Are Press Releases Dead for SEO?

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June 3, 2024

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Are Press Releases Dead for SEO?

Are Press Releases Dead for SEO?

I have to admit, when I first heard that press releases might be a dying tactic for SEO, I was pretty skeptical. After all, I’d spent a good chunk of my career using them to boost my clients’ online visibility and rankings. But as I started digging into the data and the opinions of some top industry experts, I realized there might be more truth to this than I initially thought.

Let me start by acknowledging the SEO glory days of press releases. Back in the early 2000s, it was a pretty straightforward strategy – you’d write up a press release, stuff it with keyword-rich backlinks, and then distribute it across a network of syndication sites. Boom, instant search engine cred! According to one industry expert, this tactic could get you hundreds of backlinks within 24 hours, which was a huge boost to your rankings at the time.

But as you might have guessed, it didn’t take long for Google to catch on to this little trick. In 2012, they started cracking down on press release link schemes, essentially rendering them useless for SEO purposes. As one Forbes article put it, Google was “in the process of making the SEO industry obsolete” by devaluing these types of artificial backlink tactics.

So where does that leave us today? Well, the consensus seems to be that press releases are no longer an effective way to directly boost your search engine rankings. According to one expert, “there is virtually no SEO benefit to press releases, and there hasn’t been in a long time.” The days of keyword-stuffed, link-heavy press releases are well and truly over.

But before you write off press releases entirely, it’s important to understand that they can still serve a valuable purpose – just not in the way they used to. These days, the real value of a press release lies in its ability to generate media coverage and brand awareness, rather than direct SEO benefits.

Let me give you an example. One SEO expert shared a story about how he was able to get a press release ranked on the first page of Google for a low-competition, long-tail keyword. The key was that the press release itself was genuinely newsworthy and informative, rather than just a thinly veiled attempt at link building.

And that’s the crux of it – press releases today need to be focused on providing value to your audience, not just boosting your search engine rankings. As one Forbes article put it, “great content is king, and communities of avid followers make the king.” In other words, you need to be creating genuinely valuable, shareable content that resonates with your target audience.

But the benefits of a well-executed press release go beyond just SEO. According to the team at Prowly, press releases can also be a great way to build citations for local SEO, manage your online reputation, and even help new content get indexed faster by search engines.

So while the SEO landscape has certainly shifted when it comes to press releases, I don’t believe they’re completely dead. You just need to approach them with a different mindset – one that’s focused on creating newsworthy, valuable content rather than gaming the system. And when you do that, you might just find that press releases can still be a powerful tool in your SEO and marketing arsenal.

At the end of the day, I think the key is to focus on providing genuine value to your audience, whether that’s through a press release, a blog post, or any other type of content. Because at the end of the day, that’s what Google and your customers are really looking for. And if you can nail that, the SEO benefits will follow.

So don’t be too quick to write off press releases just yet. With the right strategy and execution, they can still be a valuable part of your SEO agency’s toolkit. Just remember to keep the focus on quality, not quantity – and always put your audience first.

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