Google’s New Rules for Press Releases


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Google's recent update to their webmaster guidelines included links in press releases. This webinar covers questions PR practitioners might have about how to write and optimize press releases that don't trigger Google's penalties.

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Google’s New Rules for Press Releases

  1. 1. GOOGLE’S NEW RULES FOR PRESS RELEASES How to write news content in the digital age #digitalreleases
  2. 2. Lisa Buyer President and CEO – the Buyer Group Columnist – Search Engine Watch Speaker – SES conferences @lisabuyer
  3. 3. Sally Falkow President – PRESSfeed Columnist - Publisher – Accredited in PR @sallyfalkow
  4. 4. PR and SEO Why is SEO important for PR? Interested people find content via search - Journalists Bloggers Potential Customers Investors
  5. 5. What goes into SEO for a release? • Keyword Research • Trends/News • Placement of the keywords • Headline length • Subhead construction • First paragraph • Body of the release • Visual content • Links in the release • Links pointing to the release
  6. 6. New Google Rules
  7. 7. Google’s Link Rules “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google‟s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.”
  8. 8. Google “I’m not against doing press releases; press releases can be a useful part of getting traffic and building a brand. For ranking in Google, however, the main benefit of a press release is not direct links or PageRank from the press release directly; it’s primarily the people who decide to write an article and link because of that.” Matt Cutts - Head of Google‟s Webspam team
  9. 9. Passing ‘Google Juice’ - PageRank • PageRank measure's a web page's importance. • Page and Brin's theory is that the most important pages on the Internet are the pages with the most links leading to them.
  10. 10. PageRank • PageRank thinks of links as votes, where a page linking to another page is „casting a vote‟. • Pages with higher PageRank have more weight in "voting" with their links than pages with lower PageRank. It also looks at the number of links on the page casting the "vote." • Pages with more links have less weight.
  11. 11. Examples “Creating links on a page that weren‟t editorially placed or vouched for by the site‟s owner, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines. Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example: There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.”
  12. 12. How to do it right “The best way to get other sites to create high- quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.” Google Webmaster Guidelines
  13. 13. To link, or not to link?
  14. 14. PR Content Discovery • Press release content helps reach journalists, influencers, and consumers. • Almost 8,000 websites, including some of the world's largest news sites, publish stories as a result of wire services such as PR Newswire, Businesswire, Marketwire. • Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Press releases drive broad discovery of your news message in search and social
  15. 15. “The value press release distribution provides is in discovery, not links. Driving messages deep into audiences and generating authentic reads, clicks and visibility among relevant audiences and social shares – that's where press releases add value.“ Sarah Skerik, PR Newswire
  16. 16. Journalists want links “I've been trying to get PR firms to put links into press releases for many years because it makes my job as a journalist easier. I can quickly find background materials such as photos, information on founders, and prior news releases.” Tom Foremski Silicon Valley Watcher
  17. 17. What you can do with a Digital Release • Drive traffic to a website, newsroom • Increase visibility of your PR content in search and social • Lead people/journalists to related content on a blog, newsroom or website • Spark interest from a journalist or blogger that leads to a story and creates a natural link • Educate and inform your audience • Build relationships • Report industry or corporate news • Use images and video to attract views and natural links • Embed videos and multimedia assets • Broaden distribution of the content with paid • Use social to spread the news – paid and organic
  18. 18. What you can’t do • Generate inbound links • Add „link juice‟ to your SEO campaign • Use press releases as part of your link building strategy • Optimized anchor text links, Google now says this equates to unnatural links • Keyword stuffing
  19. 19. What you need to know • How to find the most relevant and effective keywords to use in a release • How to find hot news items and trends • How to use them correctly in a release • How to write a headline • What becomes the title tag • What becomes the description tag
  20. 20. • What becomes the title tag • What becomes the description tag Title tag
  21. 21. Google Search
  22. 22. • How and when to use hashtags • How to add „rich snippets‟ • How and where to host your release on your website – online newsroom best practices
  23. 23. • How to use photos and images • How to optimize images for search • How to optimize a video for search • How to optimize news content for social media messaging • All the new paid social syndication/content promotion options
  24. 24. Gaming the system is yesterday's news. Today's press releases still work. They are the natural, social, and mobile way of tomorrow.
  25. 25. Table of Contents • Introduction: What makes news SMART • The New Media Landscape • Adapting Your News Content to the Digital World • News Search and Web Search • The Convergence of Social and Search
  26. 26. SMART News • Keyword Research • News Hooks • Trends • Monitor conversations • Writing the content • Headline and Subhead • Writing the body of the release • The Digital Media Release Format
  27. 27. SMART News • Multimedia • Images • Video • Tags • Tech Tags: Schemas and Rich Snippets • Distributing the content • Newswires • Syndication • Social Sharing
  28. 28. SMART News • Finding New Audiences for your Release • Sharing the News • The Role of the Online Newsroom • Tracking and Measurement • Examples • Resources
  29. 29. Questions? @sallyfalkow @lisabuyer