Press Release Sites Take A Hit In Google’s Rankings

    May 29, 2014
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

It would appear that some big name press release distribution sites have taken a hit in Google.

Sean Malseed at Seer Interactive pointed out that PRWeb lost over half of its traffic, and dropped out of the first 20 Google results for over 8,000 keywords, based on data from SEMrush.

“It looks like there’s guilt by association, as well,” writes Malseed. “Bloomberg, who partners with the press release agencies to disseminate releases, also took a huge hit.”

Barry Schwartz took things a step further and looked at Searchmetrics data for PR Newswire, PRWeb, BusinessWire, and PRLog, each of which took hits after the Google released Panda 4.0. It’s unclear whether this was an effect of that Panda update or something else Google did.

Last summer, Google updated its guidelines for what it considers link schemes. This included, “Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.”

In a Webmaster hangout, Google’s John Mueller said Google wants all links in press releases to be nofollowed, and press releases should be treated like advertisements. He indicated that SEOs were using press releases more for search purposes.

The press release distributors have not been shy about promoting SEO value either.

A couple years ago, BusinessWire launched an SEO-enhanced platform after patenting its SEO strategy. Google is literally running an ad from PRWeb (pictured at the top) for press release SEO right now.

Images via PRWeb, Google

  • treb072410

    Informative post Chris.. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://terrostar.com/ Christopher Glass

    Awesome post! A lot of SEO companies were doing press releases to help rank their sites and now that will not do as much good. This will help to open up more search engine real estate to small businesses too. We wrote a pretty simplified article on Google Panda that Iw ould recommend you checking out http://terrostar.com/blog/googles-panda-strikes-again

    We will also have a more technical summary coming out later today.

  • http://mag-corp.com/blog harryshawn

    Great post love the way you describe about press releases are used for SEO ranking. Many Press Release Sites Lose Search Engine Visibility

  • http://www.apo-opa.com APO (African Press Organizatio

    PR Newswire And Business Wire Have Lost Up To 60% Visibility On Google: How to adapt

    Numerous articles have been published, primarily in the US, about how Google’s recent major algorithm update affects the press release distribution industry and ultimately global public relations. According to available studies, the top press release sites—including PR Newswire, Business Wire and PRWeb—are losing between 60 to 70 percent of their visibility on Google since the update. It’s no secret that Search engine optimization (SEO) can be tricky, especially with the constant battery of changes and updates that stream from Google.

    The Perils of a Fragile Model

    What can we learn from the loss of Google visibility experienced by the top press release sites? It demonstrates the fragility of the model used by these major companies. In essence, they provide their clients with one thing: online visibility. It’s much like putting all of your eggs into one basket. Hence, they are entirely dependent on Google. When Google makes a change, their model is instantly and adversely affected.

    APO (African Press Organization) has been and is the sole press release distributor in Africa since 2006. Their success has been contingent on choosing a different, stronger model. Online visibility is just a small part of the company’s media reach. In fact, APO Africa Wire® has a potential reach of 600 million.

    The Benefits of Leveraging a “Wide Angle” Model

    Press release distribution and monitoring are vital to PR success. Like all other press release distributors, APO provides online visibility to its clients, with more than 50 African websites redistributing content. APO also provides international visibility with redistribution by Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters, Lexis Nexis, Dow Jones Factiva, and more. But in 2014, online and international reach aren’t enough.

    Fact: The most effective PR tool in Africa is the mobile device. It reaches the broadest market.

    APO proudly stands at the forefront of highly efficient and effective news dissemination. Earlier this year, the company signed a game-changing agreement. APO’s clients’ press releases are now available in 30 African countries and on 250 million mobile devices, including the MTN Group, Airtel, Orange, and more. Client PRs can even be distributed directly via SMS.

    Fact: Social media reach has grown increasingly important. In fact, Twitter exposure is practically a prerequisite for press release success.

    Recognizing this fact, APO always posts a minimum of 3 tweets per release, using relevant hashtags to increase visibility and reach. Although the number of followers gained on Twitter is definitely important, so too is the quality of those followers. APO (@apo_source) is proud that the majority of its community is made of professional journalists or bloggers.

    Fact: When it comes to press release distribution in Africa, APO has always seen the big picture. Instead of focusing services to meet the solitary need of visibility, they have chosen to focus using a wide angle. As a result, the company’s model is not derailed by the constant shower of Google algorithm updates.

    Avoid Outdated “Do-It-Yourself” Company Models

    The model used by major PR companies is outdated and over complicated. Most companies push the client into a “do-it-yourself” mold, forcing them to fill out a PR form and tackle everything from creation to multimedia upload themselves. APO is different:

    • APO’s clients send all press release and multimedia content via email, and APO does all of the work from creation to distribution.

    • Text is unlimited, which means no additional charges for extra words.

    • Multimedia content is unlimited and encouraged because it increases the pickup of the release. It doesn’t cost extra.

    • Instead of using software to generate automatic reports, dedicated project managers oversee and manually prepare online distribution reports based on a -full- online monitoring, and not just partner websites posting verbatim. Reports can take up to 3 hours to create and include several languages, detailed stats, screenshots from social media (including tweets), and screenshots from Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters, Lexis Nexis, Dow Jones Factiva, even screenshots from Google Alerts generated by the release.

    • APO professionals believe it makes absolutely no sense to create the online distribution reports only 24 hours after the press release has been distributed. They create the online distributions reports 5 working days after the distribution, so information has more time to spread in the media and more pickups are reported.

    Most importantly, unlike outdated companies that primarily rely on online reach, APO relies on its 100.000 contact media list, which gathers journalists and bloggers based in OR reporting on Africa. Their media list is divided by countries and topics, allowing for seamless country-based press release distribution. Releases are systematically sent to all African and international journalists reporting on the highlighted industry or subject.

    Managing a 100.000 contact media list requires strong expertise, including generation, indexation, enrichment and validation. It’s a very specific process, especially in Africa. APO has 9 full-time professionals dedicated to media list management. The beauty of this strategy is its lack of dependence on SEO, ranking and Google; it instead hinges on email deliverability.

    Classified as a “High Volume Email Sender,” APO uses Email Best Practices and maintains an excellent Email Sender Reputation with a steady Sender Score of 99/100, which guarantees the best email delivery rates in the industry in Africa.

    PR professionals will now be able to (re)negotiate significantly lower prices

    Considering that the top press release sites—including PR Newswire, Business Wire and PRWeb—are losing between 60 to 70 percent of their visibility on Google since the update, PR professionals will now be able to (re)negotiate significantly lower prices.

    A press release distribution service cannot be -only- an automated network of sites that copy and syndicate news releases online.

    *Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard is the Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization) (www.apo-opa.com), the sole press release distribution service dedicated to Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa. Used by some of the world’s largest companies, PR agencies, institutions and organisations, APO Africa Wire® has a potential reach of 600 million. Contact: ceo@apo-opa.org

  • pressreleasemagic

    Hii Chris,

    I think press release can reach to another level if the website owners make some effective changes to include only high quality and informative press releases. I would recommend press release writing,submission and distribution service providers for new press releases. They are professionals in writing high quality press releases and revealing the latest news about your business.