When Google released its most recent modification to the Panda algorithm, Panda 4.0, on May 20th, one of the sites reportedly hit hard by the update was the large press release distribution company, PR Newswire.
The company’s answer to recover from the algorithmic penalty is to “take action” against press release spammers through new internal quality guidelines for press release submissions.
SearchMetrics showed a significant drop in SEO visibility for PR Newswire, a drop ~63% after Panda 4.0 was released:
PR Newswire announced “new copy quality guidelines” that their editorial staff will use when reviewing all new press releases. They include:
- Inclusion of insightful analysis and original content (e.g., research, reporting or other interesting and useful information)
- Use of varied release formats, guarding against the repeated use of template copy (except boilerplate)
- Assessing release length, guarding against issue of very short, unsubstantial messages that are mere vehicles for links
- Overuse of keywords and/or links within the message
PR Newswire also promises to review older press releases by “analyzing press release data to identify and delete low quality content on an ongoing basis,” they said. They will remove any low quality content and press releases that do not meet these new strict guidelines.
Jason Edelboim, senior vice president of global product for PR Newswire, cited Google’s Panda 4.0 in his statement in this release, saying:
Google’s recent algorithm update is essentially a technology-based editorial guideline for content quality, and PR Newswire is aligning our processes with those standards to ensure that press releases distributed are high-quality, authenticated content. Google’s recent action targeting low-quality content in the Panda 4.0 update affirms the importance of ensuring press releases and other content distributed via PR Newswire’s network are of real utility and interest to journalists and bloggers, as well as the general public.
“PR Newswire is committed to continuously improving the quality of the content distributed via our network, website, and other digital channels in order to better serve the millions of journalists, bloggers and members of the public who read press releases each month,” said Ninan Chacko, PR Newswire’s CEO. “By reviewing each piece of content to ensure message quality, and deleting releases we find to be of low quality, we will increase the value of our content and website for our audiences, and limit the exploitation of content distribution for questionable SEO tactics.”
Ultimately, will this make a difference and help PR Newswire regain in their rankings is unknown. But time will indeed tell.
For more details on this update, see our Panda category.