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Press releases have run the gamut of being loved and hated for SEO.  Right now, they’re somewhere in the middle.

SEO press releases

Press releases these days are only as valuable as the news is exciting.  That’s not to say that press isn’t beneficial in it’s own ways, but for SEO there is often very little to gain.  Why?  Most press release websites nofollow the links within them, and those links are the main reason that many business owners submit news in the first place.  This means that the press release website itself is the only page benefiting from the content within it.  Even that is a maybe, because many press release websites also noindex the announcement’s page itself.

So, how do you try and get at least some value from a press release?  Follow these rules.

  1. Never submit to a free press release website.  Ever.  Free press release websites get hammered with submissions of news of Viagra, Nike shoes, sunglasses, and just about anything else that is spammed in other ways.  Because they’re free, they’re abused.  Because they’re abused, they’re worthless for any SEO benefits.  If you submit to free press release websites you will likely be guilty by association to the other shady announcements and could suffer negative SEO results instead of positive.
  2. Don’t stuff hyperlinks.  Whether your links are nofollow or not, don’t stuff hyperlinks.  Don’t over-optimize links by only linking to money keywords, either.  Link context naturally and minimally.  For each additional link you add you dilute any others on the page.  Maximize your links by only using one or two.  Additionally, instead of hyperlinking the phrase “best widgets,” be more fluent and link the text, “Click to see more of Company ABC’s widgets.”  If you link keywords excessively you can over optimize your announcement and discredit its value.
  3. Don’t stuff keywords.  Press releases should be written naturally.  After all, you do want it to read well to get maximum exposure, don’t you?  By stuffing keywords your submission will likely get declined or will fail to receive as broad of distribution as you could have otherwise.
  4. Talk in third person.  Your press release is an announcement, not a sales pitch.  Don’t talk about “I,” “we,” or “us.”  Reference your company in third person to make the announcement more presentable and credible.