The algorithms at Google HQ are moving and shaking again, and they dramatically affect how you’ll approach public relations and press releases moving forward. If you’ve been using the more traditional routes to get noticed – newspapers, magazines, other journalists, etc. – then you may want to start rethinking your strategies.
That’s because a new update to Panda 4.0, Google’s controversial search algorithm update, came down the wire recently. One of the original Panda’s big changes was a step away from press releases, but the search engine company has changed their tune as of late.
So while Google is now valuing press releases again, there is a change. The difference is that you need to take control of your own press release destiny and rely less on spreading word through sending the release out to newspapers and other sources.
Let’s say you want to write a press release about your brand new smartphone and tablet app called “Monkey Business.” In the past the process would be to send the release out to as many places that would take you. Local newspapers, for example, or if you think the app is worth it to magazines, blogs, and other sources that specialize in phone apps and electronics.
Now, though, the process is a little different. As soon as you write it (and edit the heck out of it so it’s perfect) you want to publish it. Why? Because the first place to publish it gets the results on Google. Anybody else who publishes it afterwards, even with edits or added material, will get pushed way down the results list.
So no more blasting out the release as far and wide as you can make it and sending to everyone on your email list. Keep it on the down-low so you can reap all that sweet attention for yourself. On top of that, you really need to utilize all the resources at your disposal. Link to your website, social media, and other material so your readers will stick around and see what you’re all about – and hopefully download your new app.
What’s the Same?
Don’t take this as a chance to blast as many press releases as possible. Flooding the airwaves with poorly written, unfocused copy won’t gain you any advantage. Panda 4.0 still values quality over quantity, which was the whole point of the update in the first place. It’s just that Google has conceded that press releases are actually worth paying attention to.
“Driving clicks and earning a solid reputation always comes back to one factor — people,” said eReleases founder Mickie Kennedy. “Influencing discourse and becoming the subject of conversations online and off is the only thing that’s ever going to earn you an organic foothold in the search rankings. So what better way to do that than with a well-written press release targeting actual, living, breathing journalists?”
So rather than focusing less on quality you should double down on it. Make your press releases not just interesting but truly captivating. Give people a real reason to check out your story and your business. Otherwise, there are tons of other places on the web for them to visit. Don’t give them that chance!
How does your business plan on taking advantage of these changes to Google’s algorithm?