PR is dead, long live PR!
ZDnet’s resident blogger Tom Foremski recently published a series of blogs asserting that Google’s recent updates to their webmaster rules could mean the end for PR as we know it.
“What does this mean for B2B PR?” I hear you cry! Well, it’s high-time for us to get:
Google will be clamping down on the manipulation of algorithms, through the stuffing of PRs with keyworded links. However, luckily for us search engine optimisation (SEO) can be approached in different, more honest ways. Links in your press releases should be used to give the bigger picture surrounding your story, and not simply to direct the reader back to your website to boost your website’s hits. They should impart an extra golden nugget of information to your journalist. The easy trick of repeating keywords and excessive use of anchor text makes content practically unreadable for anyone anyway!
Social media is playing an increasingly bigger role in the search-ability of online content. At the moment this is most evident with Google Plus, but very soon the virality of your content on other platforms will become a prominent factor too. This means that the natural progression of your brand, through keeping on top of social media trends and engaging audiences online, will become essential for B2B companies to improve their SEO.
Back to Basics
A press release should be exactly what is says on the tin – a release specifically for the press, not for the general public. Many ‘news’ websites these days are used exclusively for hosting press releases. These can look good when counting up the number of clippings but their value to your business will actually be very low as they will not attract the readership of your target media.
Foremski succinctly tells us that: “Google, above all, wants high quality signals that are naturally produced by the viral nature of the Internet.” This means that Google wants to ensure that it is not acting as a vehicle for other company’s promotions. Therefore, any promotional signals that your content gives off will result in it dropping in Google’s rankings.
PR driven SEO can greatly increase positive results for brands and companies as well as ensuring a higher ranking in Google searches. Good PR comes from concise and interesting content that abides by Google’s rules in order to make search results stronger. Producing a genuinely interesting PR will keep your customers happy whilst also hitting the top page of the search rankings.
Google’s clamp down on search engine ‘cheats’ can only be a good thing. We embrace the idea that they are sorting the wheat from the PR chaff. Bring it on Google!