Penguin 2.0, released last month, is Google’s latest update to its search algorithm and it continues the search giant’s trend of improving how it recognizes – and rewards – good quality links. As we all know this is the latest in its battle with dodgy link brokers, content farms and other shortcut takers who try to dupe their way to the top of the first page of search results. This shift is great news for PR agencies, because securing quality coverage for clients in respectable online news outlets and industry websites can be a huge boost to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

A link to your company on a website that discusses topics relevant to your industry and features similar keywords tells Google that your company is related to the industry and can be trusted as a good source of further information about those keywords.

A PR firm’s in-depth knowledge of client businesses and industries comes into play heavily here. First, PR pros can develop the relevant, quality content needed for content marketing and blogging efforts. Second, their relationships with the most influential websites that can carry that content create a winning formula for new age SEO. Content creation – be it blogs or contributed articles – is a key area that fits very comfortably in PR’s toolbox.  The number and variety of influencer targets for content of this nature is enormous. The scope to develop other types of content that can be linked to from publications – ebooks, whte papers, case studies – is also enormous.

Here are some tips for new age PR practices that can complement the links generated by old school influencer relations strategies and tactics.

1. Authorship and authority is growing in importance. If you blog for a client, blog for individuals and look at their social media channels to amplify the reach and build their authority.

2. Use comments and direct interaction on social media to build relationships and ultimately drive relevant traffic.

3. Diversify your content output – from press releases and bylined articles, extend outwards to infographics, videos and eBooks – and diversify your content promotion. Get creative in the way you use Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to promote your content.

4. Get strategic about the role of the different social media platforms in your communications strategy – avoid just pumping the same content out over multiple channels. For example, we use our SlideShare channel to exclusively promote our eBooks.

5. Broaden your blogging by inviting guest contributors and building partnerships. Look at ways to leverage their spheres of influence to drive traffic to your website and content.

This is just the beginning of the broader convergence of public relations, content marketing and SEO. And, so far, it looks like it’s only good news for those who are creating high-quality content and securing coverage in respectable news outlets for clients.


This post was first published by Martin Jones on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.