Nowadays the SEO world is abuzz about content marketing. Many of the best practice link-building techniques of yesteryear are no longer implemented by experienced search engine optimization practitioners. In place of them, one of the most important components of an effective SEO effort is to engage in high quality content marketing. This includes implementation of a smart press release distribution campaign that is compliant with Google's latest guidelines.
Although press releases are used as a valuable SEO tool, they are so much more than just that. A press release should be used by a business to spread its message and reach journalists, bloggers, influencers and end consumers. With that objective at the forefront, many goals can be achieved such as increasing visibility and awareness, generating social media engagement, driving sales, increasing traffic, optimizing search rankings, etc. It's a matter of doing it the right way.
Google has recently updated their webmaster guidelines to strongly suggest that "links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites" should have nofollow attributes associated with them. This is an expected development as Google consistently works to improve the quality and relevancy of search results. As such, they strongly promote the creation of quality content, and also battle against tactics aimed at manipulating search ranking. At PR.com it is one of our top priorities to comply with SEO best practices and we now implement nofollow links as per these updated guidelines to best serve and protect our customers.
These updates to Google's guidelines are understandable. Anchor text abuse has increasingly worsened throughout the internet; including many spammy links in a press release with the sole goal of manipulating search rankings has not been a good method of, and will not positively effect SEO. However, these updates reflect the positive value of press releases and do not change the experienced SEO practitioner's tactics when executed correctly. Distributing a press release that announces something newsworthy about a company with the intention of reaching journalists, consumers and others to spread a message about the company will produce valuable results. In turn, when the intended audience writes their own article about the company, linking to the company's website, that link does not need a nofollow tag; this is and has been the optimal method of deriving strong SEO benefit with press releases. Also, when the target audience engages with the news announced in the release in social media, this further serves as a strong SEO factor.
These updated guidelines should lead to enhanced user experience with press releases while reducing the presence of those who utilize press releases in a spammy way. This in conjunction with a quality press release developed with the goal of spreading your company's message and reaching journalists, bloggers, influencers, and end consumers continues to be a powerful means by which to gain awareness, increase online visibility and achieve your business objectives.