When You Send Press Releases Does Google or Yahoo Know?

In my seminar and ebook on shameless self-promotion, I share how I’ve received international media coverage by doing my own public relations. One of my suggestions is to send weekly online press releases because they will boost your search engine rankings and attract reporters and clients. (I am on the first page of Google for my expertise and this is just one of the things I’ve done to make this happen…without using Pay-Per-Click.)

Several fee-based services are available for distribution of your media releases, including: BusinessWire.com, PRWeb.com, PRNewswire.com, BlackPR.com, USAsianWire.com, and HispanicPRWire.com. 

In addition to improving your search engine rankings, online press releases could get picked up by Google News and Yahoo News. This is important because 64% of journalists use these two sources for story ideas, 79 percent of journalists find story ideas from newswires in general, and 74 percent from Websites [Arketi 2008]. I started digging more into Google News and Yahoo News and what effect sending an online press release has on it, and which services produced the best results (showing up on the news sites).

In checking the Google News and Yahoo News archives, I discovered that some free press release technologies such as PRLog.com don’t even show up. I also found that although the fee-based service, PRWeb.com, costs less to use than PRNewswire.com per release, it shows up WAY more: 45,200 compared to 14,400. And BusinessWire.com leaves them all in the dust with 161,000 results.

I’m going to have to dig a little deeper to find out what makes one service get so many more results over another. I’m sure it has something to do with the popularity of the sites and how many links there are to the site, but I want to discover other related factors. I’ll update this post when I do.

The service that I use, FastPitchNetworking.com, doesn’t show up either, but it’s terrific for keeping me high in the regular Google search. And I can send as many releases as I want to for one very low monthly fee. I used PRLog.com for the first time last week and am waiting to see how my press release (Email Etiquette in the Workplace Can Reduce the Stress of Email Overload) will place in a standard Google search (that is, not in Google News). This is important because journalists also do regular searches, not just on the news sites.

The bottom line is that before you pay for a wire service, check before you buy. Here’s how.
  1. Go to http://news.google.com/archivesearch and search for all news releases from the service you’re considering.
  2. Type the following and replace prweb.com with whatever service you’re considering (see site:prweb.com in the search box. Google will return the press releases on this site only.)
  3. Then check the total of results.
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  1. Hello Peggy. On posting weekly press releases, what do you consider good subject matter for these press releases? I thought they would be used to announce an event, hiring of new employees, etc., which do not count for weekly events at our company. Suggestions please? Thank you!

    1. Hi Lori, since I pay a flat, monthly fee to Fast Pitch! (instead of paying for every press release I send), I send them about anything I can think of. The things you’ve listed are perfect. It’s not news to the media but when you use the right keywords, your Google rankings improve for those searches. So when people are looking for your service, expertise, or product, you’ll start to show up.

      For instance, when it was reported that then President-Elect Obama was addicted to his BlackBerry, I wrote a press release with tips about how to cure the addiction. Within a week, when you type “cure BlackBerry addiction” in Google, my site showed up on the first page. This leads to all kinds of media interviews.

      Hope this makes sense. Go ahead and be as shameless as you can be.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this information. It is so interesting to find out how all this works. As sales manager for 3 hotels and business owner in video production, I need to understand how to boost our rankings in the search engines. I enjoy your tips and blog updates. Thanks for your help!

  3. Purely from a backlink perspective, we see a much better bang for the buck from the blogosphere than the PR wires. The links are stronger and contextual when on-topic blogs are identified – where a short mention in a newspaper can be rather diluted…

    That isn’t to say businesses should stop releasing news! On the contrary. Press releases need to be an integral part of any firm’s on-line and off-line campaigns.

    1. Depending on your goals, a media mention is important because a 3rd party recommendation adds more credibility. You’re perceived as an expert in your field, and for my business and for the people I wrote the ebook for, that’s crucial.

  4. Thanks Peggy. Have you seen studies (sorry I can’t quote…) showing the trend of journalists and writers away from newswires in favor of blogs? I’ve read similar articles and just wonder if you have seen it too.

    1. Hi Scott, with 74 percent of journalists getting stories from Websites, this most likely includes blogs (especially since search engines love blogs). What do you think?

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