In early August this year, Google announced that it is a violation of their Webmaster Guidelines to use links in news releases in an effort to increase one’s search engine results. They have issued penalties to sites that are adopting this method. This means a news release can be penalised if it has keywords as anchor text, keywords listed multiple times, or links not listed as “nofollow”.
One way to avoid Google penalties is to give up keywords stuffing. Keyword stuffing is an old SEO trick wherein a web page would be created that was filled with the same phrases or words over and over again. With this technique, search engines looked at those web pages as authorities on the topic. Google has since penalised web pages that have used this method and now have turned their attention to news releases that follow the same policy. So be sure that your new release does not use keyword stuffing and you should be fine.
There are times that new releases are distributed all across the Internet. This usually means that the same release, with the same copy and design is posted and present in different locations across the web, on your own website, as well as on other news websites. Google now considers this against the rules. Organisations like PR Newswire and BusinessWire will create “nofollow” links in your releases and links to an original article. This ensures that search engines do not deem to be duplicate content.
Good web copy writing practices usually entails one external link for every 100 words. This rule however, does not hold true for news releases. Your site can be penalised if your release has lots of links and follows the same rule. The trick is to create your release with “nofollow” links. This ensures that search engines do not view it trying to beat the system.
When you create the link in your release, a “nofollow” tag is what you add its HTML code. These tags provide people with more information about your products and services, while telling search engines not to visit the site you’ve linked to. Make sure to add “rel=”nofollow”” at the end of your hyperlink when you link to a site in your release.
Anchor text is the copy or text used when you create a hyperlink to something else. Google would see anchor text as spam if it doesn’t correspond to what is begin offered in the hyperlink. The trick is to make sure that you always follow the “nofollow” link rule and that your anchor text isn’t a keyword.
Google new penalty policies haven’t really killed the news release. All they are trying to do is bring the very best web experience into focus.