In December 2020, Google released the latest changes to its algorithm. The update, called the December Core Update, and unofficially coined the “Quality Content” update, put an emphasis on three key factors:
- Freshness of content (quality)
- Traffic driven to a website from other reputable sites
- Content engagement once at the website
The Impact of the Google Core Update on Press Releases
Shortly after the update was made, its impact on search rankings started to show.
One major takeaway is that press releases have become more important in helping increase SEO rankings. Press releases are great at helping with all three key factors, and so are videos, blogs, whitepapers, podcasts and images (all things press releases can promote).
Early research showed that newswires have enjoyed a significant increase in site rankings as a result of their ability to produce content that meets the criteria outlined by Google.
So, how do press releases specifically help with the criteria outlined above? Here are three reasons why the Google Core Update means press releases are more important than ever before.
- Freshness of Content – 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day. Somewhere between 16% and 20% of Google searches are new - keywords or questions that never been searched before - and roughly 8% of Google search queries are questions mostly in the context of time (freshness). For example:
- What time is the football game today?
- What stock is doing well today?
- What happened in the oil industry yesterday?
This means your press releases are now considered to be fresher content able to answer the questions that are being asked.
- Traffic Being Driven to Website– Google wants those searching to find the right content. They know you found the right content when you stay on a page, and click on the links within the page.
Press releases are distributed to thousands of reputable news sources such as the AP, Yahoo, Bloomberg, etc. When someone views a press release on those sites, and then clicks on a link to take them to the company’s website, this tells Google that your website is answering the Google search question.
- Content Engagement on the Website– Google knows you found the right content when you stay on a site and engage with different pages within the site. Everything from videos and pictures, to blog posts and newsrooms.
Press releases live on your website as fresh and engaging content. By providing this content for searchers to interact with, this signals to Google that you should rank higher for whatever search term brought that person to your site.
When it comes to your next news release, virtual event/product announcement or investor relations regulatory filing, distributing a press release will be more important for your company than ever before.