If you are working with a ethical, experienced & skilled professional then you have been well informed of the importance of making smart online marketing & optimization choices that will benefit you not just today, but also in the future. Majority of the SEO and online marketing tasks are not going to provide you with instant results but will help build solid rankings that will last over time. Now granted, some social media marketing and getting your profiles properly configured on say, Google+ for business can provide a quick boost of traffic and rankings, but please be wary of those who promise their tactic will give you quick results. Most likely, this will only hurt you in the long run, even if they seem to help in the beginning.
Time to Start Marketing Smarter
Be very wary of the latest link building trends. Take press releases for instance. A few years back many SEO’s jumped on the press release bandwagon and would start submitting press releases for just about anything they deemed “news worthy” and I use that term loosely. Releasing a press statement was no longer about informing the public of important company news in hopes of attracting media attention. Instead, people would shell out extra money to have backlinks coded into their press releases and linked using the firms’ targeted keywords in the hopes that the press release would be picked up by content scrappers and plastered all over the world wide web and gaining the company tons of prime keyword laden backlinks to boost their Google search rankings. Like all widely known link building tactics, SEO’s and law firms all over the world abused this tactic. Like all other abused tactics, this quickly caught Google’s attention and it wasn’t long before Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Web Spam team) announced that they would not could links located in Press Releases for SEO value. The tactic was also added to Google’s Webmaster Tools Link Schemes page. Despite these declarations, several industry pros and come to the conclusion that this tactic still works for SEO. Wait, if this is still working, I should be doing this right? Wrong. It’s been in my experience that it takes a while for Google’s algorithm to fully catch up to publicly announced link schemes. However, when it does, it is usually a major update and tons of websites not only loose rankings, but often suffer penalties.
You may be wondering, should I avoid sending out press releases altogether? Don’t be afraid to submit press releases if you are doing it for the right reason. Be selective when deciding what is an appropriate reason for releasing news. Don’t do it every-time someone sneezes in your office. No one cares. When releasing news, do include a link to your website to give individuals and media a way to contact you if they wish but don’t go overboard. Only one link is necessary and you are best to use your legal company name as the anchor text. When you press releases come across as spammy, that is exactly what they will be labeled as by the media and by the search engines. They will only be picked up by scrapper sites which will eventually negatively effect your rankings. Successful link building is about quality, not quantity.
The Big Takeaway: Don’t bother releasing news unless it is truly newsworthy to the public.
*Update: On May 29th Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land published an article after studying the effects of the latest release of the Panda 4.0 algorithm update and discovering that Press Release sites were also hit hard by this update. According to Barry, “PRWeb.com, PR Newswire, BusinessWire and PRLog all seem to have lost significant rankings in Google” and “PRNewsWire.com seems to have shown a significant drop in SEO visibility, dropping ~63% after Panda 4.0 was released”. Further proof that legal press releases for SEO purposes need to be stopped now. Law firms who used this as a frequent online marketing tactic probably took a hit as well.