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Google Changes to the World of News Release Distribution

Discusses the latest Google algorithm changes and how the impacts on news release distribution

Google Changes to the World of News Release Distribution

For many years now marketing practitioners have been advocating people use news releases to improve their placement on search engines. The theory was that you could write and post a news release at a web distribution service and the optimized use of keywords and the links included in the release would result in oodles of incoming links all of which would help capture people’s attention and increase your page ranking on search engines as a result.

Google has decided to clean up the search results and do what it can to rid organic results of press release content that is really not bona fide news, but are instead, paid advertising in disguise. The requirements also have significance to sites that rely heavily on user-generated content.

The latest Google algorithm changes, known as Penguin 2.0, modifies how Google analyzes the role and utility of news releases posted at news release distribution services in a very significant way. The changes, adopted in late July 2013, include the following:

1. Press releases will be treated as paid placement by Google.

2. Optimized anchor text links in a press release distribution post will be considered as “unnatural” and will not be used in Google PageRank search result calculations.

3. Google now requires news release distribution services to add a “no follow” code attribute to all their outbound links in the news releases they post.

What this means is that if you now do a search for keywords on Google or Google News, your will now notice the near total absence of news releases, which used to account for fifty percent of more of what was the search engines produced in the top ten pages. No more. What is now delivered are articles from real media – newspapers, magazines, radio, tv, selected news services & syndicates, and the online versions, news web sites, and certain blogs.

The Google “no follow” and “anchored text” policies apply to”webmasters and directly impact services such as PR Web, Businesswire, PR Newswire, Send2Press, WebWire, MarketWire, OnlinePR Media, eReleases, and many more of the sites who used to be able to get top placement with their posted and archived news releases.

No more. Google has declared those days are over. The new moves by Google places the highest value on unique, quality content at real media sites.

The new search engine results highlight real media and focus on “earned media” and not subsidized links designed to simply weight and manipulate search engine results.

Google is also on the lookout to reduce the impact of large scale guest post activities and advertorials.

For several years now, SEO placement was driven by the use of “unnatural” backlinks and the heavy handed use of keywords in news releases. A variety of “black hat” SEO practices have been developed and used to push page placement. This will no longer be a viable strategy for businesses to utilize if they seek to improve their SEO ranking and the traffic they receive.

Natural links, directly to quality core content, expert or a company web site, are still acceptable.

What this means to publicity seekers is that a news release should not be written with the purpose of producing a sale directly. The news release should also not be written as an advertorial, or an infomercial.

The best view is that a news release is a pitch to a publisher (=media) to get them do publish or produce a story in the medium they utilize.

A news release, or a press release, is therefore a media proposal — a purpose driven communication that is delivered to media, or placed where they can find it, and which invites the media to do a feature story, an interview or a review (in the case of a book or product), and which contains an offer or the actual content and access to the people, needed to do that job.

So if you want real media coverage, write a news release that is truly designed to get you quality media coverage and send it to the right media. Instead of a post and pray web service. Then target your media carefully and send it to the right media directly. Reach out and contact real media people and offer them everything they need to do their job your way.

Help the people that you can help the most. The latest change means that quality content matters now more than ever before.

Good problem solving advice, news, value-added commentary, noteworthy public events, innovative products, quality books, and the best entertainment will get higher search engine placement, and hence command more value in the eyes of the searching public. Earned media coverage acquired by using targeted PR tactics and strategies will be one of the primary vehicles for gaining that status.

For additional reading:

Yahoo Small Business Advisor article Sept 1, 2013
http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/press-release-writing-since-google-penguin-2-0-235044581.html

Forbes magazine article by Cheryl Conner, August 28, 2013
http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2013/08/28/do-press-releases-still-matter-yes-but-not-like-you-think/

Search Engine Watch articles by Lisa Buyer August 9, 2013
http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2287902/12-Ways-to-Optimize-Press-Releases-Avoid-Google-Penalties

Search Engine Land article by Barry Schwarz July 30, 2013
http://searchengineland.com/google-links-in-a-press-release-should-be-nofollowed-like-advertisements-168339

Search Engine Roundtable article by Barry Schwarz July 30, 2013
http://www.seroundtable.com/google-press-releases-nofollow-17151.html

Search Engine Watch article by Lisa Buyer July 26, 2013
http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2194404/Can-the-SEO-PR-Love-Affair-Survive-After-Panda-Penguin

Search Engine Land article by Barry Schwarz July 26, 2013
http://searchengineland.com/google-adds-large-scale-guest-posting-advertorials-optimized-anchor-text-to-list-of-link-schemes-168082

Search Engine Land article by Barry Schwarz July 9, 2013
http://searchengineland.com/google-guest-blogging-for-links-you-better-nofollow-those-links-166218

Search Engine Watch – #nofollow
http://searchenginewatch.com/topic/nofollow

Evaluating Your Media Coverage – Online Clipping with Search Engines

Evaluating Your Media Coverage - Online Clipping with Search Engines

Evaluating Your Media Coverage – Online Clipping with Search Engines

There are several ways to search and find media coverage without spending money on clipping service. All you have to do is use the right keywords and search in the right places. You can discover many, if not most, of the media coverage you get from your campaigns within a week of your outreach.

There are several types of search engines you can use – all of these are free. There are more search engines out there and this list will always change over time. These are the ones that I use on a regular basis.

Search by using a persons’ name, their book, product or whatever keyword you want to focus on. To keep your results narrow and focused, place “quotation marks” around your search words.

If you want to evaluate media coverage, focus on the keywords that you are researching and study what is being published, by whom, and what the article or interviews says.

    Regular (Web) Search Engines

Google

Yahoo

Bing

Ask

    News Search Engines

Google News

Yahoo News

Bing News

Ask News

Topix


    Blog Search Engines

Google blogsearch

Yahoo searchblog

Blogdigger

Blogsearchengine

Technorati

    Media Search Engines

Reuters

USA Today

The New York Times

Washington Post

LA Times

Boston Globe


    Social Search Engines

TalkWalker Alerts

Social Mention

Tumblr.com

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Topsy

Scour

Pipl

Zoominfo

MyLife

Peek You

Why book reviews news releases don’t work

Why book reviews news releases don't work

OK, you’ve written a book and now want to get some publicity?

I recommend that authors stay away from news releases that simply say “I’ve published a book and am marketing it…..” It may get you local publicity and it may get you some book reviewers, some of which my end up getting published.

But you do not see too many book reviews that result in stellar book sales and movie deals.

That’s what comes out of galvanizing feature stories and interviews that contains significant human interest or promise of tremendous value-added.

That’s what you need to offer to media and that’s what you need to place into your news release.

Content wise, you must remember the differences between the media and make sure the needed elements are present or are offered:

Print wants the best information. Radio and TV want to be told why you have the best entertainment.

Notice the difference: To the specific information or topic is of lesser importance than it’s entertainment value to the producer. Print speaks to the head. Print requires more written words — it is intellectual and focuses on getting you to think.

Radio and TV speak to the stomach. Radio and TV focus on provoking emotional response. They speak to your heart and soul.

Did you know that radio provides out-pulls print and tv when it comes to motivating people?

Did you know that more people respond to audio speech than written speech? Did you know who proved this point better than anyone else in the entire 20th Century?

Adolph Hitler. His oratory motivated the Germans to start a World War.

Listen carefully to the speeches given by our President. Look at the powerful emotions they can evoke with very few words. The speech writers are media masters.

Ha! I know you may get bored after a few minutes, but oh well, they are the ones who are “on the air”, so pay attention as long as you can get something out of it.

You can learn a lot by listening to others, and paying attention to the powerful and successful people around you, especially those who are featured in the media. Study what they do. Learn what they do.

You can modify and improve your media success by learning from the masters all around you. They are in print everywhere you look, on the radio everywhere you go, and on tv day in and day out.

If you become a student of the media with the goal of improving your media success, you will seek to learn and apply what learn, especially if you focus on people who successfully pitched to media, and are now “on the air’.

When you pitch to media, you must ask yourself three simple questions:

What do they want?

What can I offer?

How can I present it so I can be more persuasive than others who are also vying for the space, or air time?

So if you have a fiction book, and want to find out ways of publicizing your book, what you must do is start studying the publicity that has been acquired by other fiction book authors.

You find the critical intelligence you need in the latest issue of whatever media you want to be in.

You can also use search engines to find and get you access to the online counterparts to media.

You can also use news search engines to follow specific key words on your topic and study who’s getting publicity and on what topics.

You can use my 3 I Technique:

1. Identify the success stories

2. Imitate the success stories

3. Innovate with your own information.

This simple process works so use it.

Start paying attention to what is out there. Head to the magazine rack. Open up the magazines you want to be in. Use the magazine search and news search engines.

If you are a fiction book author, start studying the publicity acquired by other fiction authors.

Identify the feature articles about fiction authors. Cut them out and create a scrap book. Then use these for ideas.

Watch TV and listen to the radio and do the same thing. Tape the shows, watch them or listen to them several times, and learn the behaviors. List the questions, study the good answers.

Accumulate enough examples from your particular target media that you can craft news angles, headlines, and content in a comparable style. Then prepare your own materials using the successful models and mentors as a guide.

There is another way to describe this process:

Search, Find, Match and Apply.

You SEARCH for the opportunity what you want.

You FIND — an opportunity or a place where you think the opportunity exists.

You make sure you MATCH their needs with the right content.

And then you APPLY by presenting your news release to see if you can be selected for the opportunity you identified.

This process works as well for searching for getting publicity as aweel as it does for creating letters, business proposals, getting contracts, agents, publishers, or even for a soulmate.

The articles and interviews you find will tell you to the types of news release you will need to create to pitch this type of feature article story, or get interviews based on the themes you discover. Analyze them. Identify the content, length, style, and other characteristics of the information. Then create information about your book that parallels what you have found.

If you pay attention, you’ll see the types of things that turn your particular media on.

And you’ll be able to do it, too.