Press Releases Should Be Done Every 90-Days to Maintain Authoritative Links

Jesse Neubert 🎓
Many individuals are not aware that MOST Press and Newswires (i.e. press releases (PRs)) only keep your release "live" for around 90-days.
Although we leverage them for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for clients, PRs are supposed to be "news". As the saying goes, yestedays news is, well, yesterday's news. And 3-month old news is relevant to no one.
The reason I bring this up is because we just had a client come to us and say (paraphrasing) "We want to remove the press links they are hurting our rankings".
This is beyond rare and odd (unless clients don't listen to our advice and go nuts with exact match anchors etc).
Upon inspection the DROP in rankings coincided with the EXACT timeframe when most of the major high authority links "dropped" off.
Which is why, in part, most SEO agencies and PR firms suggest a press release every quarter or as necessary.
By the way, this was our NOFOLLOW newswire. We do offer DOFOLLOW media links but this was nofollow.
1. No-follow links (in this case) showed a DIRECT positive effect on rankings when in place and a negative one when removed.
2. Press Releases should be (in most cases) done every quarter to maintain authoritative links.
3. Links in most newswires are "nofollow". There are exceptions and we have both, but by default expect "nofollow" links from providers unless stated otherwise.
Thank you for tuning into my TED talk 😎
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Marty Marion 🎓 » Jesse Neubert
Great post and info… thank you

Jesse Neubert 🎓
Thank you for the kind words Marty.
I'm most excited about:
A. That our PRs were not responsible for any negative rankings because that would have been baffling lol
B. Additional evidence that supports the use of "nofollow" links. We get a TON of orders for our more expensive "dofollow" media network but in this case we had clear evidence that "nofollow" links were making a real and positive impact. Which we all suspect, but its always good to keep seeing validation of it.
We see the same with our Wikipedia links (which are also nofollow). ALthough that's not a good apples to apples comparison due to its immense authority.

Thanks Jesse.
Can you please explain what you mean by going nuts with exact match anchors etc?

Jesse Neubert 🎓
The ratio of "exact match" anchor texts using your primary keyword or keyword phrase as compared to your overall backlink profile.
For example, many times a PR can be used to "dilute" your anchor text ratio quickly and safely so that you CAN use exact match on your most powerful backlinks without risking a penalty from intentional optimization for that keyword.
Jesse Neubert 🎓
Remember, each release might get published on 300+ sites.
That's 300 backlinks with whatever anchor text you choose getting picked up by Google.
Thank you, oh gawd I have no clue. Maybe this is a problem I have? Most PR I get uses my brand name or one keyword that I use too.
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Leigh
Brand name is good. Naked/plain URLs (in any combination is good).
Exact match keywords CAN work but you need to be mindful/careful. It depends on your existing link profile, niche/competitor practices, velocity of incoming links, distribution and more.
Generally though its not too complicated for us to just say "hey, we suggest you change your anchor text to 'this' and point it 'here".
If you buy your releases from a SEO agency or seller they should be able to advise you. Direct from PR web etc and you're on your own.
We try to do a QA check before we go live simply because its an area of promotion that many aren't as familiar with when it comes to the nuances.
Great info thank you. This is all 'proper' PR I.e. news stations (tv, radio, online) who interview me. Usually they point to my homepage.
Heng » Jesse Neubert
All 300 to home page right? Can you share a little how the context is put for affiliate or content sites?
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Heng
Lesser known or realized, but press links don't always have to be to the home page and work equally as effectively on say an "inner" sales page or "comparison chart" or even product review in the case of an affiliate site like you mentioned.
You are always required to include one "naked" URL to the homepage in the "media contact" sections, but links within the release itself can point to inner pages or even to "power up" other web properties like Google My Business (GMB), guest posts, etc.

Boom. I used Jesse for Cloud Data Summit back in September and we absolutely dominated rankings in our category. Easily outranking Oracle Database, IBM, Gartner, and all of the other industry leaders

Heng » Eric
Press release service only?
Eric » Chye


"No-follow links (in this case) showed a DIRECT positive effect on rankings when in place and a negative one when removed." <– Absolutely nothing else would have to happen on ANY of the sites for that to have even a remote possibility of being the case.

Jesse Neubert 🎓
Appreciate the negativity 🙂
Here's what we did.
We looked into it. Client had done no other SEO since then. Its in a niche that isn't known for aggressive SEO so we did a preliminary look at competitors above them to see if any off site campaigns had pushed competitors up, and by effect, our client down. Nothing of significance to note using Ahrefs. Sure anomalies can exist and people could be using Private Blog Networks (PBN)s blocking Ahrefs or other crawlers but unlikely in this case.
We did NOT look at "on page" optimizations done by competitors over the last month but the new ranking pages are not "new" content. That's not to say new pages and some internal linking couldn't be the culprit but all indications blatantly point to the drop in 300 is high authoritative links as the reason.
So yes. The fact that the loss of 300+ high authoritative links in a very short window, followed by a significant drop in rankings, outside of any other blatant effects or algorithm updates lead to our conclusion.
Thank you for your input.
Martinez » Jesse Neubert
"Appreciate the negativity" <– That doesn't help.
You're making a sensationalist claim based on magic.
What does "no other SEO" mean?
1) Did the site publish content?
2) Did the site earn any links?
3) Were any links already in the queue before it?
4) Was other content published in the site's topics by other sites?
5) Was other content in the site's topics removed by other sites?
6) Did other sites republish the press releases without the nofollows?
Search indexes by definition do NOT see or follow "nofollow" links, so you're taking credit for everything that goes on in the Web ecosystem with links that don't exist.
That says volumes about the quality of your analyses.
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Martinez
Of course not. In this case it looks obvious. No other indicators point in other directions. I'm not stating it as fact. But preliminary findings point to that as being the case.
I know you've been around for ages and are highly experienced. Are you telling me you've never ran tests with Wikipedia links or other MAJOR nofollow links and seen no movement that you could attribute to them? Not an accusatory question I'm legitimately curious.
We have and we more often than not can attribute some positive fluctuations to them.
Martinez » Jesse Neubert
" I'm not stating it as fact." vs "No-follow links (in this case) showed a DIRECT positive effect on rankings when in place and a negative one when removed."
That's a statement of fact. An erroneous one but a statement of fact.
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Martinez
Its the only factor I can attribute given the known data and information at this time. So fine, my theory, not fact, is that it had an impact.
No "sensationalist" claims here. There's a decent amount of case studies and whatnot out there to suggest that nofollow links hold weight as far as SEO is concerned.
I'm don't have the time to spend hours for free on an in-depth analysis and I never said mine was complete. In fact I stated the opposite to share with you what "little" analysis I did.
But to briefly answer your questions based on what I saw:
1. No new content. Competitors didn't publish anything new that was ranking but as I said may have published items that ARE making a positive contribution.
2. Nothing notable. Similar with competitors. Its a odd niche.
3. Not sure about any links in the backlog but good point. There could have been links that were pushed before we entered the scenario that had not yet been taken into account by Google.
4-5. Unclear on my end at this time.
*Well aware of Google's official stance on nofollow. Again though, I'd ask, have you never tested Wikipedia and other high authoritative no-follow links and NOT seen positive movement?
We have. Am I wrong? Maybe. No one knows for certain. Wouldn't be the first time Google says one thing and does another.
Case in point: Google says don't bother removing or disavowing spammy links because we ignore them (paraphrasing). Yet in many cases we see a very clear negative impact from negative SEO attacks even to this day.
Martinez » Jesse Neubert
" There's a decent amount of case studies and whatnot out there to suggest that nofollow links hold weight as far as SEO is concerned." <– All debunked.
However, given Google's announced change in the way they will handle "nofollow" going forward, it's soon to be moot.
Google is on record as saying they tend to ignore press release links anyway, so you have two strikes against you.
And since you now admit that you cannot account for all other factors and have conceded you're stating a theory, not a proven fact, I'm good with leaving this discussion as is.
People can read your talking points without tedious rebuttal from me. If they want to believe you, that's their decision to make.
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Martinez
I love when Google goes on the record. Just like when they go on the record about Private Blog Networks (PBN)s, or "spammy links" that we should not disavow, or that negative SEO isn't' a thing.
No one on the planet can account for "all" factors in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Because we will never have ALL of the information and even if we did, we wouldn't have the nuts and bolts of how that information is processed and weighted at any given time.
Why I'm being attacked for not having a magic 8 ball is perplexing.
I do sincerely appreciate your input. That said, I appreciated it more when you asked constructive questions.
Questions make people think and thinking is good. I encourage everyone to do their own tests.
Have a great evening 🙂
Martinez » Jesse Neubert
"I love when Google goes on the record." <– They know more about how their search system works than Web marketers who don't want to believe them.
You lose all credibility when you claim to know more about hoe Google works than Googlers.
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Martinez
I did not nor have I ever made such claim. Only that their algo does not always act in the way it is claimed to. Or rather the results don't always reflect its intention.
It would also be naive to not take into consideration that Google has to keep enough of what they do and how they measure it a secret.
Martinez » Jesse Neubert
"I did not nor have I ever made such claim"
No – you implied that whatever Googlers say about how their search system works cannot be trusted – further implying that only the B.S. Web marketers spread CAN and SHOULD be trusted.
I've heard this silly argument 1,000 times. It is as unconvincing today as it was 10 and 15 years ago.
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Martinez
Not making that argument. If that's how it read, it wasn't my intention. I will say that it has felt to me from my perspective that you've put a lot of words in my mouth that I didn't outright say.
Google's algo is far from perfect. Their intent isn't always reflected in how it acts or the results it produces. Which is why testing is so important. I will rely on testing and what works based on known data, vs relying blindly on the word of Google.
Not bc Google is hiding or lying or manipulating, but because the algo is an imperfect mess that does its best but doesn't always get it "right".
Wow oh wow. I see this from so many angles. Lol first I agree with Martinez second I think press releases help SEO maybe not the direct links but people who see it and link to it and the behavior. But that means they didn't die right?
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Nathan
Really you shouldn't believe either of us. Do your own tests. Look at research from others. Then make an informed decision.
There are guys much more in the limelight than I who have ran tests that don't sell press releases (PRs) and have no skin in the game that still support the use of PRs for SEO purposes.
Personally, I can't really be convinced that press releases don't move the needle because I've seen them work too many times to ignore it. So has Nix who has published countless client results, so has Web 20 Ranker (Mark's team) who has published many case results especially as it relates to Local SEO. Plenty of others out there that I haven't seen "debunked".
Are we all wrong and Michael right? Could be. I've never said Michael is wrong. I'm not one to speak negatively about others. He has his data and facts and I respect that. Its not what I see regularly, but I've seen merit in his points.
In fact, if there is interest, perhaps Steven Kang would be open to a "nofollow" link test Q1 to measure any impact or lack thereof.
But SEO aside, PRs do hold value in other areas such as public perception, building trust, supporting branding, building a reputation, controlling the narrative of your brand, using the "as seen on" on your site (potential conversion rate optimization (CRO) increase), etc.
Nathan » Jesse Neubert I agree with you both to a degree lol I know Nix he's great. They do move the needle I just personally think it's different factors than most people credit. I've done lots of my own testing as well.
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Nathan
True. Although this reminds me of one interesting way to think about the possibility. I'm going to say possibility here so as to not accidentally state fact.
In local SEO especially, citations are touted as one of the key aspects of ranking. Citations which are often NOT links. Simple mentions of a brand (including NAP info) in the context of a GEO location and/or niche.
Relevant contextual information supporting a brand. I'm not big into local SEO, but those that are give quite a bit of weight to them. Think of how crazy EVERY SEO gets about having Natural Language Processing (NLP) consistent across the web. That info is plain text, yet all data indicates it has a major impact on local Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Would it be so outside the realm of possibility to think that as Google analyzes content, they understand certain attributes of a brand such as its location, industry, authority, etc. and that this does not play a role in their algorithm?
And if so, would not a nofollow link be of even more importance than plain text.
This is all conjecture, but relational NLP utilizes similar (think of how DBpedia does it).
Nathan » Jesse Neubert
No I totally agree! Like I said I know press releases work if done right but like you said there are tons of factors.
I get great results for local clients ONLY running Press Releases and doing on-page. I recently had one where I kept all on-page alone and had my target keywords go from page 2-3 to page 1. One bounced to #1 spot and has stayed there for 5 weeks now. From only nofollow PRs targeting the right keywords.
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Brent
Love it. We see the same.
Specifically for local we like a GMB map embed, link to driving directions, CID link combo + plain text NAP info and plain text GEO markers.
Solid results. Happy to hear you're seeing the same!


Thanks for the share, Jesse. Do have a single press release distribution service that you use or do you mix it up? I've always gone with the market leaders, like Cision, because I felt it provided better brand credibility for the company. But obviously, the bigger syndication sites are more expensive.

Jesse Neubert 🎓
Good question. We run our own, however there are a number of good providers. Cision is solid. A little more expensive but worth the value.
It depends on the goal of the project, current backlink profile, etc., but I like a mix because we blend dofollow and nofollow links, and leverage them to power up other properties such as GMBs, top tier guest posts, etc.
For example, we have two distribution networks we use in-house, and we also leverage a couple outside services as well with bulk rates as a PR agency.
Jesse Neubert 🎓
Various networks might also be better suited to a particular goal.
For example, a lower tier, high volume distribution with nofollow links might be a good bet for safely manipulating anchor text ratios, dofollow-to-nofollow ratios, etc.
Cheers. Pick the right tool for the job, make sense.

Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Eric
Thank you for the kind words Eric! Humbling to hear. Both myself and the team appreciate you and the opportunity to have worked for your event.
For those that are unaware, the lineup of speakers and presentations at Eric's upcoming Cloud Summit in 2020 is mind-blowing.
The event is truly something unique in the space and I highly suggest checking it out.


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» Guest Post | Backlink | Press Release | Pagerank | Links Indexed By Google Start Affecting SEO (an Opinion to Discuss)
» Your Anchor Text Should EITHER Describe Why You Are Linking to a Page OR It Should Describe What the Page You Are Linking to is About

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