The use of press releases has evolved over the years. Years ago, sending out a press release with anchor text links embedded would reward you with hundreds of backlinks. This tactic spread like wildfire, as web sites would often get a Page #1 listing from these releases.
Search engines have since become more intelligent, and even more focused on their users. Google’s updates (especially Panda and Penguin) have focused on winnowing out poor quality content. Many of the press releases that are created link-building tactics don’t pass muster in the engines’ ongoing evaluation of content. In fact, Google’s Matt Cutts is on record advising that links from press releases are no longer contributing to page rank.
So what’s the answer? Do press releases matter when it comes to site SEO? Yes, provided your content is relevant to your audience, and written well enough to be picked up industry news sites.
Whether or not a press release is effective in terms of becoming a source of valuable and authoritative inbound links to your web site depends on:
- The subject matter & content: Does your content speak to the interest of your audience? Is it written using language they use and will search for?
- The competitiveness of the subject matter and associated keywords: The more generic the phrase, or popular, the more competition there will be. Long tail keywords will get you quicker results, and will also usually be higher converting terms for your business.
- Where the content appears: Newsworthy, well-written content appearing on relevant, high-authority web sites will be noticed by search engines, and the net effect will be positive.
- Whether or not people actually read it (and share it): When people read and share content, they generate signals indicating to search engines the value of a particular piece of content. Making your content So generating strong readership has a dual benefit – in addition to spreading your message virally, your search engine visibility is boosted, too.