press release

Google Flip-flops Regarding Press Releases

For quite some time us SEOs have been using press releases as one of the many things we help rank our own sites and our client’s sites. They allow us to get our client’s info out to many different media outlets and their websites with links back to our client’s site from authority websites. These links then help our site or our client’s sites rank higher.

Last year, Google decided to reduce the value of press releases as an SEO technique because a lot of companies and search engine optimization companies were distributing these press releases that were of low quality and added no news value what-so-ever. Even though Google made this change, a lot of businesses were still using press releases for what they were intended for.

Now, Google has changed their mind and their algorithm to give press releases more value in their search results. This means that companies can now use press releases for SEO value again.

Business 2 Community wrote a blog post about the change:

Don’t Call It a Comeback: Google Just Made Press Releases More Valuable

Recently, Reuters discovered that Google quietly changed its algorithm to increase the prevalence of press releases in Google News search results, which presents a tremendous opportunity for organizations to more widely raise awareness for their news.

Less than a year ago, Google’s Panda 4.0 update devalued press releases as a SEO tactic, in response to far too many companies distributing press releases with zero news value to boost search rankings. As a consequence of rooting out spammy content, legitimate announcements were unfairly penalized, and the traffic to most of the major wire services, such as Business Wire, PR Newswire, etc., dropped almost overnight.

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seo is not dead

The Rumours Of The Demise of SEO is Premature

Everyday I read through blogs that say SEO is dead. Usually this comes from either:

  • Fear mongers
  • People trying to sell a product or informational book about getting traffic without SEO
  • Uninformed journalists not in the SEO industry
  • People saying the new SEO is social signals

Obviously SEO (search engine optimization) is not dead. It’s still very much alive. Just look at the first page of results for things like “buy viagra online” or even “las vegas personal injury lawyer”. Every single web page listed on the first page is there due to SEO.

There are hundreds of ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. A few of them are listed in this article:

Google Ranking Factors: SEO Is Not Dead

Tyler Collins – Huffington Post
CEO, Orange County SEO.

First, stop assuming SEO is dead because the rules changed. If you are a business owner with a website, or a digital marketer offering services, you are aware of how important it is to connect with people interested in the products or services you or your clients offer. You also know the power of search marketing, and how useful a top position a search can be.

SEO criteria frequently changes and becomes more difficult, so many website owners (and so-called SEO professionals) fall out of their practice claiming that SEO is dead – this could not be farther from the truth. Obviously, people are still using search engines to source information, products, and services, therefore, if your website has content people should find, you should still be optimizing your website. The sky hasn’t fallen and SEO still works.

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The rules for SEO change many times a year at the whim of Google and their algorithm. This means that anyone doing SEO has to change their strategy along with the algorithm. A few of the general things you can do to rank better are:

  • Better and longer content (1000 words or more is ideal right now)
  • Content optimized for “things” not “strings”
  • Original images on each page
  • Backlinks (other websites linking to you)
  • Social signals – (eg. Facebook likes, Twitter tweets, Google +1s, etc.)

Of course, those are very general topics and there is much more to each in order to get your site to have better rankings. Doing just one of those things mentioned won’t be enough. A successful SEO campaign includes all of those things in order to rank as high as possible.

If you are wondering about search engine optimization for your website, give us a call to talk to us about how our Vancouver SEO services can help you.

don't be evil the documentary

Don’t Let Google Get Away With This


On October 4 of 2013, Google released the updated version of their algorithm which included their fifth confirmed release of the “Penguin” update. Google called it “Penguin 2.1”. This update was far more punitive than the previous updates and decimated businesses. Some lost everything. They went from having lots of traffic to none overnight within a few hours on a Friday afternoon.

Businesses everywhere live or die by their listing in Google including lawyers, dentists, home renovation companies and even one person house cleaners. Their listing means more leads and more customers. But what happens when Google takes this away from them? Google can control whether a business lives or dies with an algorithm change. Not only does this effect the owners or management of a small business, but the employees as well.

No Way Out For Over a Year

After the “Penguin” update in October of 2013, Google didn’t run the update for over a year. Those businesses that were affected by the update were left wondering what they had to do to recover without any answer from Google. Essentially, they were punished for a year without Google giving them any chance to fix what they did wrong. Some didn’t recover after the update in 2014 because they had no idea what they had to do in order to get out of the penalty. They didn’t take the steps necessary likely because they had no idea what the steps were. It wasn’t like Google gave step-by-step instructions on how to fix it or even some sort of assurance that this would help. We came up with a solution for businesses that came to us after being penalized that helped them recover in as little as 10 days (ask us how if you disappeared – click here). But imagine the thousands of businesses that didn’t have that solution.

Some businesses were forced to buy Google Adwords (pay-per-click) ads in order to be found in search results again so that they could acquire new leads. This can be incredibly expensive if you consider that keywords like “dui lawyer phoenix” cost as much as $190 per click. No wonder Google’s ad revenue in 2013 was over 50 billion US dollars. They hypocrisy is that Google tells us that businesses shouldn’t buy links to get on the first page of their search results yet Google sells those links each day.

Negative SEO – Thanks Google

This punitive strategy has also spawned negative SEO. Now your listing on the first page of Google’s search results can disappear because of strategies that someone else is doing to you. That means that someone can partake in activities that will have your site’s rankings drop or have your site vanish from search results. Don’t be fooled to think that it’s only somebody in a dark room at their computer creating links from bad sites to link at your site. There are companies partaking in negative SEO to hurt their competitors. I can confirm that it’s a fact as we have and are being attacked by negative SEO. (I’ll have more about this in a future post.)

Taking a Stand

Google has been making changes to their algorithm and search results pages for the past three years in order to aggressively attack websites that don’t conform to their standards. Now there is somebody trying to do something about this. Josh Bachynski, a well known SEO expert who writes about ethics and SEO is making a documentary to show Google’s treatment of these small businesses and how they have affected people’s lives. He’s created a teaser video (below) and also wrote an outstanding long post questioning Google’s ethics (or lack there of) at The Moral Concept. As Josh states in his teaser video:

“There is a war between websites and search engines. Between democracy and monopoly. Between Google and you.”

Josh is looking for businesses affected by the Google algorithm updates and would like to hear from them in order to make his documentary. We can stop Google and hold them to their motto of “don’t be evil.”

For more information about Josh’s documentary and contributing, visit “Don’t Be Evil, the Documentary.