I would like to learn about this too.
This is only a problem if you post the PR verbatim, as opposed to ediring it carefully or using it to write an original piece.
Here's a thread on Editing Press Releases [webmasterworld.com] that you might want to read.
ken_b - thank you for the link. It explains a lot how to create or edit press releases (great). Still, nothing about duplicate content. Let's say your release is posted on couple of hundred sites (and most of them are not edited - meaning same content) who gets penaltized?
No one. Duplicate content doesn't get penalised - if anything it will just be ignored.
It doesn't matter in the end - PR on your own site shouldn't be targeting your core terms (you do this using unique pages of content) - if anything PR / articles that are distributed would target your brand term and possibly less competitive key phrases - they will never rank well for competitive terms, be it on your site or a hundred others.
Regardless, what is the objective of your press release? Exposure. It's not going to bring direct traffic and it's likely that inbound links from PR / articles are heavily discounted or even completed ignored. It's the buzz - the exposure that your PR creates that benefits you, both in terms of marketing and in terms of SEO.
Good ideas/thoughts - thanks MG :)
Thank you MG. You answered all my questions. Thanks.
What happens is your release is picked up by others, posted on their site. Googlebot picks them up and they slowly go into the supplemental index and count for very little. Same as with articles picked up.
I have articles picked up that for a short time provided links. Now, they have all gone supplemental. Any page they are on has pr0. It seems to help in yahoo and msn as backlinks but I think google completely ignores them.
There is PR (PageRank value) from press releases if you can get the story picked up as part of another story - so for example, an industry publication may see your PR and write about it in some way with a link back - those type of articles tend to have a much longer term value.
Press releases/Article submission have two main purposes. The first is to get exposure for your website, and it can provide this very cheaply, or indeed, for free.
The second is to get links to your website. Generally, press releases are shown on 0 PR pages, so probably doesn't help very much towards page rank.
However, if the press release itself gets listed high in the SERP's, it can create excellent exposure for a website.
Checking my b/l's I notice a considerable amount of press releases and other articles are listed, and are all non-supplemental.
Finally, I write these to get exposure, and not page rank. If that's a secondary benefit, then so be it!
Edit>> Sorry , I forgot to mention the dupe content question. My first ever press release/article was to introduce my site. It is now on hundreds of other websites/blogs, and so far it hasn't been considered duplicate content.
Ah if we're broadening the subject, I would also like to point out that there is a tangible value in optimising PR and Articles for brand and brand related terms - it's nice to dominate the SERPs for your brand term! ;)
This can be part of a brand protection exercise or even a damage limitation exercise if you have received bad coverage somewhere that is ranking for your brand terms.
Our main business site republishes press releases for the last 4 years without absolutely any problem.
No duplicate content, no supplemental pages, no penalty.
Generally I think the age of the site and how authority it's considered by Google are the main factors for success.
For many of the press releases, if you search for their title on Google you will see our page rank higher than the corporate original's one.
PS. FYI there are no direct backlinks in the press releases that we republish.