Does Press Release Distribution Still Work to Help SEO in 2019?

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( — January 29, 2019) — If you’re no stranger to SEO, you must have heard about press releases at least once. Most people don’t use them often unless something is pressing that needs to be shared. Back in the day, press releases were very popular. Almost every single SEO expert you came across had published a press release at some point in time. The challenge, however, is whether or not press releases are still an important part of SEO, especially in 2019.

There was a time when people used to talk about the end of content creation. Content creation has survived tumultuous tides and looks like it will still be alive for years to come. The same applies to press releases. Press releases are not just important in SEO, but they play an important role in marketing too. As an avid webmaster, you should look into ways of mastering the concept of press releases, so that you can use the knowledge learned to improve your website’s online presence.

What Are Press Releases?

A press release distribution is a publishment where you use the press or media to announce an event. It’s often prepared and sent to newsagents so that they have relevant information about a specific event. Press releases are official statements, highlighting the official position of the brand behind the news.

While most press releases are shared in written form, these days press releases are also prepared and shared in audio and video form. A press release is an ideal way to inform people and get their attention about a specific event before or in the process of organizing it.

Press releases are important because the information about the event in question is shared with media outlets and authority channels on social media, and it gets the attention of publishers, agencies and other interested parties who might be interested in consuming that information. This is the hierarchy of events to which a press release is addressed.

Event planning – preparing a press release – distributing the press release to agencies and media outlets – recipients access and digest the press release – recipients publish their version of the press release as a news report.

At the moment, commanding media attention is not one of the easiest things to do. It gets even worse for editors and managers because they’re constantly receiving reports and press releases from a lot of interested parties. The work of these entities, therefore, is to filter and curate all the press releases that they come across and make sure that only the best and most newsworthy items make it to publishing.

Thus, explains the importance of platforms for the press release. Without them, you would have to distribute your press release to a publisher. Instead, the press release is sent to authoritative distribution channels where reporters and publishers are always fishing for interesting news pieces.

While these platforms are great for your press release, it’s important to mention that in recent times, they have also become home to spammers. You, therefore, need to be very careful about how you go about this.

Let’s have a look at how your website can benefit from these platforms.

The Importance of Press Releases for SEO Purposes

Publishing information about an event or your company through some of the big news sites is an important step, not just for the brand or company, but also for SEO purposes. The concept here is to take advantage of backlinks.

Getting popular websites to discuss your brand is not one of the easiest things to do. However, if you get them to do this, you benefit from quality backlinks, which will boost your internet presence. You will also enjoy backlinks from webmasters who use these networks for their news pieces.

It might seem easy, yet the amount of work involved in getting quality backlinks is one of the most difficult things that any SEO expert will ever have to handle. Most people end up purchasing links or using other underhand tactics to get backlinks. The challenge lies in getting the backlinks naturally without any shortcuts.

If you’re using press releases properly, you should get all the necessary attention without worrying about underhand tactics for backlinks. This explains why press releases are often treated as one of the best tools for creating quality backlinks. How is this so?

First, press releases give you the capacity to generate quality backlinks very fast. The backlinks you generate through press releases are natural, which means you don’t have to worry about being penalized. If you handle your press release as you should, it will work wonders for your brand. If you don’t, you might waste a lot of resources, and still get penalized.

Do Press Releases Still Work?

For you to get attention on the Internet, you must use press releases. You have to keep pushing your content out there to get the attention of people you want to. Publishers will always be on the lookout for something that’s interesting to their audiences.

One of the best things about using press releases is that they create a chain reaction which doesn’t just end up with quality backlinks, but they also bring about attention on social media through comments, likes, and shares. The fact remains that as long as news reports are part of the society, press releases will always be important.

Why is it that press releases are considerably less important than they were some years down the line?

One of the biggest challenges that press releases face is dealing with spam. Given that a lot of people currently depend on SEO and the Internet, editors and journalists are spam targets each day. It’s increasingly important for them to filter the stories they come across, making press releases less effective in the process. This is not just about SEO, but also about accessibility.

The second challenge affecting press releases is penalties. Some years back, press releases were important because of news coverage, and the fact that they provided easy access to links from a variety of distribution networks.

As soon as SEO experts started running away from link building, it became obvious that press releases would lose the attention and importance that they had. However, is this the end? No! Not by a mile.

If you focus your attention on the things that matter, like improving the quality of services and products that you offer, and creating press releases that are focused on getting the correct attention to your audience instead of relying on gathering backlinks, then press releases will be an important asset for you in 2019.

For press releases to work to your advantage, you need to focus on generating quality ideas that your audience will appreciate, instead of targeting backlinks. What you need is at least one reporter from one of the authority networks to pay attention to your company’s content, and the rest will follow through. Chances are high that you could get featured if your focus is on a single reporter.

A good example is if you work for a graphics company. Target a reporter who’s an avid gamer, and there’s a good chance that they will love your content. Look for a reporter who’s a dedicated parent and can relate to parenting and children topics if you write news about childcare. Other than these, you can also use LinkedIn and Twitter to share messages with reporters.

How to Make Press Releases More Effective

Creating an effective press release might not be one of the easiest things, but it is possible. The following are things that should feature in your press release if you want it to be effective.

It must:

  • Be distributed to a variety of important places
  • Include interesting news items
  • Include a catching headline
  • Be short

Your press release shouldn’t just be targeting SEO, but it should be structured in a way that makes it appealing. The following are some things that you need to avoid whenever you’re writing a press release, especially if you want it to be effective:

  1. Never write for the sake of producing a press release. It’s not mandatory that you have a press release every month. Publish a press release only when you have something important to get people excited about. The problem with churning out press releases just for the sake of it is that you end up creating a boring reputation, and when you have some good content, people will already be bored, and will barely give you attention.

  2. Avoid spamming as much as you can. The more you spam editors, the easier it is for them to blacklist your emails and they might even set filters to skip their inboxes and go straight to the trash box. No one likes spamming. Besides, if reporters notice that your emails keep being distributed from time to time, they will filter you.

  3. Don’t post your press release to many platforms. It’s advisable that you focus more on the platforms that are important and relevant to your audience. You might come across a few places that might be sensible for your location and audience, but make sure you check them out and choose those that are ideal. You can come across a very good site for your press release, but it might not be the right one for the audience that you’re after.

In case you’re unable to produce amazing press releases on your own, there are many service providers out there today who can write amazing press releases for you.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Free Press Release Distribution


  • It’s a cost-effective approach for brands that are cash-strapped and don’t have a sizeable budget for a marketing campaign.
  • You can share press releases on social media.
  • It’s the ideal opportunity for you to gauge the effectiveness and appeal of your stories without spending money.


  • While free press release distribution may be attractive, you will only get services as good as what you have paid for.
  • Press releases can be published, but that’s not a guarantee that they will be distributed.
  • Press releases stay visible on the website for a given duration of time. You must pay more to keep them on display longer.
  • Press releases are often accompanied by links and ads, which most audiences want to avoid.
  • There’s no customer support offered, which means that you’re on your own once the press release is out.
  • There are no reports or analytics associated with your press release, so you cannot tell for sure how far your press release has reached.
  • There’s a good chance that your press release could come loaded with ads from your competition.
  • Google has a bad attitude towards free distribution networks. They are usually considered spam networks, and could harm your ranking online, and your SEO.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Paid Distribution


  • Over the long-term, this is a cost-effective approach.
  • You have press releases distributed to lots of portals, search engines, and media networks.
  • Your press release could be published to the specific industry that you’re targeting.
  • The majority of paid services have customer support services.
  • You receive reports and analytics on your press release which help you study and understand how the release is performing. You know how many people have seen your press release, how many page views it has gained etc.
  • You can choose a specific audience for your press release. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend on it, you can have the press release targeting national, regional, state or local audiences.


  • Quite a number of paid press release services barely provide the publicity you need.
  • Even with the analytics and reports, some of the ROI from press release services is questionable.
  • Most of the paid services provide you charts of numbers and figures, but these might not translate to the sales and conversions that you need.
  • All page views might not turn into conversions. This is something that you have to think about. The press release services might offer you page views, but there’s no guarantee that these can be converted into revenue.
  • If you’re worried that you’re paying too much on paid services, it’s cheaper for you to pitch to journalists directly.
  • You should spend time studying different press release distribution services and find the best press release distribution service for your needs.


If you have an SEO campaign, press releases are useful and will remain useful for many years down the line, especially if you use them well, and you don’t abuse the process. It’s true that press releases might not be as popular today as they were back in the day, but when you do it right, a single press release could be all you need to get amazing results online.

If you plan on making press releases a part of your marketing campaign, make sure you understand the things you should and shouldn’t do, as outlined above. You must also keep the pros and cons at the back of your mind, whether you’re using paid or free platforms.