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Secondary links can occur if other sites pick up the release and republish it. We see this occurring from both legitimate topical news sites and somewhat more cheesy scraper-type sites who want to suck up topical content. Sometimes the links make it into the republished release, sometimes they are stripped out.
Finally, once in a while an editorial writer will actually create an original article from the release, or use information from the release in a related article. They may even call for an interview. About half of the time, in my experience, an interview will result in a decent mention of the company/website; about half of those will actually link to the site from the online article. To get to the interview stage, though, you have to have a compelling release or very lucky timing (to hit the right reporter working on a related story).
As far as newsletters, 90%+ are published online in addition to their email version. Usually, they link to a site they are discussing; if you are a sponsor/advertiser, then you should make sure they will link to you properly.
Avoid wasting much time with sites that publish links with funky redirects (unless you feel their traffic justifies it), as you won't get the SE link benefit.
That said, some newsletters, once archived on a web site, ARE then crawled, and the links contained within them could then be counted. But some archives do weird things with their web versions, like embedding links for tracking or even removing links completely, and even if they don't, if it's a text based archive the links wont have any anchor text, just plain linked URLs, so if crawled you're depending on LSI for relevance and linkpop.
I advise to pursue coverage and links within email based newsletter for the value the audience brings, not the linkpop. Any linkpop is just a bonus. Classic example: Yahoo Picks of the Day/Week. Millions see these links via the email based newsletter yahoo sends, and they do archive them, but the true power comes NOT from the archive, but from the millions of email based readers.
As for press releases, the engines are getting smarter about realizing that a press release is not trustworthy, meaning the author can say whatever they want and link to whatever they want. So in time, links within press releases will become less valuable from a linkpop standpoint but still valuable from a reader-click standpoint.
Since everyone could just issue a press release every day and stuff it with deep links, the clock is ticking on that tactic for linkpop boosts...
Heck why not put your site map in the press release :)
The link from the press release will only really count if you can specify anchor text and/or you have a kw rich url. Otherwise you will rank well only for companyname.com instead of keyword keyword.
I disagree. Even if your anchor text is [url.com...] , the link might carry relevancy for the title of the press release page, and any keywords in the text *near* the link.
Release Title: Company Name Announces KEYWORDS
Learn more about KEYWORDS at [url.com...]