Why [Press Release] Submission is a Waste of Time

SEO industry has a knack for turning perfectly legitimate marketing disciplines into… something spammy. This is exactly what happened to the idea of press releases and the way they are distributed and picked up.

Press Release Bot

Googlers are aware of PR submission websites and very likely have ways of algorithmically handling well-known sources (PRWeb, PRWire…etc).  On the 26th December 2012, Matt Cutts from Google confirmed that PR submission is not an effective SEO strategy:

“…I wouldn’t expect links from press release web sites to benefit your rankings…” Source

This is not limited to press releases though. Any source of links which may be making a dent on Google’s link graph is needless to say factored in. Examples of this are parked domains and domain name information websites.

Other ‘Submissions’

Here are the top four manipulative link tactics:

  1. Directory Submission
  2. Article Submission
  3. Social Bookmarking Submission
  4. Press Release Submission
And of course:
  1. Comment Spam
  2. Fake Profiles
  3. Link Wheels, Triangles…etc.

You’ll find these on pretty much any cheap, automated SEO program. If any of the above are on your “todo” list you should ask yourself if there are better things to to spend your time on.

Recognising Short-Lived / High-Risk Tactics

New techniques pop into existence all the time, so to quickly evaluate whether what you’re doing is spam or not, here are the main qualifying criteria for webspam:

  1. Fast (Often automated)
  2. Easy (Not much work to implement)
  3. Cheap (Ranges from $5 to $500)
  4. Scalable (Easy to gain volumes)
  1. Low Quality (Bad image for the brand)
  2. Low Value (No benefit to users)
  3. High Risk (Search quality algorithm, manual action)
  4. Hard to Clean-Up (When penalty hits)
  5. Embarrassing (Association with spam)
  6. Short-Term Benefits (Short-lived gain in rankings only)

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.
ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6886-3211

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8 thoughts on “Why [Press Release] Submission is a Waste of Time”

  1. Faiz Ahmed Faiz says:

    I appreciate the article as i was still believing that Press Releases work (have seen ranking to go up after releasing it). But if I am to buy this article/advice then how should SEO proceed? I mean, ok, I know good content story, but isnt there anything else to do to take my site higher? How exactly will the off-page SEO work?

  2. Deepak says:

    Really great source of information
    i totally agreed..can you explain what should do seo members? what process will be affect on ranking …

  3. Josh Butler says:

    Press releases shouldn’t be the end in mind. News worthy press releases that get picked up by niche news sites are great links to get. Just remember “NEWSWORTHY” = “LINKWORTHY”

  4. highonseo says:

    Spammy PR is just bad news. Good PR has a chance to be picked up in other places. I would agree with you that PR for SEO sake is bad news. PR for newsworthy stuff should still have some benefit – just not on a PR site. Your news has to be good enough to jump past PRweb.

  5. I don’t think directory submission is also a waste of time. If you submit your link to high authority and well moderated directory sites, then you’re safe! Also, paid directories are most likely mush safer than free listing.

  6. nguyentoloan says:

    Thank your post.

  7. Link Juice says:

    I would add to your qualifying criteria… if you wouldn’t feel comfortable telling Google about it or find yourself justifying it in any way then it’s probably spam