Practical Guide To Building Inbound Links With Your Online Press Releases

Practical Guide To Building Inbound Links With Your Online Press Releases

Posted on 19. Jul, 2012 by + in Business Publicity

Link building hasn’t be easy for years. The search engines learned long ago that ranking websites based solely on the number of links that pointed to them resulted in poor search results. So, they evolved. And they continue to do so, tweaking their algorithms to improve their indexes. If you’re using online press release distribution to build inbound links to your site, this has a direct effect on your efforts.

With the most recent updates to Google’s algorithms, including the latest version of the Panda update, effective link building has become more complex than ever. It requires a refined approach, for which we’ll provide a crash course below.

Why Mixing Up Your Anchor Text Is Valuable

As you know, anchor text represents the text used to link to your website. It should contain your target keywords. For example, if your site specializes in high-end baby clothes, your anchor text might contain the words “designer baby clothes.” The problem is, a lot of business owners use the same keywords for their anchor text in every press release they distribute.

This appears unnatural to Google and the other search engines. This keyword saturation makes it seem as if you’re trying to “game” the algorithms. This is a dangerous path to tread since Google may penalize your site in their listings!

A more effective approach is to vary your anchor text with several target keywords (you should already have compiled a list). Not only does this seem more natural, but it will also draw more traffic to your site.

Link To Multiple Pages On Your Site

This is another common mistake. A lot of press release directories will allow you to include multiple links in your PRs. This gives you an opportunity to improve the ranking authority of more than one page on your website. Don’t waste it by pointing all of the links to the same page.

Suppose you’re able to include three links in your press release. Using our earlier example, point one link to a page about “designer baby clothes,” another to a page about “baby onesies,” and a third link to a page about “baby jackets.” Not only does this direct targeted traffic to specific pages, but it also expands your keyword coverage.

Broaden Your List Of Inbound Link Sources

When the Panda update arrived, many people discovered that relying on one or two sources for links was a poor strategic decision. More than one high-profile article directory suffered a major hit in ranking authority and traffic. This is a good reason to diversify the sources of your inbound links.

Submitting your online press releases to the same two or three PR directories may help improve your search rankings. But realize this will be less the case down the road. Use other web properties to expand your link profile. Look for press release distribution sites (like Online PR Media) that syndicate your press releases and content to quality outside sites like Docstoc, HubPages, and other sites. The more domains that point to your website, the better.

Should Your Press Releases Be Targeted To Low-Quality Sites?

One thing that Panda made clear is that Google has publicly shifted their ranking algorithms to focus on links coming from high-quality sites. This has been the suspicion of search experts for the last few years. But it has now been confirmed. A lot of people have responded to this update by ignoring low-quality PR sites, and instead focusing solely on those that Google considers authoritative.

This is likely a poorly-thought approach. To be sure, your press releases and other content should be distributed to high-quality sites, such as Google News, Yahoo!, Forbes, and AOL. But it’s also important to make your search engine optimization efforts appear natural to Google. That means that having your press releases show up on lower quality sites is important too.

Here’s an example: back in 2005, the nofollow tag was created. Its purpose was to tell the search engines that a given link should not constitute a ranking vote for the linked page. That is, the link should be given no ranking value. Many webmasters responded by ignoring all sites that used the nofollow attribute. Unfortunately, their link profiles began to appear unnatural, resulting in ranking penalties.

Don’t ignore low-quality sites. While the boost they provide to your ranking may be small, they help to balance your link profile.

Note how link building via online press release distribution has become an exercise in mirroring Google’s original intent. By valuing links from sites others consider valuable, the search engine can provide their users with a more positive experience. Write your PRs to accommodate this goal, and you’ll see your rankings improve.

Your Turn!

Have you changed your linking strategy in the last year thanks to Google’s changes? What have you done that’s working well?

Awesome rocket pic from Shoshanah!

38 Responses to “Practical Guide To Building Inbound Links With Your Online Press Releases”

  1. Christine OKelly

    Christine OKelly

    19. Jul, 2012

    Excellent, excellent points. Definitely want to reiterate the “mixing up anchor text links” in light of Google’s Penguin update. I’ve definitely noticed some pages being penalized that have to “homogeneous” of an anchor text link profile.

    Also the point about linking to to multiple pages — that’s a missed opportunity that I see a lot of people making. If you’ve got 3 opportunities to include links in a press release, use each one to link to a different page on the site instead of the homepage.

    Great stuff!

  2. Emily Woodhouse

    20. Jul, 2012

    In addition to adding a link or two within the body content of the press release as long as it is relevant to do so, another place to add a link is in the boilerplate of the release. One mistake that is often made is to use the same boilerplate over and over. The search engines like to see a variety of anchor text links pointing to your site. Using the same anchor text too often can actually lead to a penalty.
    Emily Woodhouse recently posted..RedX

  3. KJ buddy

    21. Jul, 2012

    @Emily Yes you are right, the use of anchor text too often can actually lead to penalty and @ christine you are alo right too , If you’ve got 3 opportunities to include links in a press release, use each one to link to a different page on the site instead of the homepage.

  4. Liyya

    23. Jul, 2012

    Not only was this a great overview of link building with your SEO Press Releases — but it provided a great explanation of what is happening to date with the Google ‘P’ updates. It seems like back then and even now (to-date) the golden rule with SEO is a always to have a good happy mix with your efforts. Too much or too little of anything won’t help your efforts and may even cause you to be penalized.

  5. kathy867

    24. Jul, 2012

    Natural placement in search engine results are gained by creating quality content that answers questions people ask on a regular basis. It is important to keep the content up to date and fresh and to add more information on a regular basis.
    kathy867 recently posted..GoPro HD Hero Fan Videos

  6. Angela Jordan

    25. Jul, 2012

    Great tips! Anchor text is soooo important and i like the idea of mixing it up and the great tip about pointing to several different pages on your site!
    Angela Jordan recently posted..How To Write Content That Your Audience Wants To Read

  7. Tara Geissinger

    Tara Geissinger

    25. Jul, 2012

    Thanks Angela! You are right about that! I always like to think about anchor text as an investment — the value builds and builds over time.

  8. Tara Geissinger

    Tara Geissinger

    25. Jul, 2012

    Thanks Kathy! Yes, quality content only becomes more and more important in online marketing. Answering the needs of your customers selflessly only leads to better rankings AND sales!

  9. Olga Hermans

    25. Jul, 2012

    oh my, lots to learn….I know that quality content is key which drops the alexa ranking dramatically. Great insight Tara, something to think about for me….

  10. Sue

    25. Jul, 2012

    I’m with Olga…. I know why this is important but truthfully just don’t understand how it all works… Need to go back to the drawing table in this area and relearn!!! Thanks Tara for some valuable information

  11. Sherie

    25. Jul, 2012

    I am afraid that I am a babe in the woods when it comes to this stuff about linking, etc. Always glad to learn more, so thank you for sharing all of this great info with us…I am going to have to print this out and study it!
    Sherie recently posted..Are You Feeling Stuck in a Boring Life? Here’s What to Do…

  12. denny hagel

    25. Jul, 2012

    Thanks for sharing this incredible information…I will be studying this a bit further!
    denny hagel recently posted..Why Kids Argue And How Parents Can Stop It!

  13. Kim Hawkins

    25. Jul, 2012

    Conceptually I understand the point of SEO but I get lost when trying to make it work. This is something I’ll have to keep “studying.”
    Kim Hawkins recently posted..When Does One Sentence Say It All?

  14. Michael McDonald

    26. Jul, 2012

    Great points. It kind of confirms what I’ve always believed. Keyword stuffing and using the same keywords over and over will eventually be harmful. Good content and sharing it with value and relevant internal links as well as backlinks is good.
    Michael McDonald recently posted..My P90X 30 day results

  15. Sara

    26. Jul, 2012

    I need to point to different pages on my site. I think I have yet to do that. Thanks for the great tips!

  16. Suzanne Jones

    28. Jul, 2012

    Really great info here. I was surprised about the keywords as I was always told differently. Good to know!

  17. Dr. Daisy Sutherland

    31. Jul, 2012

    Excellent information! It’s so important to choose your key words wisely as you mentioned being creative works very well and will help you in the end. Hugs:)
    Dr. Daisy Sutherland recently posted..How To Get Your First Twitter Followers

  18. Brian Mathers

    31. Jul, 2012

    Tara and all the ladies who have commented here, what can I say, at last a bunch of good people talking sense and addressing a very important issue in light of all that has been happening recently with algorithm changes and comments just in the last week from Google’s Matt Cutt’s on the topic of links.

    And, now I know why my own team here in Scotland is all made up of women. You all talk sense, your approach has no ego’s in their and looking at the comments in this post you all seem to have a steady hand on the tiller.

    With the Olympics on here in the UK you would all be up for an award if there was a category for just exercising the brain.

    Thanks everybody and special thank you’s to Tara in raising this topic.
    PS: The thing is we get all of this which has been spoken about here, but just how many small medium business owners even know what is going on here behind the scenes and just watching their site spiral downwards!

  19. Dr. Sarah David

    31. Jul, 2012

    Thank you so much for your great tips! I will need to incorporate this into optimizing my posts.
    Dr. Sarah David recently posted..Stop #8 On the Road to Brand YOU for Social Media Marketing Success ~ Your Tagline

  20. Tara Geissinger

    Tara Geissinger

    31. Jul, 2012

    That’s awesome Dr. Sarah! I’m glad we could help!

  21. Tara Geissinger

    Tara Geissinger

    31. Jul, 2012

    Wow Brian! Thanks so much for the compliment! :) You are very right — many small and medium business owners that I come across are very unaware of the nuances of linking properly. Overall, it comes down to having quality content and then having done the keyword research required to link to your content smartly. :)

  22. Tara Geissinger

    Tara Geissinger

    31. Jul, 2012

    Sherie — I completely understand! Let us know if you have any questions. We are happy to help!

  23. Edmund Lee

    01. Aug, 2012

    Wow! So much valuable information on here Tara! It seems that things are constantly changing, so when I can find info like this somewhere, it’s reassuring. Thank you!
    Edmund Lee recently posted..Get More Followers on Twitter by Increasing your Retweets

  24. brendan

    10. Oct, 2012

    Great information,I am a owner operator of a small business in Dublin and only trying to get my head around link building and anchor text.I have been using only one keyword so i have learned something today.Thanks Tara.

  25. Tara Geissinger

    Tara Geissinger

    10. Oct, 2012

    Thanks Brendan! Glad you liked it. It used to be that focusing on one keyword was all that it took. :) Nowadays it is best to use related phrases in your content as well.

  26. Locksmiths 365

    24. Jan, 2013

    Hi Tara,

    Fantastic read, we came to realize when creating back links to our Locksmith website that what you explained above about using a variety of anchor text links and the best one to use would be your company name. Google have got much better at identifying low quality directories and “anchor” text been used.

  27. Tara Geissinger

    Tara Geissinger

    29. Jan, 2013

    Yes!! The recent changes that Google made have definitely changed the way that we choose backlinks. Using your company name is a great tactic.

  28. Andrew

    11. Apr, 2013

    Thank you for this really informative piece i am a complete newbie to the concept of link building but your article really points me in the right direction thanks again

  29. Web Directory

    21. May, 2013

    Hi Tara, cool post. Really agree with what your saying on keyword anchor linkbacks. But I would recommend 90% of your links should contain your original business name.

    New Penguin 2.0 coming soon everyone better hold on tight!

  30. Kristina

    10. Jun, 2013

    Great article highlighting the importance of implementing SEO and PR tactics together. They both help to generate inbound links from quality sources, adding credibility in search rankings.

  31. chem2clean

    27. Aug, 2013

    Can anyone recommend a good company for seo…i have been stung in the past….thanks Brendan

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  34. Lisa

    02. Feb, 2014

    Very good post. Helpful info.
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