Back before Google Penguin and Panda, it was very easy to get backlinks with press releases. All you needed to do is to compile a massive list of free press release websites and submit your generic press release. Within the body of your press release will be some backlinks to your site. For added effectiveness, you would use the same anchor text link targets on your press releases. Back before Google Penguin and Panda were rolled up, this was a winning strategy. A lot of people were generating backlinks by using this method. Well, fast forward to today and press release SEO is pretty much dead. In fact, Google is on the record as saying that if you don’t “no-follow” press release links, your press release will not just fail to help you, but can also harm you. Why? Google might penalize you. That is how bad Google thinks a press release SEO is currently. What do I have to say to all this? Good. I’m glad that press release SEO is dead. Why? It was felt that the internet would junk. Also, there were tons of free press release websites that exists solely for building cheap backlinks. A lot of low quality sites were ranking because of this cheap technique. The good news is that you can still use press releases for SEO if you use press releases the right way. In other words, if you use press releases in a professional and ethical way, you can still get a serious SEO mileage. The process just isn’t as obvious as you think.
Getting Beyond The Spam
As mentioned above, press release sites have been hit hard by spam submissions. As I’ve described above, these submissions involve press releases with anchor text links and targeting the main keywords of the websites that they are linking to. Press release sites had just been abused because of the fact that many of this press release sites would publish the press release on their site. For every published press release, the spammer gets a backlink. To make matters worse, much of this publishing process is on autopilot. There is no editorial control. Google has been on the record time and time again saying that the best links have some sort of editorial control. In Google’s mind, the higher the level of editorial control, the higher the likelihood that the link produced is a quality link. You don’t have all this editorial checks and balances with free press release websites. That’s why they have been penalized by Google. This is why the Google’s Penguin update pretty much vaporized the power of free press release websites.
Back to Basics
If you want to succeed with press releases for SEO purposes, you have to unlearn the old method of using press releases for SEO. Free press release websites are not just junk sources for cheap and free backlinks. In fact, they are death traps for your search rankings. Don’t even mess around with them. Instead, you have to go back to one of the basic uses of press releases. The basic use of a press release, traditionally speaking, is to let editors, bloggers and publishers know about newsworthy events or information that they might want to write original pieces about. That is the essence of a press release.
PR is not a release that you just copy and paste and put on your website. It doesn’t work that way. In fact, you might get penalized by Google if you do that-thanks to Google Panda. The whole point of traditional press release is all about giving editors and reporters enough information so they can write original materials regarding the subject matter of the press release. That’s how press releases were intended to work. See how online press releases destroyed all that? If you want to unleash the power of press releases for SEO purposes, you have to go back to basics. You have to produce press releases that aren’t about building backlinks. In fact, the links on your press releases must be no-followed. Instead, your press release must be all about getting the recipient to want to write original content, post it online and link to you that way.
Press Releases Are Not About Your Products or Services or Website, It Is About A News Item
Part of going back to the basics of press release marketing is to remember that a well-written press release is not about your product or service or website. It is not about anything that you’re promoting at all. It’s about an issue. It’s about a hot trending topic. It’s about a news item. It’s about something that people care about. Chances are, if you’re selling a product or service, very few people care about what you’re doing. They care about something much bigger. Your press release must be all about that topic that is much bigger. It takes quite a bit of creativity to craft a powerful and effective press release. This is why real effective press releases are few and far between. People who know how to write truly effective press releases charge a lot of money because their talent is worth a lot of money. Regardless, this is a talent that is well worth it. This is a talent worth paying big bucks for. Not everybody can write a press release that looks like it’s about an issue and then skillfully weave on your company as a resource regarding that big issue. This is the key to effective press release writing. It’s not about you. It’s about the issue.
Effective Press Release Writing Is All About Getting Readers Excited About The Issue
It’s one thing to write a press release that basically disguises your commercial motive for issuing the press release by focusing on an issue. It’s one thing to write a press release that looks very objective and genuine as a news resource. It’s another to write such a press release in an exciting way. You have to remember, editors and publishers and bloggers have so many other things that they can publish besides the issue that you are talking about in your press release. There’s just so much data out there that they can wrap their minds around outside of the stuff that you care about. If you write your press release in a way that gets these people excited about your issue, you increase the chances that they would first take your press release seriously. Second, act on your press release writing an original article or blog post or incorporating your materials in their article or blog post. Regardless, at that stage of the game, you’ve gotten them excited and you’ve gotten them to do what you want them to do which is to build natural backlinks to your target website.
Press Releases Must Be Written To Build Authority
Why do you think an editor of another wise, authoritative and influential online publication would want to link to your website? They’re obviously not doing it because they’re making money. They’re obviously not doing it because they like you on a personal level. They’re doing it because they think your link has enough authority to link to. Put more specifically, your website is mentioned in the article or blog post that is based on your press release because it’s viewed as an authority source. You have to write your press release in such a way that the reader will assume that you are an authority. You have to position your press release in such a way that you are looked at as an expert. If you don’t write your press release this way, there is really no incentive for the reporter, the blogger or the publisher to even mention your website and link to you. Why? You got them turned on about the issue and they can pull up other information from the internet and get an expert feedback from other sources of the internet. They don’t need you. Why? Because you didn’t establish yourself as an expert. You did not become indispensable to the story. This is the secret of power press release writing.
You have to position the story in such a way that you are indispensable to the issue. Getting the blogger and reporter excited about the issue is one thing. Writing the press release so it is built around the needs of editors, publishers and bloggers is one thing. Actually, getting them to link to you because they think you are an expert is another. This takes quite a bit of practice. Don’t expect to get it right the first time you do it. In fact, don’t expect to get it absolutely right the first one hundred times you do it. Still, you have to try it again and again and again. Pay attention to the results you’re getting. Take a look at the amount of links you’re generating. If you see this increasing, then chances are good that you have finally identified a formula that you can tap time and time again to produce an almost predictable amount of online press attention.
If you want to press releases to give you SEO benefits, you really have to let go of old spammy approaches to press releases. Instead, you have to focus on using press releases the way they were intended to use. Make no mistake about it, press releases worked in the past, they’re working now and they will work long into the future. That’s how powerful a well-written press release is. Isn’t it about time you wrote one?