I interact with a lot of PR types, and without fail, any time the subject of SEO press release distribution comes up, there is a lot of eye rolling and scoffing at the idea. That’s not to say they’re against the idea of optimizing press releases; they aren’t. What they’re against is the SEO press release distribution strategy that’s become the norm: 1) Write a keyword-rich press release; 2) Fill it with back links ; 3) Publish it on a few PR directories; 4) Repeat a few days later.
So, just why do PR gurus frown on this practice? Here are 4 reasons SEO press release distribution has earned a negative reputation.
- SEO press releases are typically stuffed with keywords—Take a look at any free press release distribution directory. You’ll likely find a lot of press releases with awkward headlines and difficult to read copy. Why? Because the people distributing these press releases are only concerned with targeting specific keywords to help boost their search engine presence. The result is keyword-stuffed press releases that are anything but legitimate news.
- Many choose quantity over quality—Because the links from press release directories don’t carry a lot of authority, marketers are forced to get huge volumes of these links if they want to see any results. As a result, they end up pushing one awful press release after another, hoping that eventually all the keyword targeting and link building will amount to something.
- Links usually don’t add to the story—SEO press release distribution is usually all about link building. So, these press releases are littered with keyword-rich links pointing at various pages on the company’s website. The problem is the links are usually placed in there just for the sake of squeezing them in, rather than to add to the story by directing readers to quality content that supplements the news.
- SEO press releases don’t usually end up in the hands of the media—The biggest reason PR people look down on SEO press release distribution is because most marketers just publish the press releases on free directories and leave it at that. They never make an effort to get their press releases in the hands of journalists, bloggers, podcasters, and other influencers. If they did, they may find their stories would get spread a lot further, and they’d enjoy even more benefits from their press release distribution strategy.
Personally, I see and agree with all of the points made by my PR friends. The SEO press release has become like the online article that gets bounced around from directory to directory. However, I don’t think that it has to be like this. I think you can achieve a healthy balance by writing quality optimized press releases and distributing them more efficiently.