The headline in a press release published by a noteworthy press release company, PR Newswire, implies some misleading advice for businesses. Consider an alternate view. Quality free press release companies can help you become No. 1 on all the search engines.

PR Newswire’s advice in 2012: “Reasons Why Free Press Release Sites Can Harm Your Business.”

PR Newswire is an excellent member-based global company. It does terrific work. The last thing I want to do is to get in a disagreement with such a stellar company. At the risk of appearing ostentatious, I’m qualified to address this issue (my bio).

PR Newswire is expensive. Its costly memberships are out-of-reach for countless businesses in this economy. Most businesses have to operate on a shoestring marketing budget.

Such self-serving advice can cause businesses to overlook quality free press release opportunities for a competitive edge on the Internet with countless mentions and quality links for search-engine optimization (SEO).

Claim in its lead paragraph: Most free press release sites can do more harm than good to your website, brand, and overall online reputation. The free submission service may cost you not only penalties from Google but also the hard-earned customers’ trust you have earnestly build for years.

Fact: Perhaps some free-press release sites “can harm your business.” Agreed, many free press-release companies perform poorly. But others offer stellar, free services for strong results.

If a free press-release company has a strong Google Page Rank – 3 or above on a scale of 1 to 10 – links from to a business Web site will result in numerous positive benefits:

  1. It will increase the company’s number of search results. Multiple press releases will help negative Internet comments by your competitors to help optimize your brand, and manage your Web reputation.
  2. Your Web site will go from a zero Google Page Rank to a higher number.
  3. A well-written press release will be published in search by Google, Bing and Yahoo.
  4. A good free press-release company promotes business Web sites by allowing up to 10 key words, which results in stronger branding and familiarity with customers.
  5. Authoritative press releases attract bloggers’ attention – they’ll publish your links or will republish your press releases. Many such links will serve to improve your Internet ranking.
  6. At least one free-press release company will build a news-release archive, which will have published links on Google (e.g. note these multiple links about me:  Biz Coach Terry Corbell Pressroom on PRLog (CMSAssociatesLLC) and Biz Coach Terry Corbell Business Profile on PRLog …).

Further, here are more PR Newswire’s errors by commission and omission:

Claim No. 1 –Why Free Press Release Sites Exist? The obvious answer is to give businesses an alternative way to syndicate their press releases for free. Also, most of these sites easily attract new users as SEO benefits are also featured as one of the advantages once a press release is successfully published. But, do these free press release sites really help you catch the media’s attention to relay your story to their followers, viewers, and readers? The answer is no.

Fact: Untrue. Free press release companies exist to make money – they insert targeting advertising – most often from Google AdWords.

PR Newswire is under the mistaken impression that companies decide to use free press releases instead of its expensive services to attract media attention. However, businesses and bloggers use free press releases for a more salient reason – for a higher Google Page Rank – and effective SEO (SEO: Strategic Primer for a No.1 Rated Blog).

Claim No. 2 – Free Press Release Sites Can’t Take your Story to the Media: As press releases are mainly created for the media, it’s definitely a waste of time submitting them to free press release sites which have no connection to journalists, bloggers, editors, and other influencers.

Fact: True, however, there are indirect exceptions – press releases can be picked up by the media for positive results. It depends on the topic and whether the information is valuable. My favorite example is a press release I wrote about a column:  “Expert Warns About Starbucks WIFI Security, Provides Tips | PRLog.”

A Yahoo Finance contributor saw the press release in Sept., 2010. After he mentioned it in his piece on Yahoo, my press release attracted 20,000 readers – 14,000 of them visited this business-news portal.

Years later, readers are still reading the press release on Google and subsequently read it on this portal.

Claim No. 3 – Not Indexed in Google News: As most of these free press release sites lack authority and credibility, the SEO benefits they offer are just plain promises. Google, with its constantly updated search algorithms, only indexed press releases from reliable press release networks. If Google is your main source of organic search traffic, then you should stop sending your press release to free PR sites and employ a reliable press release distribution company to take care of your press release syndication.

Fact: True. But PR Newswire fails to mention that Google only stores press releases for about 28 days. After the first day, such a press release loses its prominence. The press release is then mention in Google Search.

A good free press release shows in Google Search — where most Internet users search for information.

Claim No. 4 – Can Lessen Trust from Present and Potential Customers: Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What will you feel if you found a press release from the product you currently used published in a low quality press release sites filled with ads and low quality contents? How about a potential customer finding your products presented in a press release laden with poker or Viagra ads? As most free press release sites have no other way to raise income than to put advertisements on their websites, you content will suffer the effect of ads saturation.

Fact: There are good press release companies. This is a disingenuous claim. Quality customers won’t be surfing poor sites, in the first place. More importantly, the ads on a free site are usually targeted Google AdWords links.

Another important reality: If you have a lot of news-worthy content, you can successfully lobby Google to consider your site as a news site. Then, it’s less likely you’ll need to even publish press releases.

Finally, I’ve used for-profit release firms with excellent success. I’ve also used free services for excellent SEO results. Not to be gauche, this Biz Coach portal was launched in July, 2009. Based on related “biz coach” keywords, within months it jumped to No. 1 – in part, from quality publicity on a free press-release firm.

P.S. Here’s a tip: If you publish a press release about your content articles, make sure the press release headline and lead paragraphs contain different wording. Such paraphrasing will avoid Google only publishing the press release instead of your article.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are some helpful PR tips:

“PR is Performance Recognition.”

-Douglas Smith


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.