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Google Did Not Kill PR, but Newswires Might Want to Worry
By: Mike Bush
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My Flack Me colleague Ashtan Moore stole my thunder recently discussed how Google’s algorithm change can have consequences for some PR practitioners. The main takeaway from the recent shift in algorithm seems to be “don’t be spammy” (which seems like a close cousin of Google’s ‘Don’t be Evil’ motto).
 
If you’re concerned about the effect that previous firms you’ve worked with may have had, check out a recent post on the Shift Communications Blog on how to disavow links you believe may be hurting you. (I’m pretty sure I did that correctly... anchor text that’s relevant to the story and fits within the context of what’s being discussed).
 
The real groan you heard when this story crept up should have been from Newswires, like PR Newswire, BusinessWire, and PRWeb. Many of their sales techniques have revolved around explaining how many linkbacks they can get for a press release (I believe all of them have SEO services as an add-on as well).
 
Around eight months ago, I wrote a piece for Flack Me asking what value the wire services really provided in today’s world:
 
Would a post to a corporate blog, along with a Tweet from the corporate Twitter account, accompanied by personal emails from corporate communications (or a PR firm) to the relevant reporters and bloggers in a space, and uploaded to Yahoo Finance via RSS (for public companies) effectively replace the Wire Services we use today? Yes. Would this save companies (tens of) thousands of dollars, which could be used to hire stronger writers to create more compelling content? Yes. Would more compelling content be shared more often, re-reported more often in targeted media, and lead to better search engine results? Yes!
 
Seems like Google and I are on the same page, and the recent shift in their algorithm may be something that puts a hurt on the “added value” the newswire services provide.


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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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