Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PR News Releases - Influencing the Search Results

Did you know that online news releases can influence your website’s search engine ranking? Indeed it can!

Carefully crafted news releases are released almost daily by the major players in the floral industry with the intent of influencing search engines. Yes, these news releases are real and not spam which is why most of the time they are a successful part of a SEO campaign.

Case in point is a news release by that just hit Google News hours ago. In that release, the SEOs for carefully crafted specific anchor-text links that I’ve highlighted in red below. [click here for actual release]

Notice that on two instances of their brand name they purposely left the “1-800” portion of their name WITHOUT a hypertext link. The reason for this tactical move is to influence their ranking for the keyword “flowers” in the search results since ranking for the keyword “1800flowers” will never be a problem. 

Yes, for them, it is important to continue ranking 1st for the keyword “flowers” so they must continuously plant these type of link structures (called link-votes) throughout cyberspace. National news releases can cost very little ($50 to $150 and up) compared to the payoff.

Having said that, Google is very much aware of this practice and has targeted the more popular "paid" news release outlets in an effort to slow such efforts. But smaller florists can implement similar practices on the local scale with greater success using reputable local news outlets. You too can have a double agenda. Just make sure the hyperlinks are carefully crafted in your favor.   


Anonymous said...

Love your blog, but I think you might be in danger of falling into a "conspiracy theory".

This press release was not issued by 1-800-Flowers, but by a company called "". It looks like this is simply a case where they left a space between 1-800 and "Flowers.Com" and the automatic hyperlinking kicked in (note how the next reference to their name is all hyperlinked because it has a dash connecting everything).

When I look at press releases from the actual 1-800-Flowers, they always hyperlink their full name. It'd be very unprofessional if they did otherwise, and I doubt a company as big as that would do anything like that.

I'd be careful about posting things like this, as you may be giving them ideas!!!

Mark McFall said...

Thank you for your response and concern.

I have seen this type of news release in the past with 1800flowers & Proflowers so I wrote based on what I have observed as a possible pattern.

I also know that as long as they use different companies to distribute these releases it will be difficult for Google to stay on top of.

Regardless if it was accident or not, as I think you would agree, these type of accidents work in their favor.

Thanks for posting.

Mark McFall said...

Here is another recent press release where the same tactic is employed: