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I paid $80 for enhanced features to make sure I was in Yahoo, Google, etc.
Stats are that the press release was viewed maybe 26,000 times and picked up by 228 places.
However, I am dissapointed by the lack of clickthroughs. There are only occasional related referrals in my logs. I'd guess the press release has not made it to places that have targetted traffic.
So it hasn't been worthwhile from a traffic standpoint. Maybe I did something wrong. As far as link popularity, I don't know yet. It's only been a few weeks and I have not been credited with any links at Google, yahoo, nor MSN.
Have you done +domainname.com in Google news' search box? Your release usually shows within a few hours after posting and will stay in Google news for a few months.
The big question is there a way around the $80 to get in the major search news engines?
I would concentrate on finding a way to make your business truly news-worthy. Then, if you write a good press release, you'd get free publicity, and maybe some decent links. SE listings are a bonus.
There are tutorials about writing press releases on the 'net. I found them quite informative. Makes you really think about your business.
PS: Yes, I did get picked up by a national paper, and a regional radio station.
It comes down to this: What is your unique selling proposition, your 'killer app.', the good or service that, if just a few people find out about it, they'll tell their friends. It has to be 'What's in it for them?', rather than you.
You won't need SEO then.
Not sure at all I ever made Google News.
PRWeb made several screwups with my release that caused it to take a week to appear even on PrWeb. They did acknowledge and correct those things, so I'm not sure it made a difference. It did appear on 11/23 but with a date of 11/21 that put it on the bottom. They did give it a score of 5/5.
I did not get follow up emails or calls from news places - at least that left a message since I was out of town.
One factor is that there was no very exact category for my news - so it appeared in a more broad category than I would like. Given this, it is likely that news sites within my niche don't take feeds or leads from PRweb.
What TigerTom says is very relevant. I do have what I consider a killer app (in my own conceited opinion, of course, but a few customers agree). When users post about it to forums, I generally have a good blip in traffic and a few customer leads.
Given this, it may not be profitable for me to pay $80 for less traffic than I get from a few mentions in forums. But I doubt my experience is typical, so BettyM may do just fine.
I have probably spent $500+ on ebooks which I have read about PR. I did press sections on many of my web sites, wrote press releases and optimized most sites to a top 10 ranking in key niche phrases.
If I pay for distribution, for sure the release has 100% of the time hit MSN, Google and Yahoo.
Only one site has gotten into the Wall Street Journal and major magazines. Another site has been mentioned in a few major newspapers and niche magazines.
NONE of all the mentions were anywhere near the time of the press release. However, the media mentions do majorly impact sales. Would like to master this skill.
Search engine optimization is the bread and butter but these media mentions do spike sales for about 1 month. It is like Christmas. :)
I am in the same boat as you. If $80 gets you no real sales, then I need a cheap way to test the waters of press releases and learn the ropes.