Are Press releases good for SEO? – Bloggerstack

There used to be a time when Press releases where supposed to be the most favored sources of traffic and backlinks in the market of cheap and bulk SEO promotion. The primary reason why press releases were popular was that Press releases sites get indexed super fast and are a driving force behind News aggregation sites including Google News and Yahoo News.

The only good that may come out of Press Releases is brand promotion. When your brand name frequently appears on news feed you tend to have an edge on SERP results too. Though we have no quantified co-relations to prove it, it’s a generally noticed fact.
If you have some brand value, then your press releases will be quoted by other trusted or amateur content sources gaining you natural backlinks. If that is not happening for you, then you are probably wasting your time.
Unlike other cheap link building methods press releases brought some good traffic form highly trusted sources like Yahoo / Google News. That was before search engines began to devalue links from such sites due to uncontrolled language quality and poor information quality of thousands of news elements being added per day. To make matters worse each of those PR items seemed to be targeted at influencing the search engine ranking algorithms. That was when the most of the press release website got booted.

A few good websites that remain, like PRWeb, are not worth the time and money for small companies. The good PR sites are all paid, which means you have to pay to get your company news published. The big question that stares at us today is – Is it a worthwhile investment?

The News item / Press Release that you post on a PR website stays on the category pages or the home pages for a few minutes. You don’t get any SERP benefits / Page Rank Benefits / Trust from it till the pages are indexed. In most cases the category pages carrying your Post Excerpt will be indexed before your actual post. This will initially push your post and your link to the supplementary index. This does not get us much, frankly.

By the time the actual page is indexed properly thousands of other pages are piled onto the same website by thousands of link hungry cash starved SEOs. The PR (pagerank), authority etc that is passed to the actual page carrying your link reduces as more pages keep flowing in. Instead of appearing on the home page or the main category / tag page our actual post shift gradually to page 2,3,…5….8…onwards on the paginated archive.

In most cases these pages are not indexed and our link value falls close to 0. Well frankly it still might carry some value but it brings us back to the original question- Is it a worthwhile investment?
You are on a paid site, which most of the good ones are, and it is not worth the investment. Considering you pay your writers a good amount to come up with a presentable and informative news article, its further loss of time and money. Not many trusted SEO consultants today put prefer to waste their resources on Press Releases.

Notice the kind of links you get from the press release. They should ideally be dofollow.

Pr-Web for example has a outbound link format of this type.

<a href=”url” title=”text for title” onclick=”linkClick(this.href)”>anchor text keywords</a>

This is a legitimate link but avoid links like

<a href=”#” title=”text for title” onclick=”funtion(url)”>anchor text keywords</a>

Even if the link does not have a no-follow there, it just an anchor but not a valid link. The navigation actually happens with java script redirection which in most cases will pass no SEO benefits.

Reference : Google Webmaster Forum Discussion where Matt Cutts says
Note: I wouldn’t expect links from press release web sites to benefit your rankings, however.
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