As we know, Press Release submissions or distribution have been a popular method to build trusted and authority links for websites. Still, recently Google surprised the webmaster community by adding press releases in their link schemes documents under webmaster guidelines. Google has mentioned with an example that:
“Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites”
If you have published a press release and trying to distribute it on other sites with optimized keyword-rich anchor text, you need to make sure to add “nofollow” attribute so that you should not violate Google webmaster guidelines.
Well, as we have seen, Google only mentioned “Keyword Rich Anchor Text” in their guidelines, So, how about if you link naturally on Brand Name OR Naked Eye URLs? Do you still need to have those links as “Nofollow” added, Do they still violate Google Webmaster Guidelines? So how to determine what is manipulative and what is natural linking?
Here we need to see if those links serve the purpose of the PR; if the links go to brands or products, they are sure to add value to the purpose of the PR for readers or end-users. John Mueller from Google in a video hangout, clarified some of these questions. According to John, if third-party press release sites themselves decide to write about your products or services and even if they add do-follow links, those are the quality editorial links that Google values the most. He goes further to say that direct links on URLs with “do follow” are fine; however, you can also add “nofollow” to be safer.
Whether it’s Guest Postings, Editorial, or Press releases, Google does not want anything which can be manipulative and affect its search engine results. So to be safe, try to avoid keyword-rich anchor texts.
Google’s Matt Cutts has been saying for a long that links within a press release do not carry much weight or pass the value, but as we are all aware that PRs have been the preferred method to get quality links, and in reality,,, they have been effective too.
It will be interesting to see how Google will go about press release links from past years like 2006 or 2007 etc., which are impossible to nofollow, OR the links from PR distribution sites or Syndicated contents where there is no control on adding nofollow attributes.