From today SourceWire News Distribution will add ‘rel=nofollow’ attributes to all links included within the body of press releases on www.sourcewire.com. This follows Google’s recent clarification on the way it perceives links on press release wire services.
Google recently updated its Webmaster Tools Link schemes page providing general guidance on links that ‘pass PageRank’ (put simply, passing PageRank describes how Google’s perceived value of a site is influenced by the value of a site that links to it). Among other things, Google stated “links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites” may be considered as “unnatural links” and therefore a violation of Google’s guidelines.
By switching to nofollow on links, SourceWire is complying with Google’s approved method of linking within press releases. We had been considering going the nofollow route for some time, Google’s clarification has allowed us to make the move with confidence.
It is worth noting that SourceWire press releases will still be indexed by search engines, will still appear in search results and links in press releases will still work. The nofollow tags indicate to the search engine not to pass PageRank from SourceWire to the destination page.
SourceWire has been distributing news to the media since 1997 and our primary objective for the service has always been direct distribution to thousands of staff writers, freelance journalists, bloggers and media outlet news desks – each of whom may customise their release feed. We’ve always said that news should be written for humans, be they journalists covering the story, or read by consumers themselves and we’ve never seen value in building low quality mass syndication channels with automated, and sometimes dubious ‘scraper sites’.
The best SEO comes from organic links created by independent and credible authors. Google says it well: “The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.”
We welcome the clarification from Google on the way it treats links within press releases on wire services. It focusses the mind on quality content and that has to be a good thing for all.