Google Advises That Links In Press Releases Must Use "Nofollow"
Posted: August 1, 2013 by Alex Chan
A few days ago, Google released a post on their Webmasters Forum regarding link schemes and how they violate Google's Guidelines. John Mueller, Google's leading Webmaster Trend Analyst, provided further clarification regarding keyword-rich anchor text links that appear in press releases and articles.
According to Mueller, press releases are the same as advertisements. With the new rules regarding link schemes, optimized anchor text in press releases are considered SPAM. Mueller suggests that every webmaster should use the nofollow attribute for all press release links just to be on the safe side. Branded anchor texts should be ok to link, however, there is always a small risk. I personally feel this risk is worth it, branded links are not SPAM.
Mueller says that there is value in using press releases. The main point in a press release is to get the press interested into your product or business. On the other hand, Matt Cutts released a statement stating press releases do not increase the rankings of websites. As it turned out, many SEOs have confirmed that this may not be specifically true. Regardless of what's happening now, it's safe to say that Google is making a move to work against links in press releases. Websites that use the press release link building model need to be aware of these changes and adapt to continue working within the Google Webmaster Guidelines.