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The Secrets of News Search Engine Optimization Greg Jarboe President of SEO-PR Nov. 6, 2008 In 2003, we started optimizing press releases for Google News Source: Google News, Sept. 15, 2003 In 2004, we started optimizing press releases for Yahoo! News Source: Yahoo! News, Oct. 26, 2004

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the secrets of news search engine optimization

The Secrets of News Search Engine Optimization

Greg Jarboe

President of SEO-PR

Nov. 6, 2008

in 2003 we started optimizing press releases for google news
In 2003, we started optimizing press releases for Google News

Source: Google News, Sept. 15, 2003

in 2004 we started optimizing press releases for yahoo news
In 2004, we started optimizing press releases for Yahoo! News

Source: Yahoo! News, Oct. 26, 2004

in 2005 southwest airlines and we won award for linking pr and sales
In 2005, Southwest Airlines and we won award for linking PR and sales

Source: Institute for Public Relations, October 2005

today i ll share the six secrets of news search engine optimization
Today, I’ll share the six secrets of news search engine optimization
  • “I keep six honest serving-men
  • (They taught me all I knew);
  • Their names are What and Why and When
  • And How and Where and Who.”

Source: Epigraph to “The Elephant's Child” by Rudyard Kipling

optimizing press releases for news search engines tackles 6 questions
Optimizing press releases for news search engines tackles 6 questions
  • Who uses Yahoo! News, AOL News and Google News?
  • What search terms are people likely to use?
  • Where do you incorporate these terms in your press releases?
  • When do you add links?
  • Why must you use press release distribution services?
  • How do you measure the results of your campaign?
millions of americans use yahoo news aol news or google news
Millions of Americans use Yahoo! News, AOL News or Google News

Source: Nielsen Online, September 2008

74 of journalists and bloggers use google and or blog search
74% of journalists and bloggers use Google and/or blog search

Source: PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey, March 31, 2008

search is top way journalists research companies and trends
Search is top way journalists research companies and trends
  • 75% of journalists use Google and/or Yahoo searches as a way to research companies and trends, according to a survey of tech reporters
  • 66% of journalists rely on PR contacts for information

Source: Fusion Public Relations, Sept. 10, 2007

more knowledge workers read press releases than trade journals
More knowledge workers read press releases than trade journals

Source: InformationWeek, June 6, 2006

marketing and pr professionals differ on importance of audiences
Marketing and PR professionals differ on importance of audiences
  • In terms of target audiences for online press releases, significant differences emerged between marketing and public relations professionals
  • PR professionals were consistently more interested than marketing professionals in reaching traditional media
  • Marketing professionals were consistently more interested than PR practitioners in reaching new media or consumers directly

Source: Society for New Communications Research, October 2008

conduct keyword research to find the terms people are likely to use
Conduct keyword research to find the terms people are likely to use
  • Think about the words users would type to find your pages
  • Brainstorm keyword categories that address your customer’s wants
  • Compile the brainstormed keywords for further review of traffic potential, competition, and other factors

Source: Elliance, Search Engine Land, Oct. 23, 2007

conduct your keyword research using one or more of these tools
Conduct your keyword research using one or more of these tools
  • Google AdWords keyword tool
    • https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
  • Google Suggest
    • http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1&hl=en
  • Google Trends
    • http://www.google.com/trends
  • Microsoft’s adCenter Labs keyword forecast
    • http://adlab.msn.com/ForecastV2/KeywordTrendsWeb.aspx
  • Trellian’s free search term suggestion tool
    • http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html
  • Wordtracker’s free keyword suggestion tool
    • http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/
use google adwords keyword tool to find approximate search volume
Use Google AdWords keyword tool to find approximate search volume

Source: Google AdWords keyword tool, Oct. 30, 2008

use google suggest to find relevant search terms in real time
Use Google Suggest to find relevant search terms in real time

Source: Google Suggest, Oct. 30, 2008

keyword research involves more than looking up search frequencies
Keyword research involves more than looking up search frequencies
  • Average search term is 2 or 3 words long, so use 2-word and 3-word phrases
    • Use “Russian nesting dolls”
    • e.g. “online press release” contains “press release”
  • Build each press release around the top 2 or 3 phrases that you would like it to be found for
    • Company or description
    • Product or category
    • News or benefit

Source: Elliance, Search Engine Land, Nov. 6, 2007

incorporate search terms into your headline and lead paragraph
Incorporate search terms into your headline and lead paragraph
  • News search engines scan the headline and at least the first 100 words of news articles
  • So, make sure your press release actually includes your target terms – particularly in the headline and first few sentences

Source: The New York Times, April 9, 2006

optimized press release ranked 1 consumer reports story ranked 4
Optimized press release ranked #1, Consumer Reports story ranked #4

Source: Google News, Sept. 14, 2005

herb kelleher went nuts when he saw cheap in his press release
Herb Kelleher went nuts when he saw cheap in his press release

Source: Southwest Airlines, Jan. 30, 2004

we had to violate ap style in order to optimize monitor s press release
We had to violate AP Style in order to optimize Monitor’s press release

Source: The Christian Science Monitor, August 11, 2006

we optimized superpages com release for flowers instead of sex
We optimized SuperPages.com release for flowers instead of sex

Source: Verizon SuperPages.com, Feb. 5, 2005

add links intended to help people find interesting related content
Add links intended to help people find interesting, related content
  • The unique tracking link in this Southwest Airlines press release offered a complete list of fares
  • It took people to a unique landing page, enabling Southwest to track over $80,000 in ticket sales back to this optimized release

Source: The Measurement Standard, April 6, 2004

second link in some press releases got more clicks than the other links
Second link in some press releases got more clicks than the other links

Source: ConsumerReports.org log files

head of google s webspam team says main benefit is links in articles
Head of Google’s Webspam team says main benefit is links in articles
  • “I’m not against doing press releases; press releases can be a useful part of getting traffic and building a brand.
  • “For ranking in Google, however, the main benefit of a press release is not direct links or PageRank from the press release directly; it’s primarily the people who decide to write an article and link because of that.”

Source: Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google and SEO, Dec. 11, 2005

buzzing blogger community can be excellent place to generate interest
Buzzing blogger community can be excellent place to generate interest
  • “The best way to get other sites to create relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community.”
  • “Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the buzzing blogger community can be an excellent place to generate interest.”

Sources: Technorati: State of the Blogosphere 2008, and Google Webmaster Help Center

before using linkbaiting techniques read matt s seo advice on linkbait
Before using linkbaiting techniques, read Matt’s SEO advice on linkbait
  • I think of “linkbait” as something interesting enough to catch people’s attention, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing
  • Especially if it’s interesting information or fun, it doesn’t have to have negative connotations
  • Content can be both white-hat and yet still be wonderful “bait” for links

Source: Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google and SEO, Jan. 24, 2006

looks like the optimized release got some great pick up
“Looks like the optimized release got some great pick up!”
  • Optimized press release: 1
  • News stories: 11
  • Target bloggers: 80
  • Blog posts: 190
  • Inbound links: 202
  • Downloads: 2,719
  • Mention in Jay Leno’s monologue: Priceless

Sources: Harlequin, June 12, 2007

ensure your press release will be crawled by news search engines
Ensure your press release will be “crawled” by news search engines
  • News search engines don’t crawl your online press room
  • They aggregate thousands of news sources, including the major press release distribution services
  • Yahoo! News and AOL News are especially picky
measure results of pr campaign just like search engine marketing
Measure results of PR campaign just like search engine marketing
  • 61% to increase, enhance brand awareness
  • 58% to sell products, services or content online
  • 43% to drive traffic to your website
  • 20% to generate leads for your sales force
  • 20% to generate leads for your dealer network

Source: SEMPO, February 2008

google study found a 16 lift in brand association for top rankings
Google study found a 16% lift in brand association for top rankings

Source: Enquiro Search Solutions, July 2007

4 optimized press releases linked to 2 5 million in southwest sales
4 optimized press releases linked to $2.5 million in Southwest sales

Source: Southwest Airlines, July 15, 2004

publicity drove 450 000 visitors to christian science monitor website
Publicity drove 450,000 visitors to Christian Science Monitor website
  • Within first 24 hours after series went live, more than 450,000 unique visitors flooded CSMonitor.com, 7 times its daily average in July
  • Page views for the first day broke through the 1 million mark, a massive increase from the site’s July average of 121,247 page views per day

Source: WebSideStory, Aug. 13-28, 2006

pr campaign generated 88 296 entries to parents photo contest
PR campaign generated 88,296 entries to Parents’ photo contest

Source: Parents.com, Oct. 21, 2008

1 3 million searches for florists prompted by superpages release
1.3 million searches for “florists” prompted by SuperPages release
  • Searches for “plumber”
    • 8,485 Feb. 6-14, 2004
    • 13,730 Feb. 6-14, 2005
    • Up 62%
    • This was used as site traffic growth benchmark
  • Searches for “florists”
    • 342,478 Feb. 6-14, 2004
    • 1,841,272 Feb. 6-14, 2005
    • Up 438%
    • Delta of 1,286,459 over site traffic growth benchmark

Source: Verizon SuperPages.com, February 25, 2005

these six secrets of seo represent a paradigm shift in public relations
These six secrets of SEO represent a paradigm shift in public relations
  • As Columbus discovered, training the crews of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria how to sail west was a relatively straightforward task
  • The real challenge was convincing Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand that they wouldn’t fall of the edge of the world

Source: WebProNews, Jan. 7, 2004

harold lasswell created classic model of communications in 1948
Harold Lasswell created classic model of communications in 1948

Who

says what

in which channel

to whom

with what effect?

less than half as many reporters now cover philadelphia as in 1990
Less than half as many reporters now cover Philadelphia as in 1990
  • The number of newspaper reporters has fallen from 500 to 220.
  • The local TV stations, with the exception of Fox, have cut back on traditional news coverage.
  • The five AM radio stations that used to cover news have been reduced to two.

Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism, May 8, 2006

news search engines reverse classic model of communications
News search engines reverse classic model of communications

Who

seeks what

in which channel

from whom

with what effect?

no online press release will ever replace the art of the schmooze
No online press release will ever replace the art of the schmooze
  • Bennett & Company found that 62% of journalists now obtain less than 10% of their content from PR firms
  • But 38% of journalists said the number one reason they open their email is because they know the sender

Source: Bennett & Company, Oct. 17, 2007

a public relations veteran can be a press release optimization expert
A public relations veteran can be a press release optimization expert
  • “For a good part of the 20th century, every part of the marketing mix was in a different silo....
  • “To the extent that you can get the PR people interacting with the search people, they will discover that there are lots of things they can do together.”

Source: Michael Miller interview with Greg Jarboe, SEO-PR