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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

Free Book Publicity Podcast – Are News Releases Effective for Marketing Your Book?

Are News Releases Effective for Marketing Your Book? You betcha!

On November 19th, 2009 I had a wonderful time being interviewed for Authors Access with Victor R. Volkman and Irene Watson about whether Press Releases are still revelant to marketing and promoting books.

We covered a wide-range of talking points, including:

* So What Exactly Is A News Release?

* Why Is This So Hard To Do? What Makes This So Special?

* So What Exactly Do Media People Look For When They Receive A News Release?

* So What Do You Need To Do To Write A News Release That Really Works & Truly Gets Media Attention?

* How do you know when you’re ready?

* What Specifically Should Authors Do To Create This Galvanizing Candy ­This Magic Script.

* What is the Magic Formula (DPAA+H)? (“Dramatic Personal Achievement in the face of Adversity, plus a little Humor”)

* Which Are Better For Authors To Aim At – Book Reviews Or Feature Stories & Why?

* How do you know when you achieve success with a news release?

* So once you have a trash proof news release, what do you do with it

Download the free Authors Access podcast interview free at:

http://authorsaccess.com/archives/164
A pdf file that summarizes all the talking points is also available here:

Are News Releases Effective for Marketing Your Book? http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/arepressreleasesaneffectiveway.pdf

The Trash Proof News Releases is available as a free ebook at Smashwords:

Trash Proof News Releases

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5921

If you write what you think is a trash proof news release, send it to me and I’ll send you my extra two bits!

Paul@DirectContactPR.com

Response to the Social Media Bandwagon Phenomenon

Response to the Social Media Bandwagon Phenomenon

One person on the publishing and promoting list at Yahoo posted the following message:

> “For any of those that are still questioning the importance and/or value of Social Media, check out the stats in this video…”

> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8

Another person responded:

> “Those who pooh-pooh it are going to be the ones running to catch up.”

———

Social media rah rah sis boom bah.

Yes you may think it’s cool you can text with your iPod and splatter words all across other people’s machines everywhere.

But if you are in business, social media is more than just tweeting and facebooking. Social media Is not a quick fix for sales or marketing success. It’s not something that you can start tomorrow and go to the bank with a smile on your face in two weeks.

Social media is a specialized set of communications technologies and tools and tactics that can be used to improve how you communicate with people who use these technologies.

They can only help you generate profits if you use them to communicate meaningfully with your particular pool of interested clients, prospects and customers if this is how they communicate and make decisions.

Even getting followers is no guarantee that you will be able to turn them into raving fans and paying customers. You need to learn what to say and how to say it to get people interested and then you need to keep them interested.

The numbers of people using these technologies follows the adoption curves of all sorts of technologies that have spread into use before. This should not be a surprise at all. The past 50 years have seen all sorts of devices come and go. Phones, TV’s, faxes, computers, email, PDA’s, now iPods.

Now the online technologies have diversified. First there was the Internet, then there were news search engines, mailing lists, discussion groups, forums, blogs, audio, then satellite radio, video, and now social media technologies.

The ways to communicate with people continues to evolve and get smaller, faster, and easier to use.

But each technology has special communications requirements. Each requires training, practice and skill if you are going to use the technologies to persuade people to take action.

So the real question is can you use these technologies and use them well?

Regardless of the technology you use, you need to focus on your message. This is because your message is how you connect with the mind of the person who receives the message.

So what are you saying?

Do you have a purpose and a goal of triggering action?

Does your message trigger interest?

Are you giving value? Are you truly making a favorable impression? Are you making people laugh, cry, jump for joy or cringe? Do you achieve emotional and intellectual engagement?

Do your individual messages or even the suite of message you send over time result trigger people to action? Do you see sufficient numbers of people investigate you, your products and services? Do enough people make a decision to buy what you sell so that you can operate your company?

Where do people go after you persuade them to take a step your direction? Do your landing pages result in favorable response? Do you see sufficient conversion to sales?

Then when you finally get a customer, do you really deliver something of value? Is your product and service and performance of sufficient quality to achieve sales and positive reviews? Will the personal satisfaction people experience result in them spreading the word for you?

You have to have something worthwhile to offer in the first place.

Social media is a suite of tools that you can use *if* you take the time and put in the energy to develop the relationships with the people on the other end of the messages. You need to think out how all the tools you use interact to develop interest, satisfy needs, build credibility and trust.

And sell product.

Would you believe, that to date, the statistics and studies continue to show that base level income and profits in most companies continues to be derived from the old fashioned conventional methods of communicating and marketing?

The social media is an expense that comes as an addition to all the alternative technologies that are available for people to use. It takes money, time, skill, and expertise to operate these like any other of the technologies businesses use. Which technologies and which communications tactics and systems produce the income and profits that allow a company to survive and thrive have to be developed, determined and managed.

But no matter what technologies you use to communicate with your target audience, the message is perhaps the most crucial decision you can make.

The good old person to person “How can I help you?” is about the best place to start.

I wrote a few more posts about the ROI of Twitter a few months ago. If you’re interested, you can find them at my blog – here’s the link on the tag social marketing:

http://blog.directcontactpr.com/public/category/social-marketing

Article comment – Social media marketing sucks… if you do it wrong

Why social media marketing sucks and what to do about it

Why does social media marketing suck and what can you do about it?

Interesting Article at the Kansas City Examiner titled Social Media Marketing Sucks… If You Do It Wrong by Dustin Riedisel

My comments:

Social media are a special type of communication technology and they too, like all other communication technologies (email fax, street mail and even Tweets), have special requirements.

The goal is to have a meaningful communication with a real person on the receiving end. The message is what matters. The real value to the recipient is what matters. You can’t use any communication technology to trigger or motivate action without figuring out the magic words first.

This in fact, is what I call, the miracle of the microcosm, since in this nation of 300 million technology and media indoctrinated people, you can learn what it takes to turn people on anywhere. This is what expert PR and marketing copywriters are really for.

And once you do figure out what you can say that turns people on (no matter where you are) then and only then can you use technology as a force multiplier, to generate the actions you want people to take, wherever they are.

Read more on social media marketing ROI here http://blog.directcontactpr.com/public/category/social-marketing/

Not all media are created equal – targeting the right media – targeted PR

Not all media are created equal - targeting the right media - targeted PR

Targeting the right media takes special skill.

They say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. It’s exposure in front of people in any case. Right?

But it can also be true that even good publicity in the right media may not be worth very much in the way of immediate direct sales.

When was the last time you read a newspaper article and ran and grabbed your credit card and the phone?

When was the last time you watched a TV interview or a commercial and felt compelled to buy the product or service featured?

Then again when was the last time you read a post to a blog or a forum or an ezine describing a solution or a tip and found it so good that you went to the web site and contacted the owner, or bought a service or product site unseen?

The point here is that the context of the message and the medium are both important.

The right message has to be in the right media and your audience also has to be in the right state of mind to be receptive and even open to taking action.

You target your media by asking what do my customers read, watch or listen to, especially when they are in the mood to hear and act on information related to what you are offering.

This leads you to the right media.

The right media could be prime media: newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, news services or syndicates.

Prime media are still one of the most powerful and trusted media for the masses. Each media is a business that makes its income from paying subscribers and from advertisers who also invest money in advertising because of the number of subscribers.

The right media can also be online: blogs, Internet online media web sites, articles sites, forums, ezines, mailing lists, discussion groups, and social media and networking sites.

The right media is media where enough of the people who see the message take the action you want them to take.

There is no way to know for sure which ones will produce fruit until you place your message out there and see what happens.

You find them where you find them.

Social media news releases – just another tool for publicity outreach

Social media news releases - just another tool for publicity outreach

Interesting post over at PR Squared titled The Dual Future of the News Release

I don’t believe that social media news releases are all that earthshaking or special or that it will replace every other MarCom method out there. I view SM news releases as another tool in the arsenal that represents yet another choice in how we reach out and communicate with people.

I still see that prime media matters a lot to clients. They want results and if SM can help produce results that’s fine. It’s the results that matter to clients. How you get them and the ROI you produce is what matters to clients.

To me, the SM news release is just the newest technology with specialized format requirements to come along. The technology you use is a factor because it influences the format of your message.

But it’s secondary to learning and proving that the words you place in that MarCom format are indeed words that will produce the action you want whether it be sales, attendance at an event, donations, name recognition, or political action.

Just because you use SM as a way to transmit the message won’t help you if what you place in the SM news release is boring, text heavy, laden with hype or simply is commercial advertising.

The biggest challenge is to figure out what you can say and do to really turn people on in the first place.

That’s what I focus on when i work with clients. That’s because unless you say something or write something that will turn people on, nothing you do with your message will matter.

My belief is that the technology doesn’t matter at all until you learn how to talk so people will listen and act. That’s true even no matter what people read, watch or listen to.

We live in a world where most people have serious attention deficit disorders most of the time. They are under so much stress it takes extraordinary communications skill to communicate meaningfully.

It even more critical when people base their decisions on snippets, slices, blinks and tweets.

Of course, once you do create galvanizing messages, then you can use all the conventional news release, online Internet and SM technologies as a force multiplier to spread the message and duplicate the action you get.