Matt Cutts, the Google Guy, hopped onto the Webmaster Central Google Product Forum on 25 December and confirmed what I had been suspecting: that hyperlinks embedded in press release news services aren’t very likely to help your website rankings.
Press releases are a powerful marketing technique. They are great at getting visibility in front of your target market, they can help to raise your profile with journalists and key influencers, and they might drive visitors to your website.
So why did Matt say that he wouldn’t expect links from press releases to benefit your SEO rankings?
Why wouldn’t links in press releases be super-helpful for SEO?
Remember, all hyperlinks are not created equal, and Google is looking for signals that you run a trustworthy, genuine business, and that have earned the right to rank well.
Unfortunately, press release services have been milked by SEO companies as a link building technique, and as a result the value they contribute is likely to be very low.
- You pay your money, you get a link. There are many press release syndication services that have little or no editorial control, and anybody can publish any rubbish as a press release. The result? Garbage content
- You publish once, you get a million spammy links. Press releases are fodder for scraping sites that simply regurgitate content as part of their SEO strategy. Your press release is likely to get caught in this tidal wave. The result? Garbage links
- You write a great news worthy press release. You syndicate the content on the generic news feeds. The result? Irrelevant, off topic links.
- Great, newsworthy press releases are likely to get picked up by the press and used as the basis of a new story, which may contain a genuine, valuable link back to your site. Syndicated press release news services don’t deliver that result. They aren’t the right way to reach real, human journalists. The result? Wasting your time and effort.