Lee Odden

PR Newswire Testing SEO Press Releases

PR Newswire recently tipped me off to a test press release service that promises SEO benefit:

“Off-peak press release with SEO via PR Newswire Reach news sites, portals, search engines, media”.

Apparently it is to be a 5 day listing on the home page of PR Newswire. There are 10 releases to start and they are being auctioned off over at eBay. If my bid wins, I’ll post about the process:

“Winner of this auction may distribute one news release of 400 words or less via PR Newswire’s US1 Newsline. Distribution timing will be at PR Newswire’s discretion, Friday through Sunday.”

Traditionally, PR Newswire has been the go-to source for investor relations and similar announcements as well as a channel for corporate PR news announcements. The test offers a press release of 400 words or less to be distributed at a time of PR Newswire’s choosing.

Personally, I think the reference to SEO in the description of the test is a bit of a stretch – unless PR Newswire is actually offering to optimize the content of the winning press releases. Distributing/publishing a release to reach consumers directly (in addition to journalists and media) with a possible side benefit of links is probably more on target. I have a feeling that the term “SEO” is being used loosely to mean exposure of press releases on search engines, which shows how many different perceptions there are of what SEO is.

It is interesting that PR Newswire is making more obvious moves to enter the realm of direct to consumer press releases and the idea that search engines are an extension of the channels normally associated with press release visibility.

The whole direct to consumer press release and application of search engine optimization to press releases was pioneered by PRWeb and there’s no sign of them stopping with new developments including support for new media releases and SEO tools.

My bias as a SEO practictioner makes me wonder whether any wire service can effectively offer press release optimization services that can offer real quality and value, but still be able to scale. At best, they can offer tools and automation of certain processes and that’s not much different than using software to optimize and automate submissions of web pages to search engines. Tools are important, but there is no such thing as “automatic” SEO whether it’s for web pages or for press releases.

David Meerman Scott also has some thoughts on PR Newswire’s venture and here’s a recent article with tips for Online PR.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. We sent out our first press release July 10th, 2006 through prweb.com which immediately was indexed through Yahoo. What was interesting is that Google did not index the press release and so it was only of value through Yahoo.

    Thought you should know.

  2. That is interesting because normally it is Yahoo that does not include a release and Google News will publish just about anything. In both cases, press release content is run through search engine algorithms and displayed accordingly. The important thing is, Yahoo News traffic dwarfs Google News. So it is better you had Yahoo news visibility anyway.


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