For years the press release has served us well as an effective way to share content, inform stakeholders, drive traffic to websites and improve search engine visibility. Nothing has changed here.
What has changed is Google’s updated Webmaster Guidelines about optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites such as a newswire. In its Link Schemes document , Google says that unnatural “low-value” links – those that are strictly intended to drive traffic to a website or get PageRank from a paid medium such as a press release– are self-serving advertising and will not pass PageRank. A “nofollow” link (rel=”nofollow”) is recommended in all optimized anchor text links in press releases.
Does this mean that links within anchor text are dead? No. They’re still a great way to direct readers to more information on your website. For example, if you’re announcing a new product, you may provide a link to a product overview page with technical specs. The links just won’t work in directly pushing your release up the search engine totem pole.
Therefore, it’s now more important than ever to look upon the content in your press release as unique and compelling to your target audience. How you write your content impacts where, how often and how high your press release shows up in search. When you write your press release effectively you maximize its exposure, which is much more powerful than link spam. Good, relevant content will inspire influencers to comment on your messages and consumers to share them, in turn linking back naturally to your release or website. Based on the power of the number and quality of those links, Google will reward your efforts with search engine visibility. A tool that can help you accomplish this is Marketwired’s social distribution platform, Resonate. It connects you to the marketplace in real time so you can conduct research as you craft your content, more effectively targeting your messages.
How is Marketwired Helping You Succeed?
- We’re adding a ‘nofollow’ flag to all press release links to comply with Google’s best practices. These tags will be added automatically after you submit a release, so you don’t have to worry about taking any manual steps.
- Around the end of this month we’ll be rolling out a series of training webinars that walk you through our submission process and show you how to use built-in research tools to craft content that boosts online visibility. You’ll learn how to identify what’s trending in social media as it relates to your press release so you can create messages that resonate with your target audience. We’ll announce these webinars on our website in the next couple of weeks.
- Once you create a good story Marketwired will get it in front of your audiences through wire, social channels, RSS feeds and email. This exposure in front of targeted audience leads to organic conversations, shares, and backlinks in the Internet community, which Google favors.
What Can You Do?
- Today’s press release is “three-dimensional” and multi-faceted. If you incorporate assets such as images, video, social sharing tags – and yes, hyperlinks – your content will be more compelling, increasing the likelihood of ‘pick-up’. Just make sure the assets you use are relevant to the unique content in your release and that the sites you link to directly support your message with additional, helpful information.
- As you re-direct readers to additional content on your website, make sure your site has social sharing options to enable readers to share content and generate more social buzz.
- Take advantage of our tools and training webinars to find out how to make your press releases more effective than before – and get online visibility.
The Bottom Line
Google PageRank from a press release is now based solely on user experience, which is really how it should be. Fortunately, today we have the technology and tools to maximize user experience. By gaining market insight using Marketwired’s social research tools you can craft a release that resonates with your target audience. Including links in your release to take readers to supportive content drives visitors to your website. And adding multimedia and social-sharing links to your release – and website – piques interest and encourages sharing. Think about how you can leverage these techniques when you create your next press release and Google will reward your efforts.
Check back for a follow-up blog post on this topic.
Marketwired Clients: Please watch our website for information on free training webinars using our Resonate communications platform.