A Few Simple Rules for Link Building with Press Releases

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One of the main ranking factors used by Google and other search engines is the number of links a website has pointed at it. The more back links from quality websites your site has, the higher it should rank for the keywords you’re targeting.

Not surprisingly, press release distribution is one of the most popular tools used for link building. Most press release directories allow you to include 2-3 links in the body of your press releases, and with dozens of these directories online, you can quickly build a large volume of links back to your website.

But there are some simple guidelines you should follow when using press release distribution for link building.

  • Read the rules of each PR directory – Each press release directory has its own rules regarding linking. Some may allow 2 links per press release; others may allow 3. Some may say that you can only include a link every certain number of words. Others may not allow links in the body of the press release, instead requiring them at the end, in the contact section.
  • Don’t waste your time on low quality PR directories – Let’s face it, a lot of the press release directories out there are pure garbage. They publish anything and everything, and they carry no authority with Google or the other search engines. Make sure you’re only spending time getting links from quality directories that have decent PageRank and authority.
  • Use keyword-rich anchor text – To get the best results, you need to use keyword-rich anchor text in your links. For example, let’s say you’re linking back to a page on your website that’s about Red Widgets. The text in your back link should use the phrase “Red Widgets.” This tells the search engines that the page being linked to is about that keyword.
  • Don’t link to the same page more than once – Let’s say you’re allowed to include 3 links in your press release. Those 3 links should go to 3 separate pages. The reason for this is simple. If you link to the same page more than once in a single press release, only the anchor text from the first link will pass. The others will be ignored by the search engines.
  • Mix your back links up – Google likes to see a variety of back links in a site’s profile. Don’t target the same directories over and over. Mix things up. And also use other link building strategies like guest blogging, article marketing, social bookmarking, etc.
  • Only distribute newsworthy press releases – Just because you’re trying to get links doesn’t mean that you can ignore the quality of your press releases. The best directories have very strict quality standards, so they won’t publish poorly-written press releases with no news value.

Have you used press release distribution for link building? Did you notice any change in your rankings?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (https://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: https://www.ereleases.com/free-offer/big-press-release-samples-book/

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Shouldn’t press releases be designed for plain text formatting? How then does good anchor text apply; don’t links need to be explicit URLs in the plain text?

Or should we be submitting rich text or Word with embedded links (and hence actual anchor text)?



Times are changing. Most journalists receive html email and even the old dinosaur newswires are pushing press releases with anchor text supported. It’s still a good idea to include explicit urls in addition to anchor text but you definitely want to include anchor text.


Press release distribution is a great link building strategy. I’d also recommend for SEO purposes, to include your targeted keywords throughout the release, especially within the first few words of the headline. Don’t go overboard with them, but utilize them the same way as you would in the content of your web pages.


Make sure to link out once somewhere in the beginning of the press release because Google puts more weight on links higher up in the main content of a web page. Also, the second and third links should be easy to spot and click on. You can put a little less emphasis on anchor text and more on encouraging words that get more clicks.



I hate press releases for SEO. They’re over-saturated, and it’s rare that a press release attracts any press attention. Let me clarify: I’m speaking to press release distribution services (not the press release itself). I think that press releases as a public relations tool are incredibly important, but you should have a list of media outlets that you’re personally sending these to. Many of the distribution and wire services have been gamed so heavily that they’re virtually worthless and the press release will get buried after a few days of freshness in the SERPs.


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