The press release; that shining beacon of hope marketers will always cling to when they need to promote a brand or achieve that essential backlink goal. An extremely effective form of content marketing, the press release or ‘PR’ is the ace in the hole when placed correctly, but for some reason Google just keeps acting like that cat who wants a belly scratch – it’ll let you in for a minute, maybe even convince you it’s what it wants and then BAM, you’re being blocked, scratched or even bitten.
We’re talking about the newswire and press release sites here. Google led us to think that this was a way to achieve backlinks fairly quickly as long as it wasn’t spam, then all of a sudden decided it wasn’t going to let us use it anymore and even penalised those who did use it, like some petulant kitty cat.
In 2014 most PR and distributions sites added a ‘no follow’ tag in the hope of staying on Google’s good side, rendering those backlinks essentially useless.
So what can we expect this year? Chances are a further weakening of the typical Newswire sites for sure, so it’s up to marketers to get their strategy right.
Well respected bloggers talking about your product will almost guarantee sales. From a technical point of view, building a good relationship with these people is a great idea as they will help strengthen the links to your site, but be careful how you go about this. Remember, content is king and Google wants to see content that is informative and useful, never spammy.
Before you go out and try to spam the industry with guest posts, be aware that Matt Cutts and his Google cohorts are onto you, giving weight to the theory that this method will be heavily scrutinised in 2015. Keep your content informative and useful and you reduce the risk of any penalties.
Product reviews, demonstrations and infographics might be a good idea, just don’t do it for the link. Always provide value.
It may be a time of flux for newswire sites, and the upcoming changes to the way Google allows the use of them are not yet known, so before you throw away your PR strategy completely, just remember that they are still a valuable part of your content marketing campaign.
Kit Garrett, SEO executive and strategist at Hit Search adds, “Newswires have been on the decline for the past couple of years and they’re quickly heading the way of generalised directories in terms of toxicity. There is going to be an increased emphasis on creating meaningful, strategic partnerships with publishers and influencers this year and they only way to do this, is through a mix of great content and some good, old fashioned networking.
Content is more than king now – content is pretty much everything.”
Here at Hit Search, we specialise in creating bespoke content marketing strategies that help brands achieve their online marketing goals. For more information contact an expert today on 0845 643 9289.