Contributed by Scott Hammond, SEO Expert and Press Release Distributor
The Distribution of press releases to news sites and across the Internet has an interesting history. Though marketers and searching engine optimization (SEO) companies enjoyed search ranking gains for several years by simply issuing a press release to the various online publication engines, those days are now over. Google and other search engines are constantly changing, and so too has the use of press releases in SEO.
For many years Press release distribution companies like PRWeb.com and Prlog.org for example, earned substantial sums by promoting high-priced press release distribution to clients and businesses, with distribution costs of up to $500 per press release. However, these prices were justified, because at the same time businesses were achieving great rankings in the search engines and making good money from the rankings.
Google’s Penguin update things changed drastically in the PR world, though. PRWeb.com, Prlog.org and several other major press release distribution companies were hit extremely hard by Google’s Penguin and other algorithmic modifications. They saw huge declines in the number of their rankings. Google, it seemed amongst other things, had decided to target these press release companies, and others, and put an end to their easy rankings, and unfortunately for them, their multi-million dollar businesses.
The problem was, unless you were actually part of these PR distribution companies, for the most part no one actually knew how huge the Google shakeup had been on press distribution. It was not until February 2015 that Terry Kyle of seotraffichacks.com revealed to the SEO world some very interesting data by using the SEMRush software. He showed the drastic declines in the authority and rankings of these, until then, highly respected and expensive press distribution companies. SEMRush revealed that these companies, amongst others, had seen huge, game-changing drops in the number of rankings in the search engines and the revelation of this news sent waves through the SEO community. Figures 1 and 2 capture the trends.
Figure 1 – Prweb.com rankings drop as reported by SEMRush and Terry Kyle – http://seotraffichacks.com/live-test-parasite-pages-well-google-february-2015/
Figure 2 – Prlog.org rankings drop as reported by SEMRush and Terry Kyle – http://seotraffichacks.com/live-test-parasite-pages-well-google-february-2015/
PR Distribution 2.0
Considering what happened to several of the major press distribution companies in May 2014, an obvious question is… Do SEO companies still use PR distribution today? The answer is yes. Press releases do still work for product launches and affiliate campaigns. They work because, in general, a product launch brings an all new keyword into the Google search engine. They also work for backlinking to high authority sites such Amazon, Yelp, Yellowpages.com and so forth.
SEO to regular websites, though, looks different now, given Google Penguin. Google brought in penalties on sites with over-optimized anchor text ratios. Any site that had too many backlinks with the same keywords was penalized and relegated far away from page 1 rankings. The old days of having 1000 backlinks saying ‘best plastic surgeon Beverly hills’ and ranking were over. This now meant that SEO managers had to be very careful how they structured their backlink ratios. Instead of 50%, or more, backlinks being the primary keyword, SEO’s now had to use the main keyword very, very sparingly. But, backlinks still needed to be made to get rankings. So a post-Penguin modified form of press release distribution came into play that assisted SEO managers in accomplishing their backlink goals quickly and effectively.
Greg Alssop, or Viperchill, as he known through the SEO world, is a world-leading SEO authority who regularly publishes the latest SEO strategies working today. With over 28,000 subscribers to his SEO blog, he’s taken seriously by most top SEO consultants in the world. Greg recently released a $2,000 course on SEO marketing in June 2015. There, he explained how he uses press release distribution now to help rank sites in the post-Penguin era.
Figure 3 – A video snaphot from Viperchill’s link diversity plan as shown in Marketing Inc 2.0 of June 24, 2015 http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Ii1QJt1DwvQJ:marketinginc.com/mini-agency/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au
“The meat of the backlink profile is made up of press releases,” says Viperchill. He now uses press releases to diversify his keywords (or anchor text to be more correct) and rapidly obtain a good amount of good quality backlinks from different domains and IP addresses pointing to his site. Other SEO people term this as having a good link diversity, link ratio, anchor text ratios, amongst other things.
The post-Penguin key in SEO today, as mentioned before, is to keep the main keywords at a minimum, and only using them sparingly on a few high-powered sites. Viperchill recommends that links on press releases pointing directly at a site should only use brand name or the actual URL of the main site as anchor text. Thus the result of running a press release is that one achieves a great amount of backlinks rapidly, from a diverse amount of good quality domains, and simultaneously takes care of his anchor text diversity by only using brand or domain name links.
Since most press releases allow for a few backlinks, it is also recommended to add a second link to either an inner page on the main site, as well as a link to the site’s social accounts like Facebook, Twitter, or the site’s directory listings such Yelp or Yellowpages listings. This boosts these properties by passing some of the press release ‘juice’, and inevitably also helps the main site, as the juice flows from these social or directory pages, through to the main site because they link to the main site anyway.
PR Distribution 2.0 Pricing
If the purpose of a press release distribution has changed so much in the post-Penguin era – in that it is now not designed so much to get rankings in of itself – then who wants to pay $500 for a press release? Thus the birth of PR distribution 2.0. Post Penguin has seen some cheaper PR distribution companies arise that allow for a rapid building of a significant quantity of decent backlinks from across the Web from good authority sites like online TV news channels and newspapers. With one cheap press release, an SEO manager can acquire a guaranteed minimum of at least 200 backlinks coming from good authority sites with different domains and IP addresses overnight! This is a godsend to SEOs who need to generate many good quality backlinks pointing at their site as quickly and as economically as possible. If anyone has tried to build 200 backlinks from good sites by hand, then they can easily attest to press releases being heaven sent.
A few companies have sprung onto the 2.0 scene, two being Pressadvantage.com and Presscable.com. Although both these companies use different submission platforms, they distribute to the same news channels and guarantee 200+ backlinks.
Presscable.com advertises a press release for $159 and Pressadvantage.com is $197, which by old standards is good, but still can get a little expensive. We at Economypr.com are now able to distribute a press to the same news channels as Pressadvantage and Presscable and also guaranteeing at least 200 backlinks, only doing so at a $30 rate or $50 for write-and-distribute.
Press Release Stacking and Credibility
Another interesting SEO strategy is press release stacking. Press release stacking takes advantage of a very powerful high authority press site like Forbes.com or Huffington post for example, and tries to get that ranked in the search engines. The strategy is to pay a premium to get a press release done on a powerful authority site like Forbes.com, and then later to do a second Economypr.com type press release to 200+ news channels and link those press release to the original authority press release. The second release generates 200+ links to the first, and boosts the initial press release in the search engines.
Posting a press release on Forbes.com, Time.com or Huffington post is not cheap, however this strategy has a very desirable two-sided benefit. Not only does press release stacking help to get nice rankings in Google, but it gives credibility to a business. Who wouldn’t want an “as seen on Forbes” logo on the front of their website? Imagine the credibility a lawyer would earn, for example, in having such an image on the front page of his site. As anyone in business will attest, credibility and trust plays an enormous role, and there is no doubt if a lawyer posted such an article in Forbes, it would pay for itself many, many times over!
Contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org