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Online Press Release Myth – When Public Relations Equals SEO PageRank Voodoo

A phenomenon that his hit the press release world is the myth of the online press release as a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) vehicle. Reaching the media appears to be an afterthought. The goal of the online press release … well, no one agrees what is the goal of the press release, but SEO plays a part.

It’s about the PageRank

I’ve been told it’s about PageRank. Lots of people believe peppering free and low-cost press release distribution companies with your content squashed between text ads of your competitors will benefit your company. Inbound links of duplicate content doesn’t seem like a long-term strategy that will benefit your website’s search engine standings.

Why Should You Listen to Me?

I’m not just some guy who believes reaching the media and posting on a major national newswire should be part of any online press release equation. I’ve also generated tens of millions of dollars in publicity for my clients. Not PageRank or SEO voodoo but actual articles in major publications, not to mention television and radio media coverage, that have resulted in massive sales and transformative exposure for my clients. I’ve also had press releases routinely rank in top ten results on Google. But please, view such results as a nice bonus — not the end game.

Asinine Waste of Time and Money

Don’t get me wrong. Search engine visibility has a place for online press releases. That’s why eReleases offers SEO enhancements for all press release ( However, search engine visibility as the end goal and only goal of online press releases is an asinine waste of time and money you could be spending actually doing what press releases were originally intended to do: get media attention.

SEO PageRank Voodoo has a PageRank of five on their home page. The assumption is that by using’s online press release service I will get inbound links to my website with value of PageRank 5. Wrong. Dead wrong. Go to and visit your online press release or any other online press release that has been on their site. I have yet to find any of these individual pages, which are the actual pages from which users get inbound links, with any decent PageRank — certainly nowhere near’s home page.

Well-Meaning SEO Gurus Perpetuate Online Press Release Myth

In the end, the bulk of these online-only online press release services create a situation where what you intended to buy and what you’re actually getting are not the same thing. Most inexperienced SEO folks, and quite a few experienced SEO folks, don’t realize this. Online press releases are just one of the many balls these busy, well-meaning SEO guys are juggling. When a client experiences bumps in SEO or increased inbound links, they just suspect these online press release services are an integral part of this. Most SEO gains to an actual website made by these online press releases are temporary and fleeting.

Remember the Tortoise and the Hare?

You can keep feeding the online press release machine while your competitors formulate a true PR strategy that includes real media attention and permanent, natural one-way links to your website. Slow and steady wins the race. I challenge you to look at your best keyword or keyword phrase that you would like to rank for and see how many of these sites use free or low-cost online press release services. I think the results will speak for themselves. I’m not saying you won’t find a couple of these guys who use online press release services. I’m just saying that online press release services played little to no part to their SEO ranking or their PageRank.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

6 Responses

  1. Jon Payne says:

    Good thoughts Mickie. Let me add something:

    Its both. And no I’m not just saying the expected thing here…

    You see, a large part of SEO is building links, as you have mentioned. And indeed, you need to get links from good sites at that. One way to get “some” links is pushing out a press release that then gets picked up on many sites automatically. That is fine, but that’s not the big idea here.

    The big idea is using press releases as a real PR tool to get exposure for your idea/site/company that then produces real buzz and real coverage… that in turn produces real links from bloggers, writers, offline publications that also have websites, etc. Those sites are higher quality and provide better links. They don’t just republish your release. Its “real PR” here in that the releases goal is to generate interest and demand for a story. The link value is not so much in the release itself, but rather in the release’s ability to put you in contact with or gain the interest of bloggers, writers, etc. who will hopefully discuss your topic. When they do so, they do it online on their blog, Twitter page, social bookmarking sites, etc. and that discussion produces links as a byproduct.

  2. Jennifer says:

    thanks for the article. i have been curious about this and interesting to read your thoughts on the matter. I would think that seo should only be a pleasant side effect to the true mission of getting media coverage. guess we are on the same wavelength!

  3. prfuel says:

    Thanks Jon. We’re on the same page. I think you stand head and shoulders above many SEO professionals, which is why you get this, and why so many don’t get online press releases.

  4. To assume that our PR department would know anything about SEO, web design, or network infrastructure would be laughable. They basically send out press releases–like most other PR personnel. They’re writers and don’t know anything about the interwebz.

  5. Britt Kem says:

    Tremendously valuable cheers, I do believe the future prospect could very possibly want a good deal a lot more stories.

  6. C.R. says:

    You might be remarkable, to give a pictorial step by step guidebook!

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