explain these changes and how it impacts our distribution service.

Google as you know dominates the world’s search market and as such any changes made to their search algorithms can have website owners cringing their teeth. This could not be more true than to those who utilize SEO companies. The Google search updates that were rolled out over the summer did directly address links in press releases and that is causing some businesses and website owners big problems.

Google’s Matt Cutts way back in 2011 stated, “The links in the press releases themselves don’t count for PageRank value, but if a journalist reads the release and then writes about the site, any links in that news article will then count.” And that makes perfect sense as to why they addressed optimized links in press releases as of late.

SEO companies have been for years selling packages promising backlinks created from press release submissions – and these companies should be avoided like the plague – they will only cause you problems now or down the road.

We see attempts every day from SEO companies attempting to submit for publication very poor quality content full of optimized links in an attempt to create backlinks for their clients. Wire Service Media has always rejected these submissions and will continue to do so. Some months our rejection rate is as high as 90 per cent! Our monthly average sits around 70 per cent. We have never had any qualms about rejecting submissions that are duplicate in content, low quality and/or submitted for no other reason than to create links. These are spam by any measure and should be treated as such.

Sadly many ‘press release services’ do not have any or very little in the way of editorial quality and control and should be avoided. We have seen very low quality submissions put through to our service that have been put out hundreds of times by other ‘press release services’. A press service that publishes everything that comes their way is one to be avoided. They are not used by journalists (we know because we ask them who they use) because the editorial quality is so low and they are nothing but low quality duplicate content as mentioned earlier. Wire Service has differentiated itself from the very beginning by sticking to our terms of service and will only publish original and quality press release and media material. It is better for all involved.

For those companies that have been using SEO companies and have allowed them to create hundreds and even thousands of backlinks via press releases now have some problems coming their way. Google not only discounts these optimized links, they may (and have been) actually penalize the search rankings of websites that have been using press releases as a way of creating backlinks. These companies will now have to spend hundreds of hours and untold amounts of money to have these links removed or changed – if at all possible. Some have been doing this for years so they have their work cut out for them.

Users of Wire Service Media don’t have to worry about Google looking negatively at links within their press releases that have been published via our service – we have always used rel=nofollow on all outgoing links. The crew behind Wire Service have been creating and publishing content since shortly after the birth of the internet and we saw this coming – hence our early adoption of rel=nofollow for our press release service.

Even with Google’s latest changes press releases still have many uses – not least of which is getting your news picked up by traditional media outfits (TV, radio, print, internet). That is the real purpose of a press release – not the creation of backlinks for the purpose of improving your search rankings. Journalists, freelance writers, bloggers, and consumers are always looking for new information about your products, services, community work etc and with our service we help you get their eyes on your media material.

A press release published and distributed via quality services can also improve your online reputation. Face it, if your online reputation is non-existent or bordering on negative, prospective clients and consumers are quickly going to notice. A well-crafted press release will not only attract journalists and bloggers, it helps create positive content about your business. Since a press release is content that you have complete control over, take advantage of this aspect and think about that when crafting your press release. Speak to the journalists and consumers and the rest will take care of itself.

Long story short – users of Wire Service Media don’t have to lose any sleep over Google’s latest changes around links in press releases. We are nothing without our valuable users and as such will continue to put your best interests at the forefront of everything we do.

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