Press releases of the past were largely an offline medium. As SEO showed up on the map, optimization began incorporating press releases into fulfillment and press began transitioning to encompass online fulfillment, too.
SEO’s first embraced press releases to work in backlinks for their clients. Garbage PR sites started popping up everywhere, and good, free PR sites became hammered with spam content and became worthless. As with most fulfillment angles within SEO, press releases became abused. Google chimed in and axed the value in keyword-rich, PR-based backlinks.
Does that make PR worthless now for SEO?
No. A value still exists; co-citation.
What is co-citation?
Co-citation is when an external website references (cites) your business or domain. This means that if backlinks have less or no value in press releases, implied links from co-citation may still have value. Is the proof in this patent of Google’s?
Should you submit an endless supply of news to free press release sites?
No. Don’t submit free press releases. Why? Read our comment up a few lines about free PR sites being hammered and now worthless.
Most good press release companies and distribution outlets cost a premium. That’s a benefit because that weeds out the shady, corner-cutting SEO’s. These PR sites use the funding to staff a team of quality control experts, too. This means that only serious businesses willing to pay to share their store can submit, and only decent commentary makes it through. Your press release that makes it through these types of moderation can then bring you value in the form of co-citation.