In my last blog I talked about new updates that were made to Google affecting a website’s SEO results. There are similar things happening with press releases. Starting this year Google’s update, Hummingbird, again changes the SEO algorithm. What does that mean for your company?
Hummingbird also targets press releases. Traditionally companies have spent hundreds to thousands of dollars issuing a press release on one of the news wires or other media distribution sites. Most of these releases are then picked up by media sources that simply post them without any editing. If that’s the case, Google now ignores your release and it will not be ranked in a Google search. Google will rank original, or at least edited content. This means that establishing and maintaining good relationships with journalists is the key to having content at the top of a Google search.
This doesn’t mean that you should abandon the news wires. But for the best results in Google searches your content needs to be original to each publication.
Of course, Google is not the final word in search engines. There are plenty other respected search engines with different algorithms. However, Google is the number one search engine used by 620 million people a day. There’s a reason why no one says “I’m going to Yahoo that.” Playing by Google’s rules is more important than ever.
Before you even send out your next press release, check out these tips:
Think of a list of keywords relevant to your industry and your press release. Then be sure to use the words as you are writing. Avoid keyword stuffing and always make sure the keywords are relevant and add to the flow of your release.
Headlines- shorter ones are better.
Some release titles look more like a small paragraph than a headline. Keep your headline concise – 70 characters or less. Avoid using adjectives such as “industry leading” or “best in class.” These adjectives take up space and have very little impact. Above all, make sure your headline is clear. You want reporters and readers to know exactly what you are talking about once they read your headline.
Highlight anchor text and keywords in your press release. Include “no follow” language on URL’s. Otherwise, Hummingbird will view this as advertising and it will negatively impact your SEO.
Press releases can help your SEO if the content is relevant and original to a media site. But if your news doesn’t apply to a wide audience, think about creating it as blog or other type of content. Save the press releases for your company’s most important news.