According to the web, Panda 4.0 is the end of all things when it comes to PR. The press release is dead, SEO is dead, everything is dead. We’ll have to relearn everything we’ve ever learned and go back to the drawing board.
Why all the moaning and gnashing of teeth? Basically, Google has amended its algorithms again, in a way that many feel significantly hurts PR teams. If you’ve relied on, for example, SEO to get your press releases noticed, you may be in for a rough time (or the end of all things).
However, it’s nowhere near that bad. The reality is PR pros have had to adapt their game multiple times because of Google algorithms. Adapting to the times is just part of what we do. Here are some things you should concentrate on.
Let’s say you’ve written up a great press release. Rather than just send it to magazines and newspapers, you spread it around online to get the news out. You’re hoping that the keywords you’ve inserted into the piece will help it get noticed.
However, Panda 4.0 doesn’t work like that. Google is constantly trying to find ways to improve their search engine, and helping users find more “relevant” information is their biggest focus. When you search for “rubber baby bumpers” you likely don’t want a press release about a rubber baby bumper plant moving; you want a shop that sells them.
So now those keywords suddenly aren’t getting you the traction you want. Your business starts slipping down the ranks because you’ve relied so heavily on that tactic. What now?
Changing with the Times
As stated before, PR pros know they have to adapt to whatever is thrown at them. This is just the latest in a series of irritations that we have to think around. So while it’s easy to think that the sky is falling, the hardy ones know what it takes to tough through.
But what are some ways around this? For one, in the above example you’ll have to rely more on the actual popularity of your piece. If your press release or whatever is boring, then it will get ignored. If it’s not newsworthy, nobody will care, and you’ll disappear.
More than ever the basics of PR come into play. I don’t want to say we’ve become “spoiled” by any means with the constant upgrades to the tech we use every day, but it’s kind of true. We expect everything to go our way and be easy. If you learn anything from doing PR and social media work every day, nothing about it is easy.
Relish the changes, because they’re here to stay. It’s time to embrace Panda 4.0 and what it brings. It means the industry just got that more fierce and interesting in the long run. Remember a few years ago when websites were covered in awful looking blocks of keywords to attract attention? Do you miss that? No, nobody does, and we won’t miss pre-Panda 4.0 either.
How much did you rely on keywords in your campaigns before?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/prchecklist.html