Press releases provide a launching point for company news and help businesses engage with clients worldwide. Since 2006, businesses have used internet marketing strategies to optimize press releases with linked keywords, also known as optimized anchor text. This practice proved to be an easy and legitimate way to increase their company’s searchability, until now.
Google recently updated the Link Schemes page in their content guidelines to include guest posts, advertorials, articles and press releases utilizing links with optimized anchor text. Google states that these “unnatural links” violate the guidelines because they are distributed to other sites, such as online news wires, and intended to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. If ignored, employers could find themselves at risk of penalties for spamming.
A recent article by PR professional and blogger Frank Strong listed three tips for writing press releases under these new guidelines. These tips are:
- Use links sparingly. The rule of thumb is one link for every hundred words. More than that tends to be an indication of spam content.
- Product anchor text is probably OK. If you have a product or brand name that you're linking to deep pages on your site, you'll probably be OK.
- Do not link to keywords in anchor text. If you link keywords in a press release, you will risk incurring a Google penalty.
Read more about the new Google guidelines.