This post was first published by Rachel DeFrank on Interprose’s blog, Interprose Voice.

Does a day go by where you, personally, do not utilize Google? We use it so much that it was added to the dictionary as a noun and a verb in 2006. In fact, four years ago, the American Dialect Society chose “Google” as the “most useful word of 2002″.

Read more

This post was first published by James Gerber on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Google Algorithm Panda Press Release Image via Creative Commons/Google Headquarters by Shawn Collins (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Recently, Reuters discovered that Google quietly changed its algorithm to increase the prevalence of press releases in Google News search results, which presents a tremendous opportunity for organizations to more widely raise awareness for their news.

Less than a year ago, Google’s Panda 4.0 update devalued press releases as a SEO tactic, in response to far too many companies distributing press releases with zero news value to boost search rankings. As a consequence of rooting out spammy content, legitimate announcements were unfairly penalized, and the traffic to most of the major wire services, such as Business Wire, PR Newswire, etc., dropped almost overnight.

However, despite numerous bad apples trying to game their site’s SEO, businesses have continued to utilize press releases for their original purpose, to publicly share important information that their target audiences, stakeholders and industry influencers will care about. Read more

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

Ray Kurzweil, Google’s director of engineering, told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month that the future of online search is a new, unexplored frontier. Google will eventually refine its algorithms so that the search giant can “actually understand the content of the Web pages,” instead of simply matching user-entered keywords with highly optimized pages. He predicts that search engines will reach “human-like” levels of comprehension within five to eight years. All of this is leading toward what the content marketing world labels “semantic search.” Read more

This post was first published by Hanah Johnson on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.
Recently, one of my colleagues circulated an article that caught my attention: Did Google Just Kill PR Agencies? In this article, veteran tech reporter Tom Foremski discusses Google’s updated Webmaster rules, particularly with regard to link and keyword strategies within press releases. The updates are intended to do away SEO overload that might manipulate Google’s PageRank algorithms, by prohibiting excessive linking and repetitive use of keywords. Foremski describes it as an “unnatural boost to the popularity of a piece of content” and a blatant attempt to “trick [Google’s] algorithm into ranking a site higher than its allotted position.”

Read more

how-to-get-out-of-the-google-sandboxThis post was first published by Michelle Pittman on JCPR’s blog.

Forget everything you thought you knew about search engine optimization (SEO).

Google recently implemented significant changes that will put an end to optimized anchor text in articles and press releases distributed on other sites. This announcement heralds a sea of change in the way that companies leverage back-linking in press materials to increase their visibility among search engines. The process of linking to a company’s web pages using search engine keywords—the phrases searchers use to find companies, products and other information online — have ended. The parameters Google has put around this practice, which include limiting the violation to distribution on other sites, dramatically impacts the content that is posted to commonly-used newswire services. Read more

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

This week’s fake news release announcing Google’s supposed $400 million acquisition of ICOA, a little Rhode Island-based wireless company, has seen an awful lot of blather in the media and social sphere about how this could come to pass and who is at fault.

Read more

A few weeks ago, I blogged about how Amazon beat both Google and Apple to put music in the cloud, even though they sidestepped some strict U.S. licensing agreements. Well, it turns out Google was not too far behind with the launch of their own musical cloud service, which came out just six weeks later. But was Google following in Amazon’s footsteps too closely? Read more