One of the main reasons that more than 5,000 companies use MyPRGenie to distribute press releases and social media content every week is the fact that our platform helps them optimize their content for search engines.
The days when a press release was intended only to convince a journalist to cover a specific story are long gone, and long-term SEO and traffic for brand building, awareness, and website traffic are among the most important outcomes of a well-written press release.
Most of our customers are very savvy when it comes to SEO and PR — but every now and again, we hear one of these pervasive SEO fairy tales that can ruin your PR results as well as your ability to report on them to top management.
Occasionally, we even hear that there’s no need to optimize press releases for SEO. That’s a mistaken belief that can really damage your overall PR results — don’t fall for it or any other SEO fairy tale. Believing in fairy tales is fun when you’re four — and dangerous when you’re a PR person who has to answer to management on how you spend your budget.
- Using Google Analytics will reduce your SEO, because you’re giving Google data they’ll use against you. Yes, there are people out there who believe this one — a LOT of people, judging by a recent discussion in a marketing group on LinkedIn. Let’s start with the basic fact that Google already has your data, whether you are signed up for Google Analytics or not. And let’s add the fact that no one knows what goes into the algorithms that Google uses to calculate page rank. Last, but not least, most of us just aren’t important enough to get onto Google’s radar screen.
- Page rank doesn’t really matter, because search results are personalized for individual users — so everyone sees different results anyway. Yes, Google personalizes search results based on the user’s search history (whether you’re logged in to Google or not), but in most cases the differences between personalized results and non-personalized results are so small that they’re hard to notice.
- Trading links helps boost page rankings. At least that’s what all the totally irrelevant sites that want to “trade links” claim in their mass-mailed spam. It isn’t true. Reciprocal links are of dubious value: they are easy for an algorithm to catch and to discount.
- There are affordable services out there that will “register your site with hundreds of search engines” and this is essential to your site’s rankings. If you believe that, then why are you reading this instead of helping that Nigerian prince who desperately needs your help to get a large sum of money smuggled out of his country, for which you will be richly rewarded? You don’t register with the search engines. They find you. (This blog was indexed by Google within 24 hours of its launch. And we didn’t “register” it.)
- Great Content = Great Page Rank. Great Page Rank = High Traffic. This isn’t a baseball movie. Just because you build it (write it) doesn’t mean they will come — and it doesn’t mean that you will be found. People have to be searching for it before they’ll find it. And page rank is based on many factors — but the quality (or even the accuracy) of the content isn’t one of them. (If it was, the outsourced link-builders who spam sites with broken-English comments in order to build links, wouldn’t remain in business.) Content has to be promoted, through public relations, social media, services like Outbrain and Google Adwords, and it has to be written to make it easy for the search engines to find it.