The news really broke out just a few days ago with headlines like ‘Google validates that PR is SEO in patent filing,’ but what does this actually mean?
An article over at Shiftcomm discusses the details of the patent, however in this article I will summarize what this means for those in the PR industry that use press release distribution as a part of their marketing toolkit.
This quote from Shiftcomm(1), explains part of the algorithm (which made our heads a little woozy) and why it is critical, yet beneficial, for those using PR.
“The system determines a count of independent links for the group (step 302). A link for a group of resources is an incoming link to a resource in the group, i.e., a link having a resource in the group as its target. Links for the group can include express links, implied links, or both. An express link, e.g., a hyperlink, is a link that is included in a source resource that a user can follow to navigate to a target resource. An implied link is a reference to a target resource, e.g., a citation to the target resource, which is included in a source resource but is not an express link to the target resource. Thus, a resource in the group can be the target of an implied link without a user being able to navigate to the resource by following the implied link.“
Google is talking about what it considers to be first-rate, autonomous links to a particular site. Implied links could be ‘media placements’ of your brand, product or service that is found in media even if the media site publishing your story does not provide an actual link to your company’s website.
When your brand is mentioned online, through a credible source, this is now seen positively.
We have heard about co-citation for a couple of years and had a hunch something would be coming down the pipe (part of the Panda update). Recent discussion on the topic has been low-key, perhaps because of the complexity in the understanding of how it works, especially if you read about it on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-citation).
So what does this mean?
This means that writing and distributing a high-quality press release is more effective than ever. This means that what you write and how your write your press release should be of absolute top quality. In fact, if you have the slightest doubt about writing a press release, it should be written by an in-house PR person that specializes in this, or by a professional writer.
What this does not mean is writing about anything that comes to mind and stuffing it with keywords. Do not underestimate a patented algorithm from Google. We always recommend distributing a press release only if it is newsworthy, of interest and written for a journalist – not a computer.
When you distribute your press release, the benefits come when journalists rewrite (usually they will contact you first) your story and re-distribute it, someone picks it up and blogs about it, or even comments about it on Facebook. This is where social media comes into play and helps to complete a portion of the content marketing circle.
*1 Original article at Shiftcomm