It seems that Google is doing more than just keeping us on our toes these days. Many of the changes they are making to the algorithm are making it seemingly impossible to climb search rankings (although, there’s still no substitute for good old fashioned hard work and content production). After all, article syndication is basically dead, guest blogging took a huge hit, and keyword usage and link building as we know them have changed forever. What next?
Well, with the recent Panda 4.0 update, many people believe that Google has targeted press releases as their next “victim.” Post Panda 4.0, many well-known press release sites found themselves buried alive in the search rankings, seeing their good names essentially disappear.
So Are Press Releases Done For?
Does this mean press releases are no longer valid? Should you quit writing them altogether and remove them from your marketing plan? Well, not so fast there, Chicken Little. The end of press releases is not upon us. The fact is, they’ve been around for over a century and they aren’t about to go down without a fight.
And truthfully, they don’t need to. See, Google isn’t targeting press releases in and of themselves. What they’re targeting are press release distort sites that are responsible for producing a high amount of spam.
In other words, Google is fighting against crappy press releases, which represent another form of crappy, thin, spammy content.
Don’t believe me? Well just check out this link here. Google still puts out their own press releases on a regular basis. Why? Because they have their purpose.
It’s Time to Get Back to the Press Release Basics
I don’t think Google is the big bad dictator that some people think. I also don’t think that they are trying to penalize people who have legitimate businesses that wish to promote them in legitimate ways. They just want to make sure they are providing users with the best content possible.
Where does that leave press releases? Well, I think Google wants to make sure they are being used for their original purpose—to get REAL news in the hands of people that will share it with the general public. Reporters, bloggers—you know.
In order for that to happen, you need to make sure that you are only writing press releases when you have real news to share. You’d think that would go without saying, but I know for a fact that there are still people out there who have a plan to write a certain number of releases per week, regardless of if they are newsworthy, to try and use them solely for link building. If that’s you, stop it!
Here are some examples of when you might want to write a press release:
- You’re putting out a new product
- You won an award and want to announce it
- You hire a new employee
- You are hosting an event
- You’re sponsoring an event
- You’re running a special sale
Remember, press releases have been around forever. They’re a tried and true method for sharing news. Don’t let Google scare you—but do let them make you a bit more cautious and thoughtful about your marketing and content efforts!
Do you still see the value in the press release? Tell us about it in the comments!
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three ebooks, including My Facebook Formula, a free report on Facebook and why you should be using the largest social network for your business, here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/freebooks.html