A few weeks ago, Google’s Matt Cutts posted in the Google forums that links from within press releases do not “benefit your rankings.”
I covered this tidbit of news at the Search Engine Roundtable and it got a lot of feedback from the community. Today, the SEO Consult blog posted a test showing how links from within press releases can indeed have a ranking benefit in Google.
This was tested, ironically, on Matt Cutts blog, where SEO Consult issued a press release on PR.com with the anchor text “sreppleasers” pointing to Matt’s blog. The press release was indexed by Google and shortly later, Matt’s blog began to rank for the anchor text found within that press release link.
Here is a picture of Matt’s blog ranking for [sreppleasers] in Google:
So what do we make of Matt’s comment in the Google forums where he wrote:
Note: I wouldn’t expect links from press release web sites to benefit your rankings, however.
Maybe he means that it won’t help for competitive rankings? Maybe he meant specific press release distribution sites? I am not sure. I have emailed Google for a response and will update this story if I hear back.
For more on links, see our Link Building & Ranking In Search Engines chapter.