Are press releases still useful for SEO?

Based on our experience, the underlying (real) question is whether press releases are useful for link building. Our answer is: yes, press releases are effective and not just as a SEO tactic but as part of a much larger content/inbound marketing effort.

Of course, with Google increasingly coming down on all kinds of links, the value of a link from a press release posted on a press release distribution/ press release directory site may be significantly lowered. However, the real value of a press release comes from other sources. For example, editors or bloggers may find the information useful and publish an edited version of the release on their own website (and may be even link to your website, depending on their own outbound linking policies). This is an editorially-earned link and assuming the site covering it is a good quality one, your website will certainly benefit from the link. Secondly, even if the site does not provide a link, the editorial coverage gives your business/ brand a huge boost.

We recently saw this with a start up e-commerce player in a rather niche segment in India who sent out a release using Business Wire India. The press release was picked up by a senior journalist with The Economic Times, one of India’s top business newspapers, who was doing a story on the niche market segment. The journalist contacted the founder of the start-up, interviewed him and included him in the feature that she wrote. The value of the editorial coverage: absolutely priceless!

Even though it is always useful to keep link acquisition in mind, consider the bigger picture. Remember, the ultimate objective is to increase online visibility for your brand/ business and towards that end, press releases are as effective as ever. Ensure there is a good story in your press release, which should be written well!