News Release Distribution Review 2010
This is the third installment of my running review of online news release distribution sites. If you’re finding these reviews for the first time, you should know that I’ll update this post as best I can throughout the year as sites change their offerings. Previous editions of my review can be found here and here.
This post has been a long time coming. Client work and family life keeps getting in the way, but the online distribution universe changes so fast, and I’ve received so much goodwill as a result of the previous two versions of my online news release distribution reviews that I had make the time to write this update.
Let’s take a look at a some good reasons to distribute your news releases online:
- By including a link in your release, you’re building inbound links to your web site.
- Your news is being spread beyond the boundaries of your web site, increasing the odds of it being seen by your audience.
- There is the possibility that it will be seen by new media or traditional media, leading to coverage from these outlets. This isn’t something I ever count on, but it does sometimes happen.
Disclaimer: There have been occasions where I have been given free “try out” release distributions. I do accept these because they allow me to sample different services, but I do my best not to let them sway my judgment in the review. I consider it the same as a product reviewer accepting a sample product. Disclaimers about specific services can be found within their reviews.
So, which is the best place to distribute your news releases to reach your goals? Below is a review of what I consider the best of the best, both free and paid. Feed free to add your own via comments!
No More Free Google News from PitchEngine
If you’re a fan of PitchEngine for online distribution of news releases, as I have been, you likely already know about the announcement this evening. For those who don’t — the owners of the site announced that they will no longer include free releases on the feed that goes to Google. What this means is that these free releases will not rank on Google News.
Here’s a portion of the announcement:
We’ve recently been targeted by spammers who are using our tool solely as a means to affect their Google rank, which is simply not in the best interest of our users, especially our paid subscribers. While it’s been a great asset for our users, it’s simply not going to work if this content goes unregulated. We’re also going to step up our SMR and brand authentication efforts to maintain the validity of content hitting our feeds – even for paid subscribers.
Releases from those who subscribe, and pay $35 per month, will continue to have releases streamed to Google News.
I realize that nothing stays free on the Interwebs for long these days, but PitchEngine was an outstanding free way to create and make available attractive social media releases. Now, because the management of the site wasn’t able to police submissions properly, no one gets to take full advantage unless they pay.
I’ve already seen on Twitter a bit of a backlash to the decision, and some support of it. The response from one of PitchEngine’s site builders to the critics has been to say the spammers are to blame, and that the move adds to the value of the paid service.
Spammers are not going away and they don’t care what you think, so if you blame them for anything, you’re wasting your breath. They’re like the common cold in that way. And, as with the common cold, taking a few precautions will help reduce the chance of “infection”. Changing the way you do everything seems a bit extreme.
Note: I’ve updated my ongoing Review of Online News Release Sites to reflect this change in policy.
The SEO Value of Press Releases
Jiyan Wei, a product manager from PRWeb, posted this week on his blog a great overview of press releases and SEO. He runs through the history of SEO as it relates to release distribution, and gives a number of recommendations on how to write a release that will help your site’s search rankings.
Jiyan mentioned that he’d been getting a lot of questions about the SEO value of news release distribution. I suspect that many of the questions came from attendees of the PRWeb webinar in which I presented on Wednesday. I know we got a lot of them during the session. I told Jiyan through Twitter that his blog post was a wonderful overview on the topic and is one that I’ve been meaning to write. Now I don’t have to!
News Release Distribution Review UPDATED
NOTICE: This review is now out of date! Please check out my updated review for 2010:
One of the most popular blog posts on this site is my April, 2007 review of online news release distribution services. Because this review is so popular, I feel a responsibility to keep it updated. I last updated the original post in September, and since then I’ve been promising a complete overhaul. Now … here it is!
News Releases: Poorly Written Blog Posts?
I just happened upon a post written by Richard MacManus on ReadWriteWeb, a very popular technology blog, about the inclusion of online news release distributer BusinessWire on the Techmeme “leader board“. The leader board lists the top sources posted to Techmeme. MacManus was discussing how Business Wire‘s news releases were competing successfully with bloggers for attention. Note that PR Newswire, another online press release newswire, is also included rather high on the Techmeme list.
What struck me about this post is a comment from Techmeme’s founder, Gabe Rivera: