What’s All This Talk About No-Follow Links? And What Does it Mean for My Press Release Marketing?

Google and  No Follow

Google and No Follow

There has been much talk of late in the social media world regarding Google’s new guidelines on no-follow links and what impact these have on press release distribution and search engine optimization (SEO).

To clarify, Google recently released its new webmaster guidelines, which explicitly state:

“Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:
There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.

In order to remain in good standing with Google and follow best practices, we at 24-7PressRelease have immediately instated a policy in which all press release links will be no-follow.

Google’s guidelines reinforce its dedication to ensuring the most authentic search engine results, so while this may sound like bad news for your SEO marketing plan, it actually isn’t.

Press releases are still valuable marketing tools, but instead should be used for the purpose for which they were intended: hooking the interest of consumers and news professionals through a newsworthy story that has a captivating headline and informative and attention-grabbing content. Distributing press releases will still get you more visibility online, without artificially skewing search engine results because one press release has more links in it than another.

As Google webmaster trends analyst John Mueller says, “The goal of the press release is to get the word out to the press about your new service or product. When the press hears about what you have to offer and if/when they decide to write about it on their own sites, those links do not need to be no follow. In fact, those stories written editorially are the links that Google values the most.”

For press release writing tips from 24-7PressRelease, click here.

Link Opportunities You Don’t Want to Miss

Link building is still an important component of SEO, as long as you are working at building the right kind of links.  A link that is worth attaining is from a quality source that is relevant to the industry or niche that you are in.  The best links are the ones that occur naturally when outside parties share your content because they find it valuable and useful, however those links take time to achieve.  White hat link building can be challenging, yet there are ways to build links by leveraging the content marketing that you should already be doing.

Incorporate links into these items right now:

Blog posts

A company blog is worthwhile because it showcases your knowledge and brand personality and generates trust among readers that may be interested in the products or services that you sell.  It also provides lots of SEO “wins” since each blog post adds a new page of content to your website that has the opportunity to rank and the search engines prefer websites that keep their content “fresh”.  Utilize a blog post for link purposes by inner linking to another page of your website within the post.  The first step is getting someone to find your blog post and then click over to it but ideally that new website visitor will take an additional action on the site and click around to learn more.  Encourage this click by using a keyword anchor text link in the post that links over to a related internal page of the site.  This isn’t necessary with every blog post but doing it every 2-3 posts is recommended.

Guest posts

Blog posts on your own site are great but in order to expand your content marketing and reach a new audience it’s recommended to review industry sites and look for guest blog posts or other content submission opportunities.  In addition to including a link in the body of the guest article (if it’s allowed) it’s also important to create an optimized “about the author” bio to be included with each guest post that includes some keywords and anchor text in addition to selling who you are and what you offer.

Online press releases

An online press release should be written and submitted to a paid press release distribution service online any time there is something newsworthy going on in the company.  It doesn’t need to be groundbreaking news, anything “new” will work as long as the topic is interesting or relevant in the industry.  An online press release has the potential to get picked up by numerous news sources.  Incorporate important links within the body of the release.  One link per 100 words is acceptable.  Link to the page of the website that is most closely related to the press release topic and a few other important pages.  Vary the anchor text so that it appears natural.

About the Author:

Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing, a Boston SEO company.  For more information call 781-999-1222 or visit http://www.brickmarketing.com.