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SEO Update: Google Says Press Releases Should Be No Follow

by  Eilidh Macrae on  October 30, 2013

 Google have recently decided to update their link schemes. One of these updates is the decision that links contained in online press releases should from now on be ‘no follow’ meaning engines will not crawl these links. Any press releases containing links that do not fit these guidelines will result in punishment from Google causing negative impact on rankings.

Why Has This Decision Been Made?

There has always been some scepticism around the benefits of using press releases for SEO but those who have used them in the past could now be facing problems. Google have decided to go ahead and punish any sites using follow links in press releases, and the reason behind this- Google say that a press release is similar to an advertisement for your company and therefore should not be used for linking.

In many cases online press releases are paid for, so Google sees them as being much the same as paid links which go against their guidelines. As far as Google is concerned it isn’t particularly difficult to attain a link via a press release you have paid to have published online and because of this have deemed links from press releases unfit.

Google are continuing to crack down on the quality of the content being published for SEO purposes and just like other various methods that previously worked wonders, press releases have now also been outlined as bad links that will only cause negative results for the site.

Are Press Releases Still Of Value?

Whilst this latest update now means press releases are no longer useful or beneficial when it comes to SEO this doesn’t mean you should forget about them all together.

Although of course it is better if you can acquire a link through your content marketing efforts, press releases can still be beneficial.

Press releases are a great way of promoting your services and products. They are considered news worthy and if you can get them published in the right places it could mean a large audience of readers increasing your brand awareness and the traffic to your site. You may also find through press releases a few of those reading up on your piece may then do a write up themselves including a link to your site which of course is allowed and a link that has been attained by genuine means. For some link building through press releases may still be successful, just in a different way.

They are not worth forgetting about all together, just be aware that from now on press releases will not be beneficial when it comes to link building and if you are going against the latest guidelines from Google in publishing releases with ‘do follow’ links, you could be causing more trouble for yourself than good.

If you do chose to still publish press releases on line there is no harm as long as you ensure you do not keyword stuff and make all links no follow to keep Google happy and avoid any punishments.

Online press releases are not dead, you just might want to revise your strategy if you are currently using them for link building purposes.

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