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Does Google look at PRWeb as a bad backlink?

 1:40 am on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Does Google look at PRWeb as a bad backlink? Also, to distribute a press release through PRWeb you have to pay $$. Does this violate there guidelines?



 10:37 am on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

From what I understand in web directory, Google doesn't like it if you can just pay and get your site listed in the directory.

They want strict review, where low quality sites/pages can get rejected. So that means you're paying them to "review" rather than paying them to include your link.


 10:57 am on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Here's a question to answer; what is the purpose of the press release?

1. SEO.
2. To issue an official statement to the media, shareholders, and general public giving information on a particular matter related to my business.

If the answer is #1 it's probably a wasted effort as google is likely not going to give you much love.

If the answer is #2 it doesn't matter what google thinks of it.


 2:04 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Press releases with major outlets cost money, all of them. It will not hurt you one bit, nothing. It will have no value because of the amount of releases everyday and the fact that your release goes deeper and deeper into the site daily...


 2:43 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Does anyone ever look at these sites except the people/companies issuing a release?

This is a genuine question, I've never, ever bothered with such sites!


 2:55 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google prefers to use scalable methods for determining whether a link will pass full, partial or no PageRank. In addition to on-page factors such as relevance of surrounding text, context of the web page, location of the link within the web page, there are other factors such as inbound link quality to the site and links to the article itself that lend authority for one thing (your site topic) or else do another (depreciation of PageRank due to general/fuzzy/off-topic to outright low quality inbound links to the site/page where your link is placed). These are all calculations for determining how much (real, non-toolbar) PageRank to flow to the linked site. This is not to be confused with algorithmic considerations for ranking the web page itself, in this case the press release.

These PageRank flow considerations are pretty much the same whether the site is a directory, a paid link, a viral link campaign link, a link on a widget, a link on a duplicate content article or a press release. It's not that the link is coming from a press release site that is the issue. It's all the other considerations I described above that are at issue.

So while some people will declare that article marketing is dead, that viral links can never be penalized, that infographics are going to be depreciated, you can see from what I posted above that a scalable solution for depreciating links is preferable because it will cut across all link types and contexts (viral, infographic, press release) and assign it a value for how much PageRank (or not) to flow.

For a real example (something happening right now), even in a case where the toolbar is fooled by links obtained by hacking high PR sites so that the toolbar displays PR 8 or PR 9, the algorithm cuts through the noise and won't rank it, despite what the toolbar shows. The cheating site with the high toolbar PR does not rank for anything because the algorithm isn't passing internal PageRank and isn't ranking it where it wants to be.

This ability or inability to rank should thus be a signal of quality for publishers who are wondering whether a site is worth obtaining a link from. Everytime I posit this notion, one or two link sellers chime in with self-aggrandizing denials. But think about the scalable methods described above and make up your own mind.


 3:36 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Are we looking at this in the wrong light? It may not really matter how Google see's the link on PRWeb. We should consider sites who fetch and manually read press releases in your particular genre or category?

If this site likes the press release and then decides to link to your website because of the PRWeb release, then it should be considered a successful press release.

In this case, PRWeb would be a good "one-off" source for naturally building back links to your site.


 3:55 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Propools, I agree with you 100%. I was addressing the specific topic under discussion. I would never even consider a PR web link as the link opportunity itself. The opportunity and the win comes from where it is republished, if it is republished at all.

Andy Langton

 4:09 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

To reiterate something that martinibuster is saying, I don't believe there is any "special" handling of PRWeb or any of the other PR distribution sites. Why would there need to be?

Let's say a PR site adds 1000 new releases a day, on average. That's more than a 1/4 million new pages every year. Even looking at it in a very basic way, any site seeking to maintain value across a new 1/4 million pages every year is going to need to be creating a *lot* of external value to support those pages. Worst still, that site needs to find a way to link to those pages internally to pass value. They can't really do that, so new releases get the most benefit, and older releases diminish over time.

So a press release site that merely publishes a release which gets no external benefit at all is going to be providing a very weak link that gets worse as it ages.

The same logic applies to direct distribution partners. If they simply republish everything that a PR site puts out, they have exactly the same problem.

It's not against guidelines (you pay for PR distribution) and it's not a "bad link" for some special reason that relates to PR sites. But if you expect any significant link value just from the PR site and its direct distributors, you're likely to be disappointed.


 4:32 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

The reason I started this thread is that I get a nice amount of traffic from my press releases through PRWeb. I'm not doing it so much for the backlinks but doing it more for the traffic for our new products. I just want to make sure If I distribute 2-3 PR's a week about new released products that these backlinks aren't going to hurt me long term?

I do have to say that if the press release is optimized correctly you can still get a good amount of traffic as they age. I still get conversions from PR's that are 6 months to a year old.

Andy Langton

 4:39 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you're happy with the return, then I'd say you have nothing to worry about - sounds like you are getting it right. That said, if by "optimised" you also mean "containing lots of anchor text links" then you might be wise to be cautious ;)


 4:53 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks Andy. I usually only put a URL link at the end of the PR. No anchor.


 5:28 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

(If you're getting actual useful traffic from them then congratulations cause you're the first person I ever heard of who did)


 5:33 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

The reason I started this thread is that I get a nice amount of traffic from my press releases through PRWeb.

That's interesting to know. Without being specific within which general widget area are you involved?


 7:39 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have made sales and boosted rankings thanks to online press releases websites. The most recent success I had was after I won a national competition which isn't well known outside my industry. I used this service to publicize that fact which lead to other outlets picking up the story and interviewing me. I wouldn't take the time to do it with boring stories.

You can do this for any industry as long as you have something that is interesting to publicize.


 7:47 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'd definitely steer clear of choosing your own anchor text as well as that'll look like gaming. But Matt has said that links from PR sites are worthless...it's more of who will pick up the news and write about it.


 9:09 pm on Feb 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm very conservative when it comes to links (I never create them, only earn them), and even I would have no issues with what you're doing. A no-anchor link at the bottom of the release doesn't scream manipulation in any way at all IMO.


 4:04 pm on Feb 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

When you say no-anchor link, do you mean that a keyword phrase is not used as the anchor text or the url is written in plain text?


 4:19 pm on Feb 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts did weigh in on the topic on twitter. There's an article that mentions it here:


Matt says it's neutral. From an seo standpoint, doesn't hurt, doesn't help. There is a link in the article, however, where someone tested and DID find some benefit.


 5:01 pm on Feb 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

When you say no-anchor link, do you mean that a keyword phrase is not used as the anchor text or the url is written in plain text?

Yes. Typically, just the URL itself or the name of the site.

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