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.”

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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.

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.

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Josepf Haslam, SVP Digital Marketing of Jennifer Connelly Public Relations in NYC shares some tips on Video Search Engine Optimization.

Your video is not a Field of Dreams. If you simply build it no one will come. VSEO is important because the Search Engine “spiders” or “bots” are your first audience. Search Engines need to understand your content and index it correctly before it can be found by someone searching. Performing Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) will help you get your videos found.





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This post was first published by Blaise Lucey on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.

Does anyone really need a Google+ account?

A lot of people have been asking this question lately – especially at tech PR firms like March, since we do a lot of work with clients on their social media strategies. We know that any social network is an investment and you want to make sure that the investment will pay off.

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It seems that lately everyone’s been preaching about SEO (search engine optimization) and how it’s the key to a great website. And while it’s true that you want your website to rank highly on Google and in web searches, there’s more to a great website than just SEO. Read more

Jani Virtanen of Marketwire came and visited the March office for a ‘Training Tea’ session—he gave us insight on how we can increase our client’s online visibility and SEO and elaborated on the in’s and out’s of Marketwire.  What was useful about this presentation was Jani’s tips and recommendations on how we can best utilize press releases for our clients.  But before we dive in to these helpful tips, it would probably be helpful to know what actually influences SEO?

SEO Factors:

  • How frequent does your content changes?  This is one of the main reasons why having a company is important.  Everyone a new post is added to the blog, it registers with Google and bumps up your SEO that much more.
  • Use of keywords.  Identify keywords that are important to your client, and what people are searching for online to find your client.  A good start is to identify 20 or so words.  Try and include these in your press releases, website copy, blog, etc.  The more frequently these words are used, Google will begin associating these words with your client.
  • Hyperlink to credible sources.  If you link to a source that already has a high SEO with Google; Google will associate that particular source with your hyperlink.  Your hyperlink should be linked to a descriptive word—instead of hyperlinking “to download, click here”; try “download Immunet Protect”.  Also, quality matters with hyperlinking—don’t hyperlink 15 words to your company’s website.  Google will recognize this and disregard your content.

Now that we know how SEO plays a role.  Consider these statistics:

  • 98% of the media start each new trend by doing a Google search
  • 76% of the media search sources and experts on Google
  • 73% of the media search for press releases on Google.

Nearly all of the media are using Google to research and identify new trends and three-quarters are using it for background purposes.  From a PR perspective, knowing the influence Google plays on a journalist’s stories and news, don’t you want your client to appear within these searches?  To increase client’s SEO efforts and have them appear within these searches try the following:

  • Use Multimedia—if your news wire service allows for multimedia, whether it is graphics, videos, podcasts, etc., upload them.  This registers well for Google and will increase your client’s product or company in a search result.  This feature is also more appealing for the user who is viewing your press release, as it is more engaging and interactive.
  • Use Google Ad Words—this allows you to identify the right keywords when you are writing for your client.  Try and use these keywords in all of your online content.  Particularly for press releases incorporate these into your headline, first paragraph, body of release and boilerplate.  Ideally, the optimal keyword density for press release should be 2% —this is the percentage your keywords should account for in your press release.

This post was first published by Nicole Miscioscia on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.