Lee Odden

Link Building Tips for News SEO

Link Building TipsFor those readers just joining us, this is post #8 in a series of 10 on the intersection of search engine optimization and public relations, “Top Ten SEO Tips for PR Professionals“.

Besides content optimization and making sure a site’s news pages and digital assets can be found and indexed, attracting relevant inbound links is the next most important tactic for improving search engine performance of Public Relations related content.

There are literally hundreds of ways to acquire good links. There are even more ways to acquire bad links, so knowing the difference can be important. Read more about that below. But first, we’ll describe some general guidelines for news content link building.

Whenever PR professionals execute digital communications, there should be links included in those messages. The best content in the world is unlikely to rank well in search engines if there are no links pointing in. It is essential that link sources (whoever you’re pitching stories to) are informed about the content so they know to link to it. Don’t just broadcast links either, give a reason why there should be a link and make it easy to do so.

news release link building

News content creation, optimization and ongoing promotion are all critical for successful SEO efforts.  Promoting optimized content makes potential link sources aware and increases the likelhood of link acquisition for news content.   Where should you include links?  Start with emails pitches, press releases, newsrooms and any other news content being published to the web.

Including full URL links in press releases can often result in an added bonus for link bulding efforts because some content management systems that copy press releases as content from newswire feeds will convert full URLs to a hyper link, but ignore or strip out anchor text links. Making it easy for readers of news content on blogs, newsrooms or elsewhere on the company web site to save, bookmark and share can also add to the link building effort.

General linking guidelines for news content:

  • Earn links with great content
  • Promote optimized news content on social networks, vial email, RSS and within past media coverage
  • Link up with marketing and business partners
  • Include links in pitches and other news content promotion
  • Cross link internally
  • Embed anchor text and full URL links in news releases
  • Social bookmark pickups

Many online mainstream news publications do not link out, but some do and blogs associated with online publications tend to be a little more liberal about outbound links. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of knowing to ask. When a media relations effort results in confirmation that a company, product or spokesperson will be included in a story, be sure to ask if the journalist would link to a helpful resource on the company site. Don’t just ask for the link, but provide something useful to link to. Many times a simple request and having a useful resource can result in the highest quality links you could ask for.

When promoting news content on social media sites (we’ll be covering SEO, PR and Social Media in our next post) it’s important that you’re sharing news content and that it offers unique and/or distinct value. Submitting press releases to social news sites for example, is rarely going to be productive as a way to attract positive attention within the social community. Social communities tend to distrust formal marketing communications. They do respond well to creative, clever and useful ways to communicate information and ideas that are not formal or overtly trying to “sell” something.

For an abundance of ideas on link building for traffic and SEO benefit, see these link building resources.

Have you found useful ways of attracting links to news content such as press releases, newsrooms and corporate communications?

We’re in the home stretch of our series on Public Relations and SEO. Next up is post #9 of 10: “SEO and Social Media Promotions with News Content“.

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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. SEO advice is always incredibly valuable. Its the hardest thing with marketing with so many methods that are ineffective and often with services offering SEO at high prices. This advice is great.

  2. I have to agree with this post especially at this particular advice “Earn links with great content”. Indeed, of you are going to link build then make sure you get yourself a number of quality backlinks. Not only are you setting standards for your page but also increasing the relevancy of the content of your site.

  3. Getting good SEO advice is hard to come by and it is one of the most important things if your website is to be successful.

  4. Avatar Toronto SEO says

    I also take advantage of all written content to get backlinks. There are some press release sites that allow in-content links with anchor text.

  5. did not know there was such a thing as a bad link.


  6. Press releases can be very useful link building. Drawing attention to your business both publically and web wise can bring huge benefits. Thanks.

  7. to get backlinks ist acctually hard work. web 2.0 and the nofollow tag make it difficult an I searching allway for new ideas to realise new links. Your post give me lots of new informations. thanks

  8. Link building is only easy if you know the ins and outs of where to link. Getting as much knowledge about where to link is probably the most important SEO tool. Hopefully this good information will help me develope my site. Thanks.

  9. This is the first time I’ve commented here and I must say you give genuine, and quality information for bloggers! Great job.
    p.s. You have an awesome template for your blog. Is it a free template or did you have it designed especially for you, I’d love to talk to your designer !?