The debate over the value of press release links appeared to be over on Christmas Day last year, when Matt Cutts asserted that they wouldn’t benefit rankings. Granted, this was in a Google forum thread, and was directed at a particular individual, but nevertheless, many in the world of SEO decided it was high time to turn their attention away from these sometimes controversial links. It’s now come to light however, that this may not be strictly true, and that press release links may yet have some part to play.
Several outlets have reported having some ranking successafter distributing only a few online press releases, which does certainly suggest that links contained within count for something. These cases have met with some opposition, mainly down to the fact that they focused on strings of letters that had very few instances on the web. While this is true; ranking for an obscure keyword isn’t necessarily very difficult, it does show that press releases carry some weight, no matter how small it might be.
A Short Term Solution?
The other issue that has been brought up is not necessarily howpowerful online PR is, but whether it’s worth the time and effort. Many releases remain online for only 60-90 days, which means that they may be useful in the short term, but they will not contribute to rankings over a significant period of time. They’re not necessarily going to be valuable links to add to your backlink profile.
So What are Online Press Releases Good For?
The jury might still be out on link power, but there are a few things we definitely know about online press releases, and they mean that PR sites aren’t going to go away any time soon.
• Press releases are very quick to be indexed once they go live.
• They can create brand awareness.
• Some sites allow them to incorporate rich media.
• They are often syndicated across multiple sites.
In conclusion, there doesn’t seem to be any question over whether press releases links count, because it certainly seems they do, but they might not be very useful. They’re potentially limited in the amount of time that they are effective for, and are unlikely to carry and real power. Of course, if you’re looking to use online PR as a traditional method of generating interest in a new product or story, then they may still have a use.