Press releases have become an integral part of linkbuilding for many SEO fanatics, but lots of people don’t actually understand what they are. Some automated tools out there scrape together content then blast them to PR sites – just like article directories, and consequently some people don’t even understand what a press release is.
What is a press release?
A press release is a short article that is sent out when something happens. If McDonald’s launch a new menu, they put out a press release to announce it. If Nike launch a new trainer – they’ll put out a new press release to announce it. If a new website comes online, they may well also put a press release out.
Press releases are received by journalists and newspaper editors who then sift through them, looking for the real news stories. Some press releases will simply be rewritten for publication in newspapers, magazines and even websites. Other press releases will be used as inspiration for an original story – and journalists will contact the brand, company, site or person involved in the press release to get original quotes, and more.
A press release therefore is a short article that is designed to let people know about something new.
Why do press releases work so well for internet marketing?
Press releases work really well for online marketing because they often contain backlinks. A lot of the sites out there that carry press releases are very respected in the eyes of Google, and as a consequence have a high Page Rank. This means that when your press release is published on their site, you’re getting a high PR backlink – which is really handy for SEO.
Unfortunately press releases have become nothing more than a tool for spammers – there are very few internet marketers out there who actually do them properly, which is a great shame. The press release sites in most automated tools are “auto accept” and aren’t very good – but if you’re serious about harnessing the power of a press release, you should definitely look into signing up for a PR distribution service. The cost of these services varies, but one press release submission can often result in thousands of backlinks.
One really good tip for those people looking to take advantage of press releases is not to spin them. Even if you’re sending your press release to one of the auto accept directories out there, don’t spin it! Google knows that press releases are distributed to hundreds or even thousands of sites – they know that the content will be duplicated. This is probably the only time in your SEO career that you’ll hear that duplicate content is in fact good. No one will be able to read your press release if it has been spun – and that’s a great shame because your links will be less likely to stick. Do it properly and get your press release written by a pro – and resist that urge to spin it before submission too.