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PR sites have lost up to 60% visibility on Google: How to adapt

Numerous articles have been published, primarily in the US, about how Google's recent major algorithm update affects the press release distribution industry and ultimately global public relations.
According to available studies, the top press release sites-including PR Newswire, Business Wire and PRWeb-are losing between 60 to 70% of their visibility on Google since the update. It's no secret that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be tricky, especially with the constant battery of changes and updates that stream from Google. What can you do to stay on top? For starters, you can focus less on Google and more on high-quality content and exposure.

The perils of a fragile model

What can we learn from the loss of Google visibility experienced by the top press release sites? It demonstrates the fragility of the model used by these major companies.

In essence, they provide their clients with one thing: online visibility. It's much like putting all of your eggs into one basket. Hence, they are entirely dependent on Google. When Google makes a change, their model is instantly and adversely affected.

The benefits of leveraging a "wide angle" model

Press release distribution and monitoring are vital to PR success, but in 2014, online and international reach aren't enough.

Other models to use:
  • The most effective PR tool in Africa is the mobile device. It reaches the broadest market.
  • Social media reach has grown increasingly important. In fact, Twitter exposure is practically a prerequisite for press release success.
  • When it comes to press release distribution in Africa, we've seen the big picture. Instead of focusing services to meet the solitary need of visibility, we have chosen to focus using a wide angle. As a result, the company's model is not derailed by the constant shower of Google algorithm updates.

Avoid outdated "do-it-yourself" company models

The model used by major PR companies is outdated and over complicated. Most companies push the client into a "do-it-yourself" mould, forcing them to fill out a PR form and tackle everything from creation to multimedia upload themselves.

Unlike outdated companies that primarily rely on online reach, a media list which gathers journalists and bloggers is an effective way to create and distribute country-based press releases.

The beauty of this strategy is its lack of dependence on SEO, ranking and Google Panda; it instead hinges on email deliverability. A press release distribution service cannot be -only- an automated network of sites that copy and syndicate news releases online.

APO (African Press Organisation) has been and is the sole press release distributor in Africa since 2006. Their success has been contingent on choosing a different, stronger model and online visibility is just a small part of the company's media reach.

About Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard is the Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization) (, the sole press release distribution service dedicated to Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa. Used by some of the world's largest companies, PR agencies, institutions and organisations, APO Africa Wire has a potential reach of 600 million. Contact: Twitter: @apo_source
Shannon Ramlochan
Press releases aren’t just about increasing online visibility. PR is a critical method for gaining earned media, building awareness and acquiring audiences. PR Newswire clients tell us the press releases they issue have resulted in a significant increase in media pick-up and coverage--including television placements, such as Good Morning America (with no pitching!). A survey of our PR Newswire for Journalists community, which is 30,000+ members strong, shows that 50% check wire services at least once a day—and 68% use releases for story ideas.Despite the changes in Google’s algorithms, high quality press releases are still indexed, found and read by people doing granular online searches. A recent study by Inkhouse PR found that press releases are still the most trusted source of company generated news: PR Newswire has taken action against spammers by removing low quality content from our website and enacting more stringent copy guidelines to ensure content quality. These new guidelines are enhancements to our already robust press release acceptance guidelines, which include verification of sources, authentication of the sender’s identity and attribution to the source, among other requirements that all messages must meet before distribution by PR Newswire.In addition, PR Newswire continues to invest in building a comprehensive distribution network that reaches a vast global audience across a variety of channels, including:- Thousands of media outlets, via direct news feeds;- Information databases like Factiva and LexisNexis;- More than 10,000 websites worldwide, where feeds of relevant news releases designed for their audiences are displayed;- Over 70,000 social followers on social channels, via over 50 carefully curated, industry- and topic-specific presences on Twitter and Pinterest.
Posted on 23 Jun 2014 23:56