Does submitting press release give a boost to your SEO campaign?
This question does not come with an easy answer. Common sense dictates that the rule of thumb regarding the value of “follow” links remains essential. As an experimental showcase, we carried out some experiments to verify the integrity of this logic.
Target: Established, smaller website with 35 Google-indexed pages
We created PR campaigns that would target two pages on the website with branded keywords. The critical point to note was that the PR campaign specifically targeted smaller press release networks and without “nofollow” attributes on links.
Both campaigns saw positive results, resulting in a very noticeable jump in search rankings. In addition, there were improved results from other pages on the website as well.
Target: Newer website with 130 Google-indexed pages
An experienced, professional editor carefully crafted the PR campaigns for this website. The campaigns targeted “Premium” networks, including AccessWire and Business Insider. However, links in this campaign were all “nofollow” and obfuscated (something like “https://pr.report/xyz”).
As somewhat expected, the campaigns saw no noticeable results despite the additional cost. This result seems to emphasize the value of the “follow” attribute even in PR campaigns.
The problem with these experiments lies in the PR networks available today, which do not allow “follow” links. The private network used in “Experiment A” will likely have a long-term negative SEO impact and isn’t practical for real-world use.
In the beginning, press releases did help with SEO due to the embedded links passing on link juice. Unfortunately, people abused the system, and search engines slapped down on this, making such efforts relatively meaningless today.
The resulting “nofollow” rule enforcement of PR networks now offers no significant SEO benefit anymore. However, there is another consideration, and that’s the human factor.
Bloggers and journalists who pick up a press release can provide real value by running part of the content in their regular coverage. This situation can help build more natural links, which search engines love.