The Real SEO Value to Using PRWeb

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from PRWeb customers is “What is the SEO value to using PRWeb?”

There a lot of different opinions and perspectives an this topic and in the aftermath of our recent release, we wanted to take the opportunity to share our official perspective.

First and foremost, we’d like to affirm that PRWeb is not designed to automatically create links back to customer Websites. This type of service would be a pretty egregious violation of industry best practices, devalue our own product and ultimately be a disservice to our customers.  Google is pretty explicit on how they feel about link schemes.

When it comes to SEO, our perspective is that PRWeb amplifies the reach of a customer’s message by distributing their news release to a large group of highly relevant stakeholders (e.g. journalists, bloggers, publishers, etc.). If a customer’s story is compelling, it will receive subsequent traction through these intermediaries. The more traction they receive, the more interconnected their online presence becomes with the Web and “interconnection” is a key determinant of domain authority in search.

In other words, SEO is an outcome of using PRWeb properly; not a direct benefit.

To help better understand how we facilitate customer interconnectivity, consider the following:

1. News Search

PRWeb gets customer news onto major news sites like Google and Yahoo! News that receive tens of millions of monthly visitors.

The Top 25 news sites from Journalism.org (click thumbnail to enlarge)

News search is not only a great way to reach consumers but also journalists and bloggers. According to Bulldog Reporter & TEKGROUP International, nearly 50% of journalists use Google or Yahoo! News as a resource.

2. Web Search

Over the past year, Google has placed increased emphasis on the “quality” of content.  Their Panda update was designed to push low-quality sites further down and provide  ”better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”

PRWeb’s editorial framework is based on a blend of journalistic tenants and online best practices.  It ensures that a steady stream of high-quality, original content is hosted on PRWeb and as a result, PRWeb.com is currently the most highly trafficked news release site on the Web.   This means that a well written article hosted on PRWeb will have a great chance of being found by those interested in its content.

Consider a recent news release that focused on the “consumer impact” of “Big Data.” A targeted query shows how the PRWeb article is nestled among an impressive array of influential publications.

Query results for “consumer” AND “big data” (click thumbnail to enlarge)

By crafting high quality content on timely and interesting topics, customers have a great opportunity to connect with highly relevant stakeholders.

3. Direct subscribers

PRWeb was one of the early adopters of RSS and in combination with our opt-in e-mail subscription service, we are able to deliver releases directly to over 300k subscribers each day.  The potential link building value to this distribution service shouldn’t be underestimated.  In 2010 we surveyed the e-mail subscribers and learned that over 60% identified themselves as being members of the media.

4. Visibility to bloggers

One of the link building tactics that has gained a great deal of momentum over the past five years involves reaching out to bloggers.  Bloggers typically have more editorial flexibility than an editor or journalist at a more traditional publication and the barriers to getting placement on their channel can be far lower.

For years, PRWeb has received the most traction of any newswire in the blogosphere.  Originally, this was driven by our early adoption of RSS and development of blogger-focused tools.  More recently, we partnered with Zemanta to get PRWeb content directly in front of bloggers when they were actually in the act of writing.

The Zemanta Widget showcasing several articles from PRWeb (click thumbnail to enlarge)

Our blogger network helps ensure that a customer’s news release will have the best chance of gaining traction in the blogosphere.

5. Visibility to traditional media

When it comes to domain authority, the holy grail is a hit in a traditional media publication.  To help customers reach the media, we partner with the Associated Press (AP), the largest and most interconnected news agency in the United States.

Premium visibility releases are actually distributed directly to the editorial desks of the top newspapers throughout the United States through the AP.

6. Web syndication

In our most recent release, we announced the inclusion of about 200 local sites to our syndication network, which brings our current total to just under 600.  Syndicating content to theses sites helps our customers reach an extended audience that can be localized (e.g. San Francisco Chronicle) or more topically focused (e.g. Website Magazine).

As Matt Cutts explains in this informative video on link building, one of the best ways to build links is to participate in the community.

To reiterate, our view is that links are the outcome of creating and sharing high-quality content and making connections with others.  PRWeb is a  tool that helps customers dramatically enhance their ability to reach relevant stakeholders and become more interconnected on the Web.