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When a press release service is actually a dis-service

There is no backdoor channel

 

It’s a buyer beware world out there, and B2B SEO is no different.

One of the easiest traps to fall into relates directly to one of the oldest tools of corporate communication: press releases.

Despite having originated at the dawn of the last century, press releases remain a great way for companies to:

  • Provide important company updates
  • Increase name recognition
  • Establish brand leadership
  • Support their Internet marketing efforts

First of all, a press release properly optimized for the search engines is a great addition to the website of any company looking to promote itself. Useful, well-written copy crafted to appeal to your target audience and to the search engines will always enhance your corporate website’s SEO.

But there’s another boost that comes when online publications write a news story based on the press release or post the release on their websites and link back to the site of the company issuing the release.

At this point, it’s a numbers game, and an online press release distribution service is a huge help in ensuring your press release gets out to an appropriate number of online news sites.

The problem is identifying the scam operators from the truly beneficial distribution services. An immediate red herring is if the service promises to get your press release included in Google News.

No one can “get” your press release included in Google News, which is the section of Google’s search engine committed solely to news. A press release can be found via Google News, because it’s well written, is properly optimized and contains real, actual news.

There is no backdoor channel where you can whisper, “Psssst. I got a juicy piece of news for you” and have some Googler in a fedora and dark sunglasses take the release and slip it into Google News. That’s simply not how it works.

Google News does have a submission process, by which news sites can become “part” of Google News, but that’s for entire websites, not single press releases. And it only means that Google will always check those sites for news; it doesn’t mean that every story on those sites appears in Google News.

The next time an offer to get your company included in Google News floats over the transom, take a critical look at the service making the promise and don’t get sucked in by the hype. These things are rarely as simple – or as true – as they appear.