Google News still includes press releases in the news that it aggregates. What’s more, press releases fall outside of the Google algorithms because they’re considered news. Anything with news is by definition, current — so it goes right to the top of the search engine results page (SERP).
Assuming, that is, your press release was truly well created and is being read widely and is appearing on an authoritative site. Because even if the algorithm changes don’t affect them because they are news, you still need to produce high-quality content, even if it’s a press release, if you want to rank high on the SERPS.
- Keyword Rich Content — Will your audience be actively searching for the terms you use? It’s important that you include terms that your audience wants information on. Use keywords and keyword phrases that your audience will search for. But, don’t stuff, be natural, write for humans.
- Targeted Content — Does your audience care about the content in your press release? It’s important that someone out there wants to read your news and share it with others. If no one wants to read it, it won’t matter where it is. So, write it for your audience.
- Placement of the Content — Is your press release appearing on valuable websites? If your piece is well-written and appears on authoritative websites it will get noticed more by the search engines and your target audience.
- Well-Edited Content — Does the press release have spelling and grammar errors? Now, you’re not going to get punished for a small error here and there, but obviously unedited and unrefined content, even within your writing, is going to be ranked lower than something that is more refined.
- Complete Content — Is the content comprehensive and complete or does it only tell part of the story? Is a substantial amount of information missing so as to make the content questionable? Writing a press release that does not tell the whole story, or only one side of the story, and that is too short, can cause the content not to be ranked as highly as more inclusive content.
- Proper Headline — Google only says that “a headline should include at least 10 characters and be between 2 and 22 words long.” Not very helpful. In truth, a longer headline, but no more than 120 characters will be more effective because it includes more search terms. Also, it’s important not to use puns like was fashionable in the paper newspaper days. Instead, use keywords that your audience will recognize so that they will click through to learn more about your niche topic.
The important thing is not to stop using press releases. If you don’t currently submit them, start now. Create and submit to reputable news agencies that announce important events, original information, and unique news that is of real value to humans within your niche and you will see a substantial reward in terms of SERPS.