Stop the Presses! No wait. Start them back up again.

Over the years, the once very distinct lines between PR, marketing, and search engine optimization have slowly blurred more and more. Marketing folks started pushing for more commercial journalism; PR experts found hundreds of new outlets for their so-called news to appear; and SEO gurus constantly screamed from the sidelines, begging the marketing and PR folks to let them optimize the content and links before distribution. The result? A complete burial of truly newsworthy materials.

Well, recently Google announced its intent to put the kibosh on that.

Google’s new policy on “link scheming” seems to target overly optimized articles and press releases very specifically. The policy states that links with optimized anchor text in articles and press releases distributed on other sites shall be considered “unnatural links.”

And guess who really dislikes unnatural links. Yup. Google.

Google and Press Releases

As you can imagine, when this announcement hit the Interwebs, several clients and partners called us, wondering if they should fire their PR firm. On the contrary! Google is just doing what Google does. They have to provide the best possible results to their users, and this is one more effort on their part to stop people from trying to game the system. True PR firms – like our friends over at Welz & Weisel Communications – do not flood hundreds of outlets with their press releases. True PR firms seek to promote the actual newsworthy activities of their clients to actual news websites – not just article farms.

And guess who really likes newsworthy content. Yup. Google.

Here’s my message to all of you wondering if you should keep issuing press releases. Yes… as long as it is actually newsworthy. Better yet, turn to a PR firm that cultivates relationships with the media sources that your audiences frequent.

The bottom line is that if your press release is newsworthy, then actual news outlets will pick it up, write an article about your company or product, resulting in the happiness of your clients, your client’s target audiences, news editors, and the all-powerful Google.

Now get out there and do something newsworthy!

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