A fairly common and often discussed SEO technique is utilizing Press Releases to drive traffic to a website. I’ve heard folks say, “I generate 1200 links just from one press release!” While that’s all well and good, it’s important to note that press release links don’t actually improve PR (Page Rank) and so from that perspective are useless. Matt Cutts (Google algorithm insider) confirmed this at the SMX West (Search Marketing Expo) recently.
No Page Rank Love? Does That Mean No SEO Value?
Just because there isn’t immediate ‘link juice’ from sending out a press release doesn’t mean there’s no SEO value. You can and should use press releases to drive quality traffic to your site. If a press release generated 1200 links through distribution and each of those links was clicked on by 2 people interested in your product or service, (and better yet, if you were tracking those clicks to monitor conversions) then you could say that the press release did it’s job.
Even better, from an SEO perspective, if a journalist/reporter picks up the story in your press release and write about it, then any links from that story would count towards your Page Rank. Not only that, you will get the free publicity and extra traffic associated with the news story.
Measuring Press Release’s SEO Value
Since Page Rank continues to be an important component of SEO, generating great links to your site remains a staple. It’s important to note that if your SEO provider is telling you that sending out press releases is going to directly increase your Page Rank, this isn’t actually true. It’s also important to note that this doesn’t mean that press releases are a waste of time and money. It means that more attention must be paid to the actual SEO outcome of submitting a press release. Since submitting press releases through the major outlets (PRWeb, etc) usually costs money, it’s important to monitor your ROI as much as possible. This could be measured in unique visits to the site from the link in the press release, conversions that transpire on the site from the link, or even new customer/client acquisition as a result of the press release.