Are Press Releases Relevant for SEO in 2020?

Are Press Releases Relevant for SEO in 2020?

What are press releases and how did they help in SEO promotion?

A press release is a short text written specifically for publication in online media. The purpose of this content is to interest journalists to mention the event, the company itself, or its products in trustworthy news sources.

In 2009, SEO press release was one of the most popular tools for getting backlinks. The placement of such content helped not only to increase the link mass but also to get referral traffic to the site from users. Find out more about quality backlinks in our article Build High-Quality Backlinks. Each time a source gets a repost, a link leading to the target site is automatically published. Here are a few points why the promotion of press releases worked 10 years ago:

  1. Most sites that allowed you could post content had a domain registered for over two years. This factor reduced the likelihood of deletion from indexation as well as other fines from search engines.
  2. The resources that hosted the press releases were trustworthy transferred their “weight” to the promoted site. This is one of the key factors in improving ranking.
  3. For a fee, sites included content in the newsletter. This allowed them to get additional traffic and increase the number of backlinks.

But the problem with a press release for SEO was that they began to be abused. The platforms hosting such texts were poorly moderated. Instead of relevant information for the target audience, the content contained useless information and was created solely for the purpose of obtaining backlinks. If the text had a large number of keywords and anchor URLs, they could fall under the sanctions of search engines. Read more about sanctions in the article Google Algorithms That Affect SEO.

From 2009 to 2019, a press release was a relatively cheap way to promote by building up a link mass that was not always of high-quality. Now such content has lost its relevance. Why this is connected, along with how to create high-quality articles for the media will be discussed in the following sections of the article.

Are Press Releases Relevant for SEO in 2020?

In 2020, press releases Google SEO are no longer relevant for receiving a large number of backlinks. This method of promotion is not only ineffective in terms of promotion, but it is also costly.

Here’s what Google spokesman John Muller said about this:


The quote was taken from an interview on YouTube:

In addition, Rand Fishkin from MOZ conducted a study in 2019. He found that the value of anchors has decreased significantly.


“If previously anchor links were among the prominent ranking factors, then in 2019 they were not even included in the top ten. A large number of such URLs had a positive effect on Google’s ranking results. ”

However, a search robot can still consider such a link even though the effectiveness of posting a large number of press releases is quite small. You’ll end up spending time and budget. Therefore, it is definitely not worth using this type of content as the main tool for website promotion in 2020.

This does not mean that press releases and SEO are no longer compatible. Now the challenge is to create user-friendly information. You increase the likelihood that your article will interest journalists and they will post a link to the site on a trusted resource. In this case, Google will index and determine the URL as a good one, which will favorably affect the ranking results.

How To Write SEO Friendly Press Releases In 2020

To receive high-quality press release links, you need to write interesting and relevant texts. If this is done correctly, journalists will be interested in them and publish the link in reputable online media. In 2020, content is no longer quoted just for the presence of anchor links.

We have prepared instructions for you regarding how to create an SEO-friendly press release:

1. Filling with keywords

A press release search is conducted for certain key phrases. Most often, journalists search for interesting content through geolocations. Therefore, it is desirable to include the name of a city, a specific area, or the street in the headings and in the article itself.

Brand queries also improve search results. Many small media outlets are looking for local companies to write about them and provide a link to the official website. Learn more from the Local SEO Checklist 2020 article.

Include trending queries. They can be tracked using Google Trends. You can choose the relevant keywords for a specific region and a promoted business niche. For more information, see How to use Google Trends for SEO.

2. Concise and attractive headlines

The goal of the headline is to get attention. It should fit the basic information about what this article is about. It is advisable to include a brand request in it.

The most relevant for journalists will be headlines, events, and charity events. The demand is for research publications, case studies of companies, and presentations of new products. Clickbait headers practically do not work. We talk in detail about interacting with bloggers and online media in our Blogger Outreach article.

3. Compressed text

A press release is a short article. It should not exceed 400-500 words. The first paragraph plays the role of “bait” and should include the main request. For example, Tesla presented a new electric car.

Then you can proceed to write the main body of the press release. It is advisable to dilute the text with headings and subheadings so that the information is easier to read. You can learn more about how to format an article from the Meta Description. If the article is about the release of a new product, then it is recommended to indicate at least the approximate cost and features of the order. If we are talking about a conference, it’s worth voicing the date, location, and time of the meeting.

4. Availability of CTA and contacts

End the press release with a call to action as well as contact information. Journalists and potential consumers may want to contact you.

You can add links to active accounts on social networks, so you will have another opportunity to get traffic. For example, if users want to see information on social media, they may want to visit your site afterwards.

Posting content is better on paid trust sites. Free similar SEO press release websites don’t interest search engines. The publication of articles on such sites may adversely affect the results of the promotion. In addition, they are hardly visited by journalists and users, so they are practically useless.

SEO press release services lost their relevance in 2020 as one of the tools for link building. Google representatives have confirmed that such links will not be taken into consideration when ranking sites.

In addition, obtaining a large number of backlinks may result in sanctions from the search engine.

However, such content is not entirely useless. You need to reconsider the strategy of creating press releases, make them informative for users, and create relevancy for large media. Only in this case, you can get high-quality backlinks that positively affect the site’s positions in the search results. 

About author
Anna is a content manager and copywriter since 2013. In 2017, she started working as a copywriter and editor at a digital agency. In 2019, she began to cooperate with a SERM agency. The main responsibility is writing of the corporate blog. In 2020, she completed courses in SEO-optimizer and began cooperation with SeoQuake as a content manager.